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)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Fire and Ice, Sunsets and Snow...

The closest we’ll get to snow here in Southern California is these cute bookish postal stamps paying homage to Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day.

This weekend, there may have been a first snow in some midwestern, northeastern, and southern cities, but here in Southern California we’re still battling wildfires. And our December Santa Ana winds aren’t helping anything.

The sun is shining, the grass is green 
The orange and palm trees sway 
There’s never been such a day In Beverly Hills, L. A. 
But it’s December the 24th 
And I am longing to be up north…. 
I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…

I suppose a nice(?) side note for those of us out of range of the dangerous fires is the beautiful sunsets we’ve been witnessing, sadly thanks to the lingering smoke in our skies.

It’s so disquieting on the one hand, to hear that people are being evacuated (including the nuns from St. Barbara Monastery in Santa Paula, CA - which thankfully is safe for the moment), while at the same time we're receiving photos from our daughter in New York of our grandsons happily eating snow and making snow angels!

They are thrilled with their first snow of winter, just like Peter, the little hero in the children's classic The Snowy Day.

The source for the story-line in Ezra Jack Keats' picture book came from his memories of snowy days from his childhood in Brooklyn. Above all, Keats wanted to capture the wonderment of a child’s first snowfall, a feeling universal to all children. “I wanted to convey the joy of being a little boy alive on a certain kind of day—of being for that moment. The air is cold, you touch the snow, aware of the things to which all children are so open.” [Keats, Ezra Jack. Autobiographical excerpts in Lee Bennett Hopkins, ed., Pauses: Autobiographical Reflections of 101 Creators of Children’s Books (New York: HarperCollins, 1995) pp. 132-33.]

Children can happily get lost in a read-aloud book like this!  And with all these fires, it's nice to take a snowy break from the news.  Please keep those in our state who are in close proximity to the fires in your prayers...

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