Monday, September 28, 2009

Sort of Sorting the Shelves: Picture Books

Yes, with 4 teenagers in the house, I still have picture books on the shelves usually for one of three reasons. Sometimes, a picture book best says what has to be said. Sometimes, I had meant to get rid of a really twaddly book, but simply never got around to it. Sometimes, the books are well-worn and well-loved editions I wish to share with my grandchildren someday. Today, I found a few books in each of these categories, and some are worth mentioning.

A Prairie Boy's Winter is a book of play and nature and an activity or two that parents would never let their children indulge in today. These are tales I like best...for instance, when snow drifts are deep, we are always told to keep away--you might become trapped and die. In this book, the boys dig deep, jump in, and explore the snow drift as tall as trees. They make elbow-shaped tunnels, in through the top,and out the side. They dig in with shovels, and jump in with both feet. What fun.

My Season with the Penguins takes us on a scientific research journey through the Antarctic home of some penguins via the journal of a naturalist who watches penguins. The watercolor illustrations are the perfect example of a lovely nature notebook. Just be aware that the author covers the nice and not-so-nice aspects of penguin life (and death) in the wild.

Grub the Bush Baby is a photo essay following the toddler-hood of Jane Goodall's son, nicknamed "Grub". In a way, this is a tragic story, as it seems as if those magical years were the best of his life. When he reached school age, Grub was sent off, away from his parents, to boarding school. Just so you know, Grub is frequently seen running about in his birthday suit in the book.

There are others, too, perhaps familiar to many of us: One Small Square books, Holling C. Holling's books, and a wonderful illustrated version of the Just So Stories. And many more, of course. Keepers, all.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Holling C. Holling---I've always meant to read his books someday.

I love children's books. It's so therapeutic for me to pick up one of my old favorites and read it again for the twentieth time.

I can't find the quote now, but I think C.S. Lewis recommended reading every good book several times.