Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Great Books

In addition to t-shirts and ball caps, Jeff and I brought some new books home for the kids. We were delighted to stumble upon The Wise Willow children's bookstore in Annapolis. I could have browsed all day. The young woman who rang us up turned out to be the owner and we were also enchanted with the presence of her baby daughter. Can you imagine? Owning a children's bookstore, where you get to chat with customers and bring your babies to work? Sounds like heaven. (I'm sure it's not quite all that... but let's imagine.)

We picked up Henry Builds a Cabin by D. B. Johnson.

It's Thoreau building the cabin where he wrote Walden. But in this case, Henry is a bear. The illustrations are so wonderful, humorus, beautiful and unique. Full of interesting perspectives and clever details. I am stunned to discover that he does them by hand with an air brush and several layers of frisket. (No idea what frisket is, but it sounds like a lot of work.) I would have sworn the illustrations were at least partially computer generated. Not that there would have been anything wrong with that... we all know there is great stuff done on computers. But, now I love them even more!

I just discovered this superfantastic study guide for the book. Claire eats this kind of stuff right up. This is definetely the kind of book that opens the door to all kinds of wonderful discussions about how we live and why we make the choices we do.

We already own Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, which we also love.

Now I simply must add Henry Climbs a Mountain and Henry Works to my Amazon wish list. When you find books you really love, it's so nice to have a neat little stack of the whole series. Of course, it wouldn't stay neat for long... books would always be strewn on the floor next to the bed after being read night after night. As it should be.

The other book we purchased was Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems, who I have blogged about before. (Sorry couldn't find the post. Grumble.)


Anonymous said...

We have Henry Climbs a Mountain, and love it. I didn't realize there's more, though. Now I'll have to add the pothers to my wish list. BTW, frisket is like contact paper and you use it to mask off areas which you don't want exposed to the paint. It is low tack so you can remove it and move it or use other masks to create all the wonderful layers and details.

Anonymous said...

in the very dark ages when one was too poor to buy frisket-rubber cement was sometimes subsituted but never with pastels only watercolor and gouache. I collect childrens books-these look wonderful. Can't wait for your book to be finished....how's Lincoln doing?

Brooke said...

Ok, you blogged about Mo Willems before, but I missed it. So, I'm going to give a hearty recommendation for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. Hilarious. Really funny. Who is the Mo Willems guy? Seems like I've seen his name credited on tv before.