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, April 18, 2012


Be sure and leave a comment on my post from yesterday (click here) for a chance to win my Give-Away of Valerie Greeley's book, WHITE IS THE MOON - the winner will be chosen on Friday, April 20, 2012.  And don't miss Valerie's website, her Acornmoon blog or her Etsy Shop!

Are you an Etsy fan?
If you haven't heard of this website, Etsy.com is a huge shop full of hundreds of thousands of unique handmade and vintage items from an online community of independent sellers around the world.  Whether you're looking for a hand-knitted teapot cozy, a unique bookplate, or a plaid collar for your pet, someone has probably offered it on Etsy!
Ribbon available from guess where....Etsy!

I don't know if the DIY Etsy trend inspired these books, but crafty kids and their parents will love my picture book recommendations today: the first is about a young fashionista and her creative mom, the second is based on a Yiddish song about remaking things, and the third book involves a town, a little girl, and a ball of yarn...and they're all perfect for reading aloud.

I stumbled across this adorable book, I Had a Favorite Dress, a couple of weeks ago and snapped it up, because I know just the little fashionista who will love it.  What girl doesn't have a favorite dress? The unamed girl in this story wore hers "every Tuesday, because that was my favorite day of the week."  But there's a slight problem: little girls eventually grow - out of their favorite dresses!

Not too worry. Snip, snip! Sew, sew!  The distraught girl's Mama is ready to improvise and teach her daughter a valuable lesson: "don't make mountains out of molehills" - make a new something out of an old something!  You'll be delighted at how many times (and stylish ways) this crafty Mama transforms the dress! Julia Denos' whimsical collage style art makes Boni Ashburn's fun story jump right off the page.

As I was flipping through the pages of I Had A Favorite Dress, I kept thinking that it reminded me of another tale.  Sure enough, it's a modernized (and frilly) version of a Yiddish folktale, which was also the inspiration of Simms Taback’s Caldecott-winning book, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat.

Like the main character of "the dress book", Joseph also has a favorite piece of clothing: his overcoat - "it was old and worn".  So he makes it into a jacket, then a vest...until finally, there is nothing left. But then he makes something out of nothing.  What's the "something"?  You'll have to get the book and find out. I absolutely love Taback's mixed-media artwork, with bold and colorful die-cuts.

The last "crafty" book I recently read and fell in love with is Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, with pictures by Jon Klassen.

Jon Klassen's understated style matches this quirky, sweetly told tale. At the very beginning, we're told: "This looks like an ordinary box full of ordinary yarn.  But it turns out it isn't."  A girl named Annabelle come across the box "filled with yarn of every color" on a cold winter day in her cold, drab town.  With the seemingly endless supply of yarn, she makes rainbow colored knitted creations for everyone (and everything) in the town - even the mailboxes and buildings.

A pompous and greedy archduke appears on the scene and tries to buy the box from Annabelle, who's not interested in selling it for anything.  He manages to have it stolen, only to find it empty. In a satisfying ending, we realize the box wants to be with someone who is generous in sharing any "extra" with others!

Feeling Crafty?
Did these books get you in the mood to do some sewing or knitting? I could't resist sharing a couple of links to some fun projects I've seen on Pinterest lately:
1. The Shirt Skirt from Sew Like My Mom

2. The Reycycled T-Shirt Ruffle Hat from Tao of Craft

3. Finger-Knitting Project for Kids from Craftzine

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