Friday, June 2, 2017

poetry, gardens, ghosts, & slinkys

After two months of reading lots of so-so children's books, I was beginning to wonder if they lost their magic for me.

The children's books I read last month erased all my doubts. Interestingly enough, everything else I read turned to eye-rolling crap after at least 50 pages.

So thanks to these books I still have faith in words, and definitely the marriage of words and pictures.  

Fresh-Picked Poetry by Michelle Schaub and illustrated by Amy Huntington

With lines like "not one sloppy heap of beets, no single misplaced pea. Each veggie castle he constructs has perfect symmetry." and illustrations packed with lush food and exuberant doggies (that I'm pretty sure aren't allowed at farmer markets), this book is so much fun. I loved most of the poems, but the one that stands out the most is Necessary Mess, which is an ode to dirt and how important its role is in growing produce. Yay dirt! This book has so much going for it. You can ogle the illustrations, enjoy saying the fun rhymes aloud or make your own illustrations and/or rhymes next time you go to the farmer's market! 

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

I love the idea of a small garden blooming on a raised railway above a lifeless city, and with a little encouragement from a curious boy, the garden engulfing the entire city. The best line is, "The garden was especially curious about old forgotten things," and my favorite illustration is the garden consuming a stop sign.

The Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Lisa Brown

The journey of Goldfish Ghost, who's always floating perfectly upside down, is sweet, funny, a little morbid and oh so inspirational. Goldfish Ghost may go right over the heads of some youngins, but adults will feel a wide range of emotions as they journey along with Goldfish Ghost to find a friend. The ending will sweep over you like a beacon of light from a lighthouse and leave goosebumps everywhere, even in your heart, as you wonder if the afterlife is really this magnificent. 

Psst when you read it again, as I’m sure you will, be on the lookout for extra ghosts and intriguing happenings.

The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring by Gilbert Ford 

The illustrations are dynamite, outrageously original and an inspiration to anyone who's an artist, especially mixed media artists. The story is fascinating as well, especially the extra details like how the slinky got its name and where the inventor and his wife kept their slinky profits. Just like the slinky, this book is simply marvelous.

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