Wednesday, February 20, 2013
What We're Reading Wednesday: Picture Books
I read about twenty thousand picture books a week to Jill. Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little. My library account shows that I have nearly 60 items checked out at this time. Plus, I recently resurrected my vast collection of every Little Golden Book ever written to occupy lap time with Jill, because she is not going "night-night" (our word for nursing) anymore. Huzzah! I am the only one who loathes the word, "weaning?"
Anywho, I read lots of picture books, many of which are perfectly lovely and delightful, but I am not really inspired to blog about most of them. Here is one exception.
I am trying to teach Jill that there are other colors besides "peent." (pink) Picture books about colors are ubiquitous but Edward Gibbs' I Spy with My Little Eye has to be hands down my favorite. This oversized picture book combines color education with Jill's all-time favorite subject, ANIMALS! Plus, every page has a hole in it, peeking at the next page, incorporating the next pages's illustation in a very cool way. The end of the book has another hole for you to peek out of. Jill uses it all the time and giggles like mad. I love everything about this book, the illustrations, the colors, the peeky holes. If you have a toddler, you will both enjoy this book.
I was asked a few weeks ago what Easter books would I recommend for the toddler set. Honestly, I didn't know of anything besides the The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward, and I'm not a huge fan of that book anyway. So, I started investigating and I've found two books about Easter that Jill and I really like.
Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco is the story of Babushka, wounded goose she finds in the snow, and the magnificent painted eggs she brings to the fair in Moskva each year. While not specifically about the Paschal mystery, the illustrations show wonderful reproductions of the icons that Babuska has in her home.
For me, the most important thing about a picture book is the pictures. Jill doesn't let me read all of the text everytime anyway. Patricia Polacco's books have FABULOUS pictures.
Just look at that close up of Babushka. See how the rich watercolor clothing contrasts with the detailed pencil drawn skin. Yes, that's a mole next to her nose. Can you just feel her soft wrinkly hands? This is Art.
I was first introduced to Patricia Polacco when Edmund's tutor recommended her autobiographical story, Thank You Mr. Falker, because like Edmund, Ms. Polacco is dyslexic too.
I am puzzled by one thing in Rechenka's Eggs though. If you follow me on Pinterest, you might have noticed that I pinned Hearthsong's Ukrainian Egg Making Kit to make my own psyanky eggs this year. My kit has arrived and I got every book from the library on the topic to educate myself. According to my research, one does not "paint" the eggs as Babushka does in the story, but like the creation of an icon, one "writes" the eggs. By coating the egg in beeswax designs and repeatedly dyeing it in stronger and stronger colors, you (and hopefully I) can make eggs that look like these.
The Jesus Garden: An Easter Legend by Antoinette Bosco is published by some of great ladies over at the Daughters of St. Paul. The Jesus Garden is the story of the cross and the resurrection. On Easter Sunday, Jesus appears in the garden and transforms some of the trees and flowers because of how they grieved for him during his Passion. It's a neat story about the garden, and gives religious meanings to plants that I had not known about. Jill just wants to look at the bunnies and squirrels, but maybe when she's older she'll let me read the whole thing to her.
Do you know of any eggsellent (sorry, I just couldn't help myself) children's books for/about Easter? Share with us in the comments!