Monday, December 31, 2012

How Does It Feel to Be Old?

I asked Chris today what makes him feel older- his birthday, or New Years.  He said "New Year's" because everyone is celebrating and it's another year passing for everyone, while on your birthday it's just a year passing for you (and you can ignore it if you want to!).

I often think about growing old.  Madeleine and I even joke about how I was meant to be a grandmother.  Maybe that's why these books about time passing and aging always hit me in my chest (I'm looking at you Roxaboxen and Someday).  So of course I love this book in that heart-clenching way. 

Norma Farber
illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman 1979

Trina Schart Hyman's pictures are perfect as usual. "How does it feel to be old"? A grandmother answers that question in funny, frank, and nostalgic ways, sharing her life and memories with her granddaughter.

There's more to an old, old woman than what appears.  There's all that she's been before.  Before and after, both.

And only barely recalling the youngster who long, long ago was me with never a hint of a fear of falling.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

A good snowfall and plenty of out door play today.  I confess I really do love winter.

Uri Shulevitz

If these pictures look familiar, you might recall Hanuka Money also illustrated by Shulevitz.  The watercolors are wonderful and the sentiment- a child says it's snowing and the adults poo-poo it- is spot on.

Other books about snow:

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Child's Story of the Nativity

Christmas books just don't get any more beautiful than this!  Masha's illustrations are embellished with gold and the pages shine. 

illustrated by Masha 1943 

The story, adhering to scripture, starts with Mary as a young maiden. It's also one of the few versions that show the wise men visiting later, when Jesus is a bit older.  I love taking this one out to read and display every December.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jesus, the Little New Baby

Mary Edna Lloyd
pictures by Grace Paull

An unassuming version of the nativity for younger folks.  Sweet and simple with vintage illustrations.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Night Before Christmas

This poem never gets old- there are just so many different ways to illustrate it.  Here Rene Cloke fills the pages with little elves and fairies and detailed drawings.  In a way it reminds me of the Johnstones' work.

illustrated by Rene Cloke 1994

Other versions of The Night Before Christmas:

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Shortest Day

This is the darkest night of the year, when the sun sets early and the turning of the earth continues.  I found this book to be a good, simple description of the Winter Solstice- how it was celebrated around the world and ways you can discover it for yourself.  We haven't tried any yet but we'll probably record our shadows next year.

Wendy Pfeffer
illustrated by Jesse Reisch 2003