Today is a grey day, but there are lots of reasons to be happy today!
1. My amaryllis is gaining a few inches everyday. The anticipation is lovely.
2. Livie is home! And Clover and Evan are heading north, so I will have three of my sisters together. And Lindsey just left last week, so it is practically like all five of us sisters were all together.
3. Fiona is coming up for the weekend! Fiona, who used to be our resident college student, hasn't been back in almost two years. So this is marvelous.
4. Justin, my own Justin, is coming home tonight after a week in Syracuse.
5. No one is sick.
6. It is 50 degrees outside. It has been mild and gentle for a week or two, with mild temperatures for the foreseeable future. It has been the loveliest fall. I plan on planting some bulbs this afternoon. In December! In Northern New York!
And now, for some library books we have enjoyed lately.
Mr. Postmouse's Rounds by Marianne Dubuc
The kids loved this one. We read it over and over and over. It is the story of the mail being delivered by Mr. Postmouse. A review on Amazon said it was a snooze worthy story with cute illustrations. Which has a little bit of validity. The plot is basically a straight line. He delivers the mail. End of story. But let's talk about those illustrations again. Intricate and whimsical and perfectly delightful. I don't feel like picture books need intricate plots. I actually dislike picture books with tons of words, which an intricate plot often requires. But they do need fabulous pictures. And this book delivers. We get a peek in all the animal's houses.
This is the pigeon's house
The squirrel with his intricate pulley system and his socks. For some reason, his socks really crack me up.
And the big Bad Wolf's house. Little Red Riding Hood is hiding behind a tree near by, while the three little pigs have turned theives and are stealing Big Bad Wolf blind while he sharpens a knife in the kitchen. There are several references in the illustrations to fairy tales, which reminds me of the Anno books a bit.
There are mountain goats, an octopus, penguins, skunks, and many more animals that Mr. Postmouse delivers too. It is well worth a look!
Clover called me one day and told me I had to request the following two books. Which was good advice. They are both adorable.
You Nest here with me by Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi and Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
It is the story of a mother telling her little girl, her baby bird, a bed time story about all the different birds and where they nest with their babies. It is exceedingly cozy--"Little baby bird, your nest can be, anywhere there's you and me."
The illustrations are vibrant and delicate. I have seen this illustrators work somewhere or other before.
Apparently Jane Yolen's husband and daughter are avid birdwatchers, so there is a lot of factual information about birds in here. I love it all.
This one is so gentle and quiet. Kevin Henkes is one of my favorite picture book authors/illustrators. (One of my many, many favorites.) He has a lot of great books--Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Julius and the Baby of the world, Chrysanthemum, Owen, Wemberley Worried. The kids enjoy his books. Henkes said that this book is quiet, but it is something that kids would understand because they spend so much of their time waiting. Waiting their turn, waiting for some treat to happen, waiting to grow up. And time is so much longer to kids.
This book is about five little figures that sit on the windowsill, just waiting.
They each had their particular thing they waited for.
And in all this quietness and waiting, there is humor too.
Again, the plot is pretty straightforward. Nothing dramatic happens. The book ends with them all, plus some additions, still just waiting.
But it is adorable. And gentle.