Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Feelings of nostalgia rise (along with the hot-air balloons on the cover of this book) every time I look at this fun recommendation that I'm re-posting from last year: 
The Great Valentine's Day Balloon Race

Published in 1980, it is one of Adrienne Adams' stories involving The Easter Egg Artists (1976), about a Rabbit family by the name of Abbott.  They have a son named Orson (get it? "Orson Abbott"/Our son Rabbit.)

In this particular tale, the Abbotts return for another adventure: Orson is determined to enter the Valentine's Day balloon race, but first, he must figure out how to build a hot-air balloon....with help from his parents and his neighbor, a bunny named "Bonnie".

They know how to make a balloon fly..."You just fill it with
something lighter than air, and it must go up."  They even tie
a big clothes basket to the bottom of the balloon to ride in...
Father goes first, but does not have a successful flight.
After the mishap, Orson figures out they need to make some
changes, so the whole family works on the balloon -
Bonnie, too.
Spreading the balloon on the ground, they puff it up
with a big electric fan.
They finally get it up and flying.  Orson names it
"Bonnies Valentine".  But the balloon needs some color....
After decorating it with some red hearts and flowers, it's
all ready to go! You'll have to read the story to find out
if they've got the know-how to win the race!
Any boy or girl would love this picture book (and will learn something about the science of hot-air balloons at the same time). Adrienne Adams' clear, colorful art is a perfect accompaniment to the fun adventure - for Valentine's Day or any day!!

Adrienne Adams was a very prolific illustrator of children's books.  I especially love her stylized work of the 1960's. Her Snow White and Rose Red (1964) and Twelve Dancing Princesses (1966) - both Brothers Grimm fairytales - were childhood favorites of mine (click the titles to see her illustrations).  Another of my childhood favorites (published in 1968) is Mouse House, illustrated by Adams and written by Rumer Godden (they also teamed together for Holly and Ivy, 1958.)

You can read more about Adams and see some of her other books here and here.

You can read my previous Valentine's Day posts here.

Something else for Valentine's Day:  February 14th (here before you know it!) is also "International Book Giving Day"!  Consider "Leaving a Book, Giving a Book, or Donating a Book" for a child, a friend, a school - anyone! 
Go here for details.  Remember,
A Book is a Gift you can open again and again
-Garrison Keillor

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