a platter of vegetable picture books

Put on your bibs and lick your chops — it’s fresh veggie time!

Serving up a little of summer’s bounty today in celebration of all that is green, purple, red, orange and yellow. Nothing better than the crunch of a carrot, the juicy ooze of a garden ripe tomato, the fresh snap of a sassy bean. A quick perusal of vegetable books at my library revealed a surprising number of varieties who took great pride in their ability to amaze and delight. Some call attention to themselves just by being BIG, while others excel at showmanship. Veggie vaudeville? Lima bean monsters? Whoever said vegetables were boring?

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the ultimate bundle of joy: picture book babies!

Vintage Baby by Pelagie Doane

We’ve got a special delivery today courtesy of the stork.

Yes, they’re here — lots of freshly-powdered, cooing, wriggling bundles of joy — just what we need to cheer us up in the depths of winter. Who doesn’t love chubby, dimpled hands and feet, the sweet smell of a baby’s head, the sound of little burps and giggles?

from Everywhere Babies

Babies are indeed a popular subject when it comes to picture books. A quick check at my local library revealed eight excellent titles published in 2010 alone, three of them about wanting a baby brother (what’s so bad about baby sisters, anyway?). I also reread a few of the classics, like Julius, The Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes, and Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers and Marla Frazee. Henkes’s book is long by today’s standards, but boy, does it hold up well against all competition. He really nailed the sibling rivalry/jealousy thing with emotions that ring so, so true. But then, Kevin Henkes is quite a genius.

I love the way Marla Frazee draws babies. She’s done quite a few baby-themed books; besides Everywhere Babies, there’s Walk On!: A Guide for Babies of All Ages, New Baby Train, Hush, Little Baby, and last year’s brilliant The Boss Baby. Marla’s babies are never bland or stereotypical; even a quick glance through Everywhere Babies will make you feel all cuddly and ready to tickle somebody’s bottom. You even kind of wish one of the little cutie pies would crawl into your life right now.

Wait, look who’s here! Our great-nephew Charlie, the cutest baby we know and already an avid book lover. Since he’s going to have a brand new baby brother soon, I imagine he’ll appreciate some of today’s stories ☺.

Okay, it’s feeding time.

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the gigantic mouth-waterin’, lip-smackin’ thanksgiving picture book feast, part two

Happy Thanksgiving and Welcome Back!

I trust you’ve had a little time to nap, watch a football game, or chat with family and friends since we last sat down for Part One of our Thanksgiving Feast.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: while turkey and all the trimmings is just fine and dandy — for me, Thanksgiving is really about the PIES. Oh, you’re not surprised? Hmmmm.

We’re having pumpkin and apple pie today, but before I devour taste those, I wanted to serve up several more delicious picture books representing some of the traditional foods enjoyed on this gastronomic holiday. We can never have too much turkey, or can we? And we musn’t leave out corn, so important when remembering the Pilgrims and Native Americans. And there’s always squash . . .

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the gigantic mouth-waterin’, lip-smackin’ thanksgiving picture book feast, part one

“To be a human being is an honor, and we offer thanksgiving for all the gifts of life.” ~ Chief Jake Swamp, Giving Thanks

Come, ye hungry people, come!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lots of room at the alphabet soup table, so please take a seat and make yourself at home. Since this is a rather large feast, thought we’d serve Part One today and Part Two tomorrow.

via Betty Crocker

The bread basket is brimming with warm and flaky crescent rolls, freshly baked cranberry nut loaf, challah, and fried chapatis and pupusas. The golden brown turkey is just about ready to be carved, and all your favorite side dishes are here: fluffy mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, sausage apple stuffing, green bean casserole with fried onion topping, cranberry relish, candied sweet potatoes, creamed onions, roasted butternut squash, and glazed parsnips. And we’ll throw in some friendly cornbread in honor of the Native Americans, who taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn.

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picture books about france, part two

“Paris” © 2009 Lizzy Stewart. All rights reserved.

Bonjour! Comment ça va?

J’ai faim — quelle surprise!

Picture Books about France, Part One, with a few punitions, satisfied my hunger for a leetle while. But now, I am in the mood for my morning cup of Darjeeling, a warm croissant, and more stories set in the land of pâtisseries, artistes and les animaux!

                   photo by timmertaugh.

C’est vrai. In my quest to find the best picture books with a French setting, many included dogs and cats. Remember Bonaparte, Metro Cat and Zaza the dachshund? In this second batch, we have three cats as main characters. Does this mean the French have an inordinate love for les chats — or is there something innately “French” about cats that make them ideal for these particular types of stories? Perhaps authors who like writing about France just happen to also be cat lovers. I haven’t been to Paris in years, but I sense there are a lot of stray cats wandering around the city. Oh well, Marie Antoinette has her loyal pug, Sébastien, so that evens things up a bit. ☺

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