The two cubs who’ve been hanging out in our backyard a lot. Their two big hobbies are charging at each other and climbing trees. (Photo by a neighbor.)Add a Comment
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Blog: The Giant Pie (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Apropos of Nothing, bears, Jon Mooallem, Roosevelt, TED, Teddy Bear, Add a tag
The sentimentalization of bears began with “Teddy’s Bear,” that cute and cuddly version of the powerful predator that was first manufactured following President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt’s refusal to shoot a malnourished and frightened she-bear who had been tied to a tree for him to “hunt” at his leisure. It’s a fascinating story, one that I […]Add a Comment
Blog: Miss Marple's Musings (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Book recommendation, conservation, Perfect Picture Book Friday, bears, Charlesbridge, Jeannie Brett, nonfiction, teaching resources, Add a tag
Title: Wild About Bears By Jeannie Brett Published by Charlesbridge, March 2014 Ages: 6-9 Themes: Bears Nonfiction Opening Lines: Eight bear species live on earth today: the polar bear, brown bear, North American black bear, spectacled bear, Asiatic black bear, sloth … Continue readingAdd a Comment
Blog: Shelf-employed (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: bears, book review, books, cars, E, family life, historical fiction, history, Middle Ages, picture book roundup, picture books for older readers, religion, Add a tag
Here are two fiction picture books that feature days gone by. Both books should tickle your fancy and make fun read-alouds for school-aged children, K-2.
- Kulling, Monica. 2014. The Tweedles Go Electric. Ontario, Canada: Groundwood. Ill. by Marie Lafrance.
The year is 1903, and the Tweedles are "a bunch of fuddy-duddies," according to their neighbors. Even when they finally decide to purchase a car, neighbors still tease them,
"People don't want that. They want noise. They want smoke." ... "They want a car to sound and smell like a car."But rather than the latest in gas-powered autos, the Tweedles purchase a smart, green, electric car.
With a wink and a nod to the future of "green" transportation and women's empowerment, it is the youngest of the Tweedles, Frances, and the "green" car that save the day when an emergency arises. Marie Lafrance's illustrations accurately evoke the era and are reminiscent of the style of Hergés Tin Tin.
- Beebe, Katy. 2014. Brother Hugo and the Bear. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. Ill. by S. D. Schindler.
With an illuminated capital I and leafy, gold flourishes, Brother Hugo and the Bear begins firmly planted in the monastical world of the Middle Ages,
It befell that on the first day of Lent, Brother Hugo could not return his library book.As the reader soon discovers, a bear has eaten the monastery's beautifully illuminated copy of St. Augustine's letters. It becomes Brother Hugo's job to painstakingly recreate the massive, illustrated tome —a job that "would have been full easy to endure if it had not been for the snuffling." The source of the snuffling, we soon discover, is the bear, who has not yet had his fill of letters. Written and illustrated with great reverence for the early art of book-making, Brother Hugo is humorous as well. Both the monk and the bear are earnest and joyful.
Based loosely upon a true story, Brother Hugo, in combination with its included Historical Note, Glossary, Author's Note, and Illustrator's Note is illuminating for both children and adults.
A Discussion Guide for Brother Hugo and the Bear.
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Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Bears, Daily routines, Dressing up, Families, Humour, Quilts, Rebecca Patterson, Storytelling, Toys, Add a tag
There are lots of recipes for great picture books but Rebecca Patterson has certainly worked out one of the best set of ingredients. She takes a good dose of humour, a non-patronising, reassuring, sincere child’s-eye view of the world and adds in highly observant illustrations and a sprinkling of drama. She did it with the Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning My Big Shouting Day!, the brilliantly perceptive My Busy Being Bella Day, and has pulled it off once more with her latest book, Nightbear.
An old bear has arrived at a new home; the book opens with us following him from the factory where he was made, to his first (and unappreciative) home, to a charity shop where he is eventually bought by a young girl out shopping with her mum. The bear is thrilled to have been chosen, but how will he fit in, when he discovers that the girl already has lots of teddy bears with very important roles in her life?
A heartwarming, delightful story not just about having a great teddy bear to hug, but also about the importance of having someone listen to your stories, and the reassurance that comes from being ‘picked’, about the everyday, real worries a young child can have (from nightmares, to being ill in the night), and most of all about the enormous fun to be had with imaginative play, Nightbear is a perfect picture book.
Starting with the gorgeous, dark sparkly cover, this book is so much fun to look at as well as to listen to. Patterson draws with a delightful, fluid simplicity; lots of smooth curves abound – as if echoing the cuddliness of the bears, and the warmth of the family. Some of the tiny details in the illustrations are like poems; they ring true in an uncluttered, authentic way that makes you see them anew, for example the way the mother holds the hand of the child when they’re browsing in the charity shop, or the manner in which the father holds the hair of the child whilst she is being sick.
A book every nursery and infant school should have, a book every charity shop should use to make a brilliant, eye catching window display, a book every family with young children will enjoy, Nightbear is an ideal book to cuddle up with.
Feeling sad at the thought of all those unloved teddy bears leading lonely lives on charity shop shelves we armed ourselves with 50ps and went off with a mission to each rescue and bring one home.
This one (above) looked pretty comfy.
This one looked rather resigned to its fate.
These two had fallen over and were asleep when we saw them.
This one was too expensive.
But eventually we each found a teddy that we loved, came home, and celebrated by dressing them up (as happens in Nightbear). I’m rather jealous of the bustle and headgear newly named ‘Treacle’ got to wear:
Little ‘Buttercup’ got a pretty nifty hat:
But ‘Candy’ stole the show with her badges and slides…
Whilst dressing our teddies we listened to:
Other fun activities to get up to alongside reading Nightbear include:
Have you a favourite teddy bear? Or a teddy bear who is assigned a special job?
Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.
Blog: Hazel Mitchell (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: free, cubs, Hazel Mitchell, writing a children's book, children's illustration, bears, sleep bear, blog giveaway, Prize, sleeping bear dunes legend, Christmas gift, anne margaret lewis, bear cub, book, Add a tag
You can win ....
'Sleeping Bear - Journey of the Cubs'
PLUS! (Yes, there is more!)
If you can't get the comment to stick, send me an email at
Draw will be made Friday Dec 7th 2012.
Thanks for entering and good luck!
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Blog: Leslie Ann Clark's Skye Blue Blog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Just for fun, Kicking Around Thoughts, Peepsqueak!, Surprises, bears, children's book, children's books, free, fun, give a way, ideas, kids, merry makers, never grow up, Peepsqueak, stuffed animals, toys, Add a tag
Peepsqueak LOVES BEARS! …. and so do I!! I LOVE toys! I love weird toys, stuff animals, special teddy bears, and more. Having three grandsons gives me a great excuse to buy MORE toys! I took a trip to the thrift store just this week to look for action figures! I ran them through the dishwasher and stowed in my big toy trunk. Three more trucks are sitting near the book-case in the “YaYa” room. Its great fun! On Tuesday I played “Superhero”! My youngest grandson loves the stuffies! Including my own little Peeksqueak plush by Merry Makers. If you want to order one, you can go to the website, or call them.
They are a great toy company. I want ALL THEIR TOYS! ha ha!
You can also find Peepsqueak on his Facebook page. I am going to have another book Give-A-Way as soon as the new toy gets here! Peepsqueak and I are so excited! I may also put it on this Word Press site so stay posted!
Filed under: Just for fun, Kicking Around Thoughts, Peepsqueak!, Surprises Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Barking Planet (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: fantasy-adventure, FindingFido, first-chapter book, Following Atticus, forest, Freedom Service Dogs, gift, Good Books fof Kids, good books for kids, Grimms Tales, Hans Christian Anderson, HBG Productions, healing power dogs, Hobbit, Hope and Heroes, human-canine connection, Books, Children, Dogs, Film, Kids, 4 paws for ability, a ChristmasTtale, animal wise, anne staun, Are Fairy Tales Out of Fashion, Ariel Wulff, barking, barking dog, barking dogs, Barking Planet Blog, Barking Planet Productions, bears, Breezes from Wonderland, C.A. Wulff, can do canines, Canadian Service Dogs.coromandel, Castle in the Mist, castles, Caterine St Louis, children’s books, children’s Christmas book, children’s dog books, children’s dog stories, child’s gift, child’s present, Chongxiangguan Book Co Ltd, Christmas book, Circling the Waggins, Collected Miscellaney, Dakota’s Den, Dan Greenburg, Deanna Leah, Deb Eades, dog books, dog rescue railroad, dog stories, dog videos, Dogster, Don Blankenship, early reader, Educating Alice, Elizabeth Bird, Enchanted Hunters, Fairy Tales, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, PAW, Paws for a cure, paws for Prison, Paws for Purple Hearts, Paws Giving Independence, Paws to Read, pawsitively pets, Pets Blog, Pets Blogs, Phillip Pullman, Planet Dog Foundation, Planet of the Dogs, present, Publishing Perspectives, Puppies, Red Riding Hood, reindeer, Retrieved, Richard Lawson, Roald Dahl, Roger Ebert Oz the Great and Powerful, See Spot read, senior dog, service dogs, seth lerer, Seth Lerner, Slate, Smithsonian, snow, Snow Valley Heroes, summer reading problem, Sunbear Squad, Susan Svrulga, Suzanne Collins, the lorax, therapy dogs, therapy reading dogs, up on the woof, Warrior Canine Connection, warriors, Way Cool Dogs, Wayne Walker, yelodoggie, You Can Change the World in Thirty Seconds, Hunger Games, invaders, IOE, IPNE, Jack Zipes, JC Greenburg, Justin Cronin, Kalevala, Kathleen Dematara, kidnapped children, kids xmas book, kid’s books, kid’s dog books, Leslie Kaufman, lewis carroll, Li Ke, Linquei Shao, love, loyalty, Maria Tartar, Myla Goldberg, Nancy Houser, neiba, NELA, Nicholas Carr, non-violence, Nor’wester Readers, NYPL, NYPL children’s Literary Seminars, NYTimes, One Green Planet, Operation Roger Truckers, PAL (People Animals Love), Patriot Paws, Add a tag
The forest has played a major role in children's literature from the earliest time.
The forest was mysterious, a place of unknowns and often darkness and fear.
From legends to fairy tales, the forest was a place of wonder and often a place of danger...from Winnie the Poo to Little Red Riding Hood
For readers, the forests, like the books whose stories embrace them, open the doors to the imagination.
This blog is dedicated to children's literature that opens the doors to the imagination. And to the amazing role of dogs in enhancing our lives. -
SLEEPING BEAUTIES VS. GONZO GIRLS By Maria Tatar
In this fascinating article that moves through children's literature and cultural myths ranging from Gretel and Red Riding Hood to Katniss Everdeen and Lady Gaga, Maria Tatar explores the evolution of the female archetype today. Here are excerpts.
Beauty goodbye at last, as feminists advised us to do not so long ago...
Maria Tatar chairs the program for folklore and mythology at Harvard University. She is the editor of the excellent Enchanted Hunters, the Power of Stories in Childhood.
The Illustration Of Red Riding Hood in bed with the wolf is by Dore...
In recent times, many versions of the fairy tales of old have been made for film and TV. Producers of these retold versions of Little Red Riding Hood have been inspired by the early versions of the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault with the ominous forest, the dangerous wolf, and the innocent young maiden. These retellings have often been heavily influenced by the quest for commercial success, and the reults have been decidely mixed. Often banal or cliched, they are examples of how commerce as well cultural change affects the retelling of fairy tales.
Here is a link to the trailer of the 2011 Movie film, Red Riding Hood
And here is an excerpt and a link to Roger Ebert's laugh out loud review.
"Of the classics of world literature crying out to be filmed as a sexual fantasy for teenage girls, surely "Red Riding Hood" is far down on the list. Here's a movie that cross-pollinates the "Twilight" formula with a werewolf and adds a girl who always wears a red hooded cape...
What this inspiration fails to account for is that while a young woman might toy with the notion of a vampire boyfriend, she might not want to mate with a wolf. Although she might think it was, like, cool to live in the woods in Oregon, she might not want to live in the Black Forest hundreds of years ago because, like, can you text from there?
"Red Riding Hood" has the added inconvenience of being dreadfully serious about a plot so preposterous, it demands to be filmed by Monty Python..."
Like Mr Ebert, most critics gave the film a negative review. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the audience rating was 39%.
A sensual intepretation of Little Red Ridin Hood from 1997 is found in this short film by David Kaplan adopted from Conte De LA Mere Grande...music by Debussy...the wolf moves like a seductive spirit of the forest...soft black and white images and a clever Red Riding Hood...
Here is the Link: Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf
Roald Dahl wrote his own version of Little Red Riding Hood in the form of a humorous,tongue in cheek poem. This is how it begins...
"As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma's door.
When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, "May I come in?"
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
"He's going to eat me up!" she cried.
And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, "That's not enough!
I haven't yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!"
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
"I've got to have a second helping!"...
The image above is from a fun film made of Dahl's Red Riding Hood poem using stop-motion puppets. The imaginative creators, Hannah Legere and Andrew Wilson, certainly caught the spirit of the Dahl poem. Link here to this delightful film version of Roald Dahl's poem...
The dog lover in the photograph is Roald Dahl.
Artists and Illustrators...
14 different artist's versions of Red Riding Hood are posted on the Art of Children's Books blog site..here is an excerpt from their introduction...
"Folk tales and fairy tales are at the top of the list when it comes to vintage children's books. The Brothers Grimm* folk tale, Little Red Riding Hood, has been a beloved and enduring story. Originally titled Little Red Cap, the story has a strong lesson. Since it's publication, Little Red Riding Hood has been illustrated by many artists over the years. Here is just a sampling of the different artistic interpretations of Little Red Riding Hood."
Book cover by Andrea Wisnewski...*The original version was published by Charles Perault.
The Forest and Imagination...
The influence of the forest on the imagination will always be with us, especially in legend, folk tales and children's stories.
Innumerable film and TV versions, including many annimated cartoons, of Little Red Riding Hood will continue to be made. And wonderful writers like Roald Dahl in the past, and Philip Pullman in the present, will continue to find the forests of fairy tales a timeless setting for timeless stories.
The illustration is by Arthur Rackham...if you look closely, on the path beneath the huge tree, you will see red Riding Hood and the wolf.
Reading for Pleasure...opening the imagination, opening the mind...
Reading for pleasure puts children ahead in the classroom, according to a UK study of the reading behavior of appoximately 6000 young people. Here are excerpts from a report that reaffirms the value early reading and bedtime stories.
"Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers, according to new research from the Institute of Education (IOE).
The IOE study, which is believed to be the first to examine the effect of reading for pleasure on cognitive development over time, found that children who read for pleasure made more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of10 and 16 than those who rarely read...
...Children who were read to regularly by their parents at age 5 performed better in all three tests at age 16 than those who were not helped in this way."
The research was conducted by Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown; To read the article, visit Pleasure Reading
The Doors that Rose opens...
“I consider myself a facilitator…if my dog could drive, she would not need me. Rose seems to enjoy seeing people multiple times and developing a relationship with the people… She is a working dog by nature and she just loves these jobs. I am constantly amazed at the doors that Rose opens…she goes to places I could never get without her…reaches beyond my reach, touches a person deeper than my touch. The restless or agitated patient who is calmed by Rose’s touch...the child in the classroom who won’t settle down and get to work but when Rose sits by them, they quiet right down and the hyperactivity seems to dissipate. The child getting excited about reading to Rose every week; they wouldn’t do that for me, but they do it for Rose. Lying with a dying patient who will smile, close their eyes and stroke her with a peacefulness that is so precious…I know I could not enter that person’s space without Rose…it really is all about occupying part of someone else’s space for just a short time be it in a school, home or hospital...”
A former teacher, Susan Purser, and her Australian Cattle Dog, Rose, have been very active as a therapy dog team for several years in Sarasota, Florida.
Paws Giving Independence
Paws Giving Independence is a recpient of a 2013 Planet Dog Foundation Grant. Planet Dog has this year donated $71,500 in new grants to 16 non-profit dog organizations..."The PDF grants will help fund assistance dog, therapy dog and search and rescue programs across the country and support a wide variety of non-profit programs that are helping children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities; injured service members; natural disaster survivors and many more people in need..."
"Paws Giving Independence is an all-volunteer organization that saves dogs from area shelters, trains them to be service/companion dogs, and places the dogs, free of charge, with those in need. Their Saving a Life to Change a Life project identifies suitable dogs in shelters and trains them to meet the specific needs of people with disabilities. They train dogs to open doors, pick up dropped objects, turn lights on and off, and other ways to assist in independence. In addition, they train dogs to alert for epileptic and diabetic seizures, and psychological assistance for military veterans with PTSD. PDF funds support veterinary care, special prosthetics and balance equipment and training."
Paws Giving Independence was founded in 2008 by 3 Bradley University students who recognized the marvelous healing capabilities of dogs.
for Dog Lovers and decent people...
Here's a Goodreads review that strikes home and makes sense for dog lovers and decent people...Passionate dog rescuer, animal rights advocate and author.C.A. Wulff wrote How to Change The World in 30 Seconds...
"At first i started reading this book as an animal rescuer myself. But as i started to go through all of the information in the book i realized that this book is a GREAT informative guide for people who have just dipped their toes into the realm of rescue. It is laid out in a way that focuses on an audience that may, or may not have already heard of some of the ideas. This way a novice rescuer can understand it, but the veteran rescuer isnt just wading through either. I saw several options that were detailed out even for someone in rescue many years. So really what im saying is.. it doesnt matter if you are new or old to it, this can give you great ideas, starting points and explanations for why so many rescuers are able to save lives on click at a time."
Here is a link to the full review by Sylence of How to Change the World in 30 Seconds, in Goodreads...
Much has been written of the importance of childhood experiences with books...books that meant a lot to an individual as a child and where the memory of the book remains important in their adult life. Here, thanks to Monica Edinger's Educating Alice blog, are excerpts from a rather fascinating converstion by two of the most prominent, respected, and imaginative writers of children's and YA literature...
Guest Blog: Gaiman & Pullman Talk Children's Books in Literary Oxford
"Gaiman talked about reading the Mary Poppins books when he was six or seven and how they helped form whatever worldview he had as a kid. 'The idea that the world is incredibly unlikely and strange secret things are always happening, that adults don't really explain to you, or in fact, that adults may be oblivious to'...
''His (Gaiman's) wonder was infectious as he recalled discovering the library when he was very young and having that incredible feeling of power; discovering the card catalogue in which you could actually look up subjects like witches or robots or ghosts; or you could just take down books and read the interesting ones. Both authors talked about discovering American comic books and marveled at the speed in the stories, the size of them, with Gaiman adding, "Everything was alien, everything was equally as strange and unlikely, so skyscrapers, and pizza and fire hydrants were just as alien to my world as people in capes flying around..."
Monica Edinger, a fourth grade teacher, and a passionate advocate of the wonders and benefits of children's literature, has a very lively and informative blog: Educating Alice . Her new book, Africa Is My Home, is receiving excellent reviews.
Here are excerpts from her blog ;
The Unjournal of Children's Literature
The “un” movement is an intriguing one. Until recently I had only heard about it in terms of unconferences, participant-driven events such as this one. But now there is another sort of un-thing, an unjournal. Created by children’s literature graduate students at San Diego State University, the inaugural issue of The Unjournal of Children’s Literature is up and ready for viewing, reading, and responding. Gorgeous to look at, clearly designed in terms of navigation, fascinating in terms of content, this is one elegant web publication.
And from an article on kids, books and reading: "Reading to me is many things and so I think we teachers need to provide many different experiences with reading and books. My fourth grade students read all sorts of material on their own, for themselves, for all sorts of reasons..."
What do Therapy Dogs Do All Day?
Here are videos from Peple Animals Love (PAL), based in Washington DC, that document the wonderful work that their volunteers and their dogs perform. Click this link: PAL
Fairy Tales as the Last Echoes of Pagan Myths...
Seth Lerner, in writing about the orgins and history of fairy tales and folklore, points out that Wilhelm Grimm, at the time the Grimm brothers books were being published in 1812 and 1815, wrote that fairy tales were the "'last echoes of pagan myths'. He (Grimm) went on:"A world of magic is opened up before us, one which still exists among us in secret forests, in underground caves, and in the deepest sea, and it is still visible to children.(Fairy tales) belong to our national poetic heritage..."
Lerner sees even more significance in Fairy tales. He goes on to point out that "what we find inside these secret forests, caves, and seas is not just a poetic heritage, but a personal one as well. For fairy tales are full of families, full of parents who bequeth a sense of self to children, full of ancestors and heirs whose lives play out, in little, the life of a nation from childhood to maturity..."
Seth Lerer is Dean of Arts and Humanities and Distinguished Professor of Literature at the University of California at San Diego. The quotes and ideas above are from his informative and insightful book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter
Harry Potter's Textbook...
"J.K. Rowling will write her first movie script for Warner Bros., writing Fantastic Beasts and Where to
Find Them–a film based on Harry Potter’s textbook from his school for wizards.
The film is part of a planned series featuring the author of the magical book, Newt Scamander. Rowling published a book by the same name in 2001. She had this comment on her Facebook page:
"Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world..." Here is the link: JKRowling
Dogs in the Forest...
The forest plays a very important role in the Planet Of The Dogs Series. Here is an excerpt from Castle In The Mist...
"The dogs continued to lead the soldiers deeper into the woods. Soon, it began to snow, slowly at first, and then, the wind increased and the snow was everywhere. It became very difficult to see very far. The leader of the soldiers told his men that they were to follow him. They were returning to the castle.
They started walking through the snow when one of the men, who was an experienced forest guide, said to the leader, “With respect sir, but I don’t think we are going in the right direction.” The leader was about to answer him when howling started. It seemed to come from all directions. Then the leader spoke, “You will follow me, I am certain that this is the way.” They continued on through the swirling snow, unable to see, and surrounded by howling dogs..."
Here is an excert from a review:"Do you think it is possible for dogs to stop war? Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels…a story about dogs who come from another planet to help people on earth. But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and how to overcome evil with good…Castle In The Mist will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Wayne Walker reviewing Castle in the Mist for Stories for Children Magazine, the Home School Book Review and the Home School Buzz wrote:
The Canadian Service Dog Foundation trains and provides service dogs for a wide variety of human needs and services. They provide a wide range of vital services,,,ten major humanitarian objectives are listed on their website. Here are the first two:
- "To improve quality of life for Canadians through the use of service dogs, assistance dogs, therapy dogs and emotional support animals. Provide opportunities, resources, and support through the use of trained service dogs for Canadians living with psychiatric disabilities so as to allow for greater functional independence, sufficient to make healthy choices and lead active lifestyles."
- To support past or present military personnel, emergency service workers, and related professionals dealing with operational stress injuries through the use of specially trained service dogs.
- Here is a link to learn more about their wide reaching canine services for people: CSDF Services
Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore or via Barnes Noble, Amazon, Powell's...
Librarians, teachers, bookstores...Order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount.
Therapy reading dog owners, librarians and teachers with therapy reading dog programs -- you can write us at email@example.com and we will send you free reader copies from the Planet of the Dogs Series...Read Dog Books to Dogs....Ask any therapy reading dog: "Do you like it when the kids read dog books to you?"
And Now -- for the First Time -- E Books of the Planet Of The Dogs Series are coming on KDP Select...
Planet Of The Dogs will be available October 1...Castle In The Mist will be available on October 15 and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, on November 15...in time for the Holiday Gift Season...
Any one of these books would make for a delightful—and one would assume cherished—gift for any child. All three would be an amazing reading adventure. Darlene Arden, educator, dog expert, and author of Small Dogs Big Hearts wrote:
"We are excited to announce that Barking Planet Productions is publishing a new book by C.A.Wulff.
"Finding Fido" will be available for purchase at amazon.com on September 30. "Finding Fido" is a handbook every pet owner will want to have in their library.
A Dog Health Update: here are excerpts from an article on Giardiasis – Parasitic Diarrhea in Dogs, Cats and Humans...The microscopic parasites known as Giardiasis are the most common intestinal parasites to be found in humans, dogs and cats. A protozoan parasite infection, it is the cause of a very serious diarrheal illness in the intestinal areas, known to be highly contagious but not lethal. However, it is a parasite that can be transferred across species — from person-to-person or animal-to-person... The most popular locations for this parasite are on surfaces or within soil and food.However, drinking water and recreational water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected humans or animals are the most common methods of transmission. This includes untreated or improperly treated water from lakes, streams, or wells...
Here's the link to read this comprehensive, informative article: Way Cool Dogs
As members of the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE), we will be exhibiting Circling the Waggins and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale at the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA),October 6-8, in Providence, RI and the New England Library Association(NELA), on October 20-27, in Portland, Maine.
Green Eggs and E-Books? Thank You, Sam-I-Am By Julie Bosman
Here are excerpts from Julie Bosman's article...
"Dr. Seuss books, those whimsical, mischievous, irresistibly rhymey stories that have been passed down in print to generations of readers, are finally catching up with digital publishing...
The Dr. Seuss canon will be released in e-book format for the first time, beginning later this month, his publisher said on Wednesday, an announcement that could nudge more parents and educators to download picture books for children...picture books have lagged far behind(adult fiction) . Several publishers said e-books represent only 2 to 5 percent of their total picture book sales, a number that has scarcely moved in the last several years.
But the release of the Dr. Seuss books, still hugely popular after decades in print, could move that number higher. The e-books will be available on color tablets, including the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook HD. The first titles to be released, on Sept. 24, include “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” “There’s a Wocket in My Pocket!” and “The Lorax” (featuring an environmentally conscious character who might be happy about the announcement)."
''The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to seaClick here for information and videos of COROMANDEL , byTrevor Bachman's... Here is an excerpt from their site...A" vibrant musical odyssey for children and adults, Coromandel is a journey through the mind of poet Edward Lear"...playing in New York City in early October..." a fusion of rock, jazz, bluegrass, tango, musical theatre, and classical sounds makes for a diverse, delicious, and sonically satisfying evening. Told with a whimsical simplicity that appeals to children of all ages..."
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.''
"We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace."
—Albert Schweitzer, "The Philosophy of Civilization" -
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JacketFlap tags: Alleycat, Cat stories, Children's fiction, Pink, Bears, Add a tag
The bears have stopped reproducing for the moment. Alleycat’s instructed them to gather on top of one of the sitting room cabinets, and although he’s confined them more or less, one of them’s unruly and wayward and refuses to do as he’s told. When Pink’s on sentry duty that particular bear creeps up on her blind side and sneaks past her. He’s been seen in the kitchen, staring down at Alleycat (though Alleycat’s too polite to notice him) and once I caught that bear signalling to someone through the kitchen window. We don’t know the details yet but it must mean that the bears have allies somewhere in the Five Streets and they’re secretly communicating through the glass. Nothing bothers Alleycat though. He’s intent on sleeping as much as possible and won’t exert himself or take steps until it’s absolutely necessary.
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Pink’s had a shock. All the animals have. It’s all because of the bears, who’ve suddenly appeared and started to spread across the house. But now and then I wonder if there’s something hidden in the dark that the bears are just a symptom of. Alleycat’s resorted to purely practical, military measures. He drills the dogs and makes them line up and gives them instructions to watch and guard and report any weirdness; but dogs aren’t the type to take instruction, and Alleycat’s just marking time in my opinion. But he’s done more too. He’s been in dark places, under the floor (we’ve heard him down there) and he’s been in the cupboards too, searching for a reason, or a sign. But oddly enough it’s Pink who’s trying hardest. She might seem a lazy and vain little cat, but she sits by my PC and stares at the keyboard as if she’d love to write me a message, and last night she appeared in a dream and spoke to me urgently, not in a miaow, but in actual human words. Unfortunately when I awoke I couldn’t remember what she said. That’s how it is with dreams. They’re different.
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Alleycat went missing and there was no sign of him for a day and half. He didn’t show up until yesterday morning. No one knew where he’d gone to and when he came back (he always comes back) he looked fitter and stronger than he’s been for years. Obviously he’d been invisible, and whilst invisible he’d seen the solution to the problem of the bears. The bears must have sensed that their reign of terror was coming to a close, because they all came out and encircled Pink and surrounded her in a little bear-army on top of the kitchen table. Then Alleycat whispered something in Pink’s ear, and a moment later all the bears were flat on their backs and Pink was in control. Alleycat let her have all the glory, but I’m sure she wouldn’t have been able to overthrow the bears without his sage advice.
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Blog: E is for Erik (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: bears, digital, more bears!, polar bears, Add a tag
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Blog: the dust of everyday life (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: BEAR, bears, big dipper, little dipper, northern lights, otter, swimming, underwater, ursus major, ursus minor, Add a tag
Well I guess I'd be remiss if I didn't post at least two bears for the month of March, as bears are the one animal I've drawn professionally more than any other. I like bears so much that my website is even called BigBearIllustration.com.
|Star gazing in My Favorite Bear, written & illustrated by Andrea Gabriel, Charlesbridge Publishing.|
|Front cover for Otter & Bear, still searching for its publishing home...|
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Blog: RabbleBoy (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Void, Bears, Bees, children's picture book, grand prix, Kip Noschese, picture book, racing, scbwi, Add a tag
Otto is a bear with a unique talent for racing cars. It’s a talent that requires drivers to be fearless. Otto has only one fear. A great fear — BEES! When he crosses paths with some very smart bees that love racing as much as he does, he might need to overcome his fear if he wants to win.
About the Author
Kip Noschese is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has designed backgrounds for many award winning animated television shows, including Wild Thornberrys, Rugrats and Family Guy. Otto & the Grand Prix Bees (2013) is his debut children’s book. He currently resides in Henderson, Nevada. kipnoschese.com
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Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Animals, Author/Illustrator Interviews, Bears, Birds, Different perspectives, Growing up, Jackie Morris, Magic, Mystery, Myths, Polar bears, Add a tag
Last month Jackie Morris‘ haunting book The Ice Bear was released in a new paperback edition. To celebrate this I asked Jackie to share a little of the background to this bewitching story, to share some the book’s secrets.
If you’ve already got a copy of the book you might want to have it to hand whilst you read what she reveals, so you can go back and look at the images with fresh eyes. And if you haven’t already found a place in your home for this piece of art between two covers, … well perhaps this post ought to come with a warning notice. There’s magic in and on the pages of The Ice Bear. Prepare to be charmed and enchanted.
“The Ice Bear began with an image in my mind’s eye. It was an image of a child, kneeling. Around the child there were bears, so that the child looked like the centre of a daisy and the bears were the petals. My job was to work out how to get the child there, and probably more important, how to get him out again. This is what books are about for me, asking and answering questions, and in the process discovering more questions.
The Ice Bear began with a friend, pregnant with her first child. Something went wrong. The baby stopped moving, at full term. He died. She had to deliver a stillborn child. A tragedy for her and the child and her husband. The way people reacted to this was a shock to me. Quick, rush over it, brush over it, hide it under business, do anything but face the pain. (Not Sophie and Jon. They couldn’t rush over it, hide it, they had to face it.) I wanted to do a book about a lost child, about loosing a child. This was a thread that wove into the book. Though few would know if I didn’t say and the book is dedicated to Rhoderic, and Sophie and Jon and also to Katie and Thomas who were born by the time the book came out.
The Ice Bear began with a wish to do a book about polar bears, and to weave into it transformation and a legend, of the trickster and the shaman.
The Ice Bear began when the flight of a raven began to stitch together ideas with its patterned flight in the Pembrokeshire sky, because all books are like rivers, fed by streams of ideas, coming together.
The book is part of a series of books I have written about animals, each with a cover that is a portrait of the animal, staring out from the book. The covers are strong, almost iconic, and the books are often given shelf space so that the whole cover is seen, rather than being placed spine out on a shelf. I am told by bookshops who put the in the window that they work like a charm to bring people in to the shop, and one shop in Edinburgh said that people often missed their bus as they crossed the road to get a better look at the Snow Leopard when that was in the window. There’s something about eyes looking straight at you that still holds a primitive magic over the wild parts of the human consciousness. When I paint an animal in this way I am not searching for the humanity in the animal. I am searching for the soul, the spirit of the creature.
Having ‘begun’ with an image the story then builds into a balance of words and images. Picture books are meant to be read aloud. The language needs to taste good in the ear, to look right where it sits on the page. A picture book is like a theatre, each page a stage set for that part of the story and in designing each page I often include parts of the stories that are only in the pictures. Once open I try to keep the words inside the pictures. I want the book to become a world where the pictures and the words tell the story. The composition is thought out right to the corners and often the corners and edges are where the main focus of the story is. (You can see this best in the picture where the child finds his mother bear. The image dominated the page but in the top right hand corner there is the figure of the father, charging in).
I paint on smooth paper, arches hot pressed, beginning with pale washes and then building and building with layers and then smaller details. The paints that I use are Winsor and Newton Artist Quality watercolours, usually tubes, and I use ceramic palettes. I know these colours quite well now after 25 years of working with them. I know when to run wet into wet and how much water to use. Now I use sable brushes. They carry the paint so well and a brush like a series 7, no. 4 will allow a wide wash but also can pull the finest line when handled right. And in the same way that writing is like finding the answers to a series of questions, so too is painting. I am constantly asking myself questions, about composition and colour and line and finding the answers is what makes the book.
In The Ice Bear the mother and the father each have a totem animal. The mother’s is the Arctic fox, and often when it seems that the child is alone on the ice you can see the fox is there somewhere, watching. The father’s is the owl, a fierce sky hunter. The boy’s is the bear and always will be. And raven, the trickster, a character who is perhaps a force for good, perhaps bad. He steals the bear child, but takes him to the hunter and his wife who have longed for a child. And when it is time he leads him back across the ice and joins the bear people with the human people forever. So is she good, or bad?
During the telling of a tale things can change. When I originally wrote The Ice Bear the raven lured the child out over the ice with small shards of sea glass. But I had wanted the book to be set long before glass was invented. The child becomes the first shaman, a bridge between humanity and the bear people. It was a time when there were no borders and people wondered the land without any border controls. There was no concept of ownership of land. The very idea would have seemed ridiculous. And so I looked for something else, something more timeless and lit upon the idea of amber. Amber is natural, not a manufactured thing. And I have a necklace of amber beads that if taken apart by a mischievous raven would look just like the broken amber heart in the snow.
The Ice Bear has been published now in many languages, French, Spanish, Catalan, Danish, Swedish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese. This is one of the things I love about working with books. Words found on a hill top in Wales can travel the world. I also love the democracy of books. Paintings in a gallery are expensive and usually bought to be hung in one home. Books can be bought, translated, and borrowed from libraries. They can be shared.”
My thanks go to Jackie for so generously sharing some of the stories behind The Ice Bear.
The House of the Golden Dreams (an art gallery featuring Jackie’s work): https://www.facebook.com/TheHouseofGoldenDreams
Jackie on Twitter: @JackieMorrisArt
Jackie’s blog: http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/
Blog: Hazel Mitchell (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Hazel Mitchell, moving home, graphite, children's illustration, books, bears, sketch, children's illustrator, sketch for today, new york, character sketches, pencil sketch, Add a tag
Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Animals, Bears, Behaviour (good or bad), Crocodiles, Daily routines, Food, Rebecca Cobb, Wolves, Add a tag
I really don’t know how it is that I only recently discovered the gorgeous work of Rebecca Cobb. She’s an illustrator with a lovely fresh look, full of colour and a real knack for perfect observation, capturing emotion and feeling with just the tiniest strokes of her pencil or paintbrush. We’ll soon be hearing lots and lots more about her, as she has a book with Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson due out this autumn, but don’t wait that long to discover her lovely books and art. Start now with Lunchtime, a delightful story about being simply too busy to to do what your parents want you to do. I know two children for whom this is true most days, and I bet you do too!
Lunchtime opens with a young girl busily being creative, painting and cutting and gluing. When her mum calls her for lunch, she’s too busy to stop what’s she’s doing. When cross words drive her to the lunch time table, a friend or two come to help clear her plate; the animals she’s been painting step out off the paper and save the day. Mum returns, and is delighted to see the plate clear. So far so good… but as well all know skipping lunch does have its consequences, and later in the day it’s not the growling of the girl’s bear we hear but rather that of her own tummy.
I don’t know if Cobb has children of her own, but she has captured several moments of parenthood/childhood very perceptively in this short tale; from the total absorption kids can experience when they are doing something they love (an immersion that really can bring to life imagined friends), to the parents exasperation when kids don’t eat their food (and – to my shame, because it does happen in my home – the kids being left alone to eat their food whilst Mum gets on with something no doubt “more important” like tidying up). These moments are so authentic, and they are matched with illustrations that are equally spot on with observation. The facial expressions of the animals, the body language of the little girl – it all rings true, and rings with glorious colour and texture; Cobb uses a variety of techniques in her illustrations which zing off their clean white backgrounds.
The endpapers of Lunchtime are a rich treat, totally covered in watercolour rainbow rings. The girls wanted to try to replicate this so of course I was happy for us to give it a go.
We used sponges to dampen our watercolour paper…
and then we started by putting “blobs” of one colour all over our sheets. Gradually we built up circles around our blogs, giving our paper a peacock look.
4 Comments on On being too busy having fun to do anything else, last added: 7/12/2012
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 5stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, abuse, bears, family violence, help, helping children, relationships, violence, Add a tag
5 Stars Hear My Roar: A Story of Family Violence Author: Gillian Watts; Illustrator: Ben Hodson Publisher: Annick Press 978-1-55451-201-0 No. Pages: 56 Ages: 6-9 .............................. ........................... It’s summer and Mama, Papa, and Orsa Bear are picnicking in the woods. Papa tells Orsa how they used to scare animals into traps by roaring. He challenges [...]Add a Comment
Blog: Books 'n' stories (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: storytelling, Old Man Mac, Sody Sallyratus, bears, Richard Chase, Add a tag
And her story was true - or so the person she heard it from claimed. (That's the way it is, you know. ) Anyway, it appears that bear bags are no longer safe from the bears in a nearby National Park. Now backwoods hikers need bear SAFES. (I don't know the difference. Anyone?)
The rangers had no idea why so many bear bags were torn open. The bags were hung high above the reach of an adult bear. So they laid a photo trap and here's what they found.
A mother bear stood on her hind legs beneath a hanging bear bag and reached one front paw up in the air. Her cub scrambled up to the outstretched paw, balanced there and snagged the bear bag. The thing is, soon all the mother bears were teaching their cubs to snag bear bags. Bears are pretty smart where food is concerned.
Everyone loves to tell stories about bears. Listen to Old Man Mac as he tells of his adventures with a whole mess of bears.
The very first story I ever told in public was Sody Sallyratus, a bear story you can find in Margaret Read MacDonald's Twenty Tellable Tales. Here is a video of Richard Chase telling that selfsame story.
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By Marianne Berkes
Illustrated by Kathleen Rietz
In any given city on any given day, a bear climbs a tree. Have you ever wondered how that tree became so strong, or why did that bear choose to climb to the top of a tree? Marianne Berkes and Kathleen Rietz show you just why Bear decided to climb this tree! Have Fun with the coloring page at the bottom, click on the image for a full page to color.
Everyone knows about the house that Jack built, but this is The Tree That Bear Climbed. What makes this tree so fascinating to bear? Starting with the roots that anchor the tree, this chain of events story in cumulative verse explores many different things that help a tree stand tall. It also lends itself to further discussion with fun repetition and detailed picture clues, stimulating a child’s curiosity. Why does the bear climb the tree and what happens when he arrives at his goal?
About the author and illustrator
Award-winning author Marianne Berkes (pronounced Ber-kess with two syllables) is a retired teacher and librarian who turned her love of nature and teaching into writing informational picture books. In addition to The Tree That Bear Climbed and Animalogy for Sylvan Dell, some of Marianne’s other recent and award-winning titles include: Going Home, The Mystery of Animal Migration; Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef; Over in the Jungle, a Rainforest Rhyme; Going Around the Sun, Some Planetary Fun, and Marsh Morning. Visit her website at www.MarianneBerkes.com.
A lifelong artist and lover of nature, Kathleen Rietz was drawing and painting before she learned to write her name. Originally, from Peoria, IL, Kathleen received her formal training from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. In addition, to illustrating Desert Baths, The Tree That Bear Climbed, Prairie Storms, and Champ’s Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! for Sylvan Dell, Kathleen’s other books include Conce Tu Parque, Little Black Ant on Park Street, The ABC’s of Yoga for Kids, and Prayers for Children. She taught art to children and adults at the Community School of the Arts at historic Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, and through a local home school program in her community. For more information about Kathleen, visit her website: http://www.kathleenrietz.com/.
Comment on this post to win a FREE The Tree That Bear Climbed eBook.
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Blog: My place over the hill (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: children's illustration, bears, alicia padron, Add a tag
Blog: Picture Book Junkies (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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They decided to go with a different sketch so this one is safe to share. I'd love to find some free time to take this to color as well. :o)
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 4stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Library Donated Books, babysitter not wanted, babysitting, bears, bedtime story, bunny, finger painting, mischief, picture book, pranks, Add a tag
4 Stars Babysitting SugarPaw V.S. Grenier Kevin Scott Collier (SP) Halo Publishing .................. ..................
In Babysitting SugarPaw, SugarPaw is a young bear who will be spending the evening with a babysitter, but is not happy about the situation.
“I don’t want a babysitter!”
Papa Bear assures SugarPaw everything will be okay, but SugarPaw is going to make sure that’s not true. First, he runs down and changes the rules chart.
……….No TV after 10 P.M.
……….No playing with paints
……….Play with paints.
Every rule on SugarPaw’s rules chart now has a counter rule designed to get the babysitter in trouble.
The babysitter is indeed the best around. Bonnie Whiskers knows just how to handle sneaky little bears who think they are too old for a babysitter. She lets SugarPaw get away with his rules, cleans up after the messes he deliberately makes, and does it all kindly. SugarPaw starts to feel guilty.
This is a cute book appropriate for any child who thinks they are too old for a sitter, getting a new babysitter, or who usually acts up for the babysitter. Kids will love the characters and the mischief SugarPaw tries to create. The story can be an icebreaker for parents with a child adamantly against a babysitter, regardless of age.
The illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier of adorable, funny, and bright-eyed characters enhance the story and increase the laugh factor of SugarPaw’s antics. Such as the one of SugarPaw sitting in an over-flowing bathtub, with the biggest smile on his face and looking like he is having the best time, while Bunny Whiskers looks on with a mop in her hand.
Babysitting SugarPaw is also a good bedtime story. It is a fast read, kids will love hearing the story night after night, and parents will not mind reading it repeatedly. I do wonder why Bunny Whiskers reads the rules chart—the correct rules chart—and then allows her charge to do a switch-a-roo on her. Maybe she felt SugarPaw needed some control over the situation, something kids usually do not have. Whatever the reason, the babysitter takes it all in stride giving us a wonderful time and a beautiful ending.
SugarPaw’s creator, V.S. Grenier, visited Kid Lit Reviews yesterday and sat down for a chat. To read more about SugarPaw and the author, click HERE!
Author: V.S. Grenier website for kids Illustrator: Kevin Scott Collier website Publisher: (SP) Halo Publishing website Release Date: June 30, 2009 Number of Pages: 32 Ages: 3 to 9 ....................
Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Library Donated Books Tagged: babysitter not wanted, babysitting, bears, bedtime story, bunny, children's books, finger painting, mischief, picture book, pranks Add a Comment
Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Winter, Bears, Belgium, Books in translation, Christmas, Ducks, Friendship, Gabrielle Vincent, Mice, Toys, Add a tag
Can you believe it’s the very last day of Picture Book Month 2012?
Holidays is the theme of the day, and in taking that to mean festive celebrations, I’ve chosen to wrap up a wonderful month with a gentle, charming, heart-melting story set at Christmas: Ernest & Celestine by Gabrielle Vincent, translated by Sam Alexander.
Celestine, a mouse, and Ernest, a bear, are perhaps an unlikely pair of friends. But good friends, thoughtful and kind friends is what they are. So when one wintry day out on a walk Celestine loses her favourite toy, Ernest is determined to make things better.
Ernest’s first attempt to make everything all right doesn’t work, but a second attempt puts a smile back on Celestine’s face. Then to spread the goodwill and to ensure that Ernest’s earlier attempts don’t go to waste, friends and neighbours are invited around to celebrate Christmas together.
It’s a terribly simple story, with the drama familiar from other tales (I first thought of that terrible moment in On the Banks of Plum Creek when Laura discovers her beloved Charlotte abandoned by Anna Nelson in a frozen puddle, and more recently there’s Mini Grey’s Lost in Space) but several aspects of this book make it stand out, head and shoulders above other similar books on offer this season.
Vincent’s illustrations are graceful, full of poise and seemingly effortless. They are soothing and calm. They are what I imagine a lullaby might look like – and certainly this book would make perfect bed time reading. Ernest and Celestine are two characters it is very easy to fall in love with. Their expressions and body language are all about love and care, about that sort of connection you feel when all you want to do is scoop up your child and hug them tight.
The tender illustrations are given centre stage by the minimal text which accompanies them. This book is an example par excellence of where the relationship between image and word is full of breathing space, where scenes and phrases are left lingering in the air to savour. There’s no “He said,” or “She said,”, no “Then this happened,” or “that happened,” but rather the reader and listener need to take their time to sew the threads together, This slower pace adds to the calm, soothing feeling I’m sure will envelop all readers and listeners of this book.
A book full of reassurance, joy, and deep, profound love, sprinkled all over with a dusting of sparkling snow and a Christmas party to boot – I’m not sure there’s a better picture book to be found under your tree this year.
Ernest and Celestine was originally published in French in 1981 under the title Ernest et Célestine ont perdu Siméon. It was a great success, and more than 20 further Ernest and Celestine books were published. Some of these were translated into English in the 1980s by various publishers, but all are now out of print.
Catnip, the publishers of this Ernest and Celestine, will be bringing out The Picnic (Ernest et Célestine vont pique-niquer) in April next year, and plan to publish one to two Ernest and Celestine books a year if they take off in the way they deserve to.
Hopefully the new animated film based on the characters Ernest and Celestine, with a script written by Daniel Pennac, will boost the books’ popularity. You might like to watch a trailer for the film (although I don’t think the animation is as beautiful as the original illustrations):
A busy week means that we haven’t yet played out this book as per the kids’ request – the plan is to spend the weekend making a pram out of cardboard, plumbing pipes and a broom handle (sounds crazy, but the plan IS a good one!). Celestine has a lovely pram which she plays with and that’s what what we’re going to try to make together.
Instead, however, you could “play by the book” by:
Now one last thing before I wrap up for this month…
If I could have chosen the theme for today, I would have simply chosen Celebration – because that’s what this month has been – one great big celebration of everything a picture book can be. Huge thanks go to Dianne de Las Casas for all her hard work and enthusiasm throughout the month, and for having the vision to create this month-long party. Well done Dianne! And here’s to Picture Book Month 2013!
Blog: Playing by the book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Adventure, Bears, Being independent, Christmas, Crosscultural friendship, Emotions, Grandparents, Holly Webb, Piers Harper, Polar bears, Winter, Add a tag
There are not many books which give me nightmares but Snow Bear by Piers Harper is one. It was a favourite of both girls when they were toddlers, even though I couldn’t stand the sight of it (you can read more in my review here). But months, even years, after I last read that book, it recently came back to haunt me with a vengeance.
Piers Harper’s Snow Bear is about a young polar bear who has lost his mum. A young Inuit girl helps to reunite mother and cub and all live happily ever after.
Snow. Being lost and then reunited. Cuddly animals. All good. At least for my kids.
But can you imagine that sinking feeling in my stomach when last month a new book arrived for review, a book about a polar bear cub who has lost his mother, but who is reunited with her thanks to a young girl?
Not only that, it too is called The Snow Bear and it’s by an author I associated (without every previously having read anything by her) with soppy, girly stories full of fluff and nonsense?
Uh-uh. No Way. Hide it to the back of the cupboard. Give it away to some unsuspecting soul.
I was not going to go through another round of polar bear hell.
But then the twinkling stars conspired against me. M needed a new book to read (when J has ballet lessons on a Saturday morning we have a little routine going whereby I wrap up a new-to-M book/comic and give it to M to read – a Saturday morning treat instead of sweets) and I had nothing in the house that I could offer. Well nothing other than a book I didn’t want to share.
But aren’t I a book champion? Don’t I believe that all reading is good reading? Don’t I try to be that sort of gatekeeper where the gates are always open allowing a flood of variety through rather than thinking I know best about what ought to be locked up and kept from prying eyes? Don’t I believe, on some level, that every book has a reader somewhere out there for whom it will be just right?
And of course, M devoured this book. She LOVED this book. She was so excited and happy to read this book. M loves reading, but even I was a little taken aback by the enthusiasm with which she talked about this book and INSISTED that I read it.
So I read it. I read it on my own.
It looked like I was going to have to admit I was wrong. It looked like I was going to have to do that hardest of things and change my opinion.
To be doubly sure, I read it again, this time aloud as a bedtime read to J.
J adored the book, and even on a second read I still thought this book was really rather good.
It’s about people being kind and thoughtful, it’s about family bonds and tensions, it’s about love, loss and longing, and it’s got a real air of authenticity about it.
From the historical / geographical / social details of Inuit life to the emotional world of a young child, Holly Web has written a story which rings true (even in that final moment when you have to decide has it all been a dream or not).
For a young independent reader it’s a wonderful book. It looks and feels lovely to hold – a proper hardback, with a little bit of sparkle. Black and white illustrations every few pages help draw you in and then the magic of the tale takes over. There’s the adventure of making a real igloo and camping out in it, there’s the delight of listening to your grandpa tell what seem like impossible tales. There’s the reassurance that whenever you’re lost, you will always end up being found and reunited with those that matter to you.
So don’t let any misapprehension you might have about soppy girly stories (or polar bears) put you off picking up this book. If you need any more persuading check out Polly’s brilliant review on her blog, The Little Wooden Horse (interesting not least because she reviews as a mother of two boys) or Library Mice’s review which include a video of the author talking about her book.
Given the season, we decide we’d make some Christmas tree ornaments to remind us of Holly Webb’s Snow Bear. Like the hostess with the mostest I was able to conjure up out of General Supplies some wooden die-cut polar bears (bought several years ago from Hobbycraft) which the girls painted and then covered in sparkles.
Some drilling and thread later our first tree decorations were ready:.
Whilst making our polar bear decoration and banishing nightmares we listened to:
When was the last time you had to change your mind about a book? When was the last time you came face to face with your own book prejudices?
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