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)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yorkshire dales
I was reminiscing while looking through an old scrapbook with my daughter, of a trip my family made to England the summer after I graduated from high school.  We came across some peaceful pictures of the rolling green hills (dales), divided up like a patchwork quilt by rough stone walls...my daughter immediately said, "Like from James Herriot's books!"

If you have never read any of James Herriot's stories, put them on your list!  Even if you are not a huge fan of animal books, you will not be disappointed.  The stories are contained in several semi-autobiographical books about his early career as a country vet in Yorkshire, during the '40's.  The inspiring recountings are full of humor and compassion.

James Herriot was his pen name - he was born James Alfred ("Alf") Wright in 1916, in England.  He grew up in Scotland, eventuallly ending up in Yorkshire after graduating from Glasgow Veterinary College.  At the age of 50, challenged by his wife, Herriot began his writing career in 1966.  His now famous memoir, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, was originally titled, If Only They Could Talk.  Herriot died at home in 1995, at the age of 78, from prostrate cancer.

Other books in the series by James Herriot include: ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL, ALL THINGS WISE AND WONDERFUL, and THE LORD GOD MADE THEM ALL. (for advanced readers) 
Also by the author for older readers: JAMES HERRIOT'S DOG STORIES and JAMES HERRIOT'S CAT STORIES.

JAMES HERRIOT'S TREASURY FOR CHILDREN: WARM AND JOYFUL TALES is a beautifully illustrated collection of all Herriot's stories for children.  Many of the tales are adapted from ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL.  There are 8 stories in all, with illustrations by Ruth Brown and Peter Barrett.  For ages Kindergarten and up.

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