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)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


We've always been pretty old-fashioned about Halloween.   As a child, my dad was the pumpkin carver, working with us out in the backyard on our old picnic table.  We children were the designers.  As a mom, the fun continued, as I'd glimpse those faraway looks in my own children's eyes, and catch snippets of their conversations with each other about what they wanted to dress up as, and what kind of creations they were going to challenge their dad with carving for them.  It was all about fun and imagination, with a lot of anticipation and excitement thrown in.

Something about going out in the dark of night and seeing all the illuminated neighborhood windows and Jack O'lanterns was - though cozy on the one hand - a bit mischievous and unfamiliar, so we didn't encourage goblin, witch, or gruesome costumes -- just walking around our dark neighborhoods was spooky enough!

Which brings to mind a mesmerizing book by a very talented lady:  THE CAT AT NIGHT, by Dahlov Ipcar.  In this story, we get to spend an evening watching a cat stroll around after dark.  Cats can see in the dark and that's when they like to go exploring!  The pages alternate between almost total darkness, with only silhouettes of the things the cat is passing by, followed by the same scenes in full color that show what is visible to the cat.  He meets other cats before the dawn finally comes, when he must finally leave them and go back to the farmhouse.  He's greeted by the farmer's wife and given milk.  Then he curls up to go to sleep...
And the farmer says, "What a lazy cat.  
He sleeps all night and he sleeps all day, too!"  
But the cat doesn't hear him.  He is dreaming 
about all his adventures in the long, wonderful, dark night.

Another beautiful book by Ipcar (also with an autumn theme) is HARDSCRABBLE HARVEST, in which there is a running battle between a farmer and his wife and the mischievous animals who plunder their fields.  The story is told in rollicking verse, with the distinctive illustrations of Dahlov Ipcar bringing the verse to life.

To read more about Dahlov Ipcar and see her other books and artwork, click here .

1 comment:

  1. Hi Wendy - an interesting blog, thank you, and great to meet you!
    I am a children's writer published by Piccadilly Press - more details about my book `The Island That Wasn't There'on my new blog at
    You'll find two new stories for Halloween and lot's more adventures and poems to come...