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, January 10, 2015


Illustration from Holly Claus, The Christmas Princess
by Brittney Ryan, with pictures by Laurel Long and Jeffrey K. Bedick

Shockingly, here in Southern California, we had quite a nippy New Year's, and saw snow not only on the mountains, but at lower elevations on the foothills as well!  

More recently, the weather here has been warm and beautiful, but I've been missing it because I've had to take time off for some "sick days". I've heard many of you in the Midwest and East have had some forced time off for "snow days".

A newbie to Snow Days, my grandson Peter has been thoroughly enjoying the Midwestern snow, just like Peter in The Snowy Day (his favorite story), wearing his red hat and making footprints in the powdery white stuff...he'll have happy memories to bring home to Southern California when he moves back this month with his mom and dad!

Crunch, crunch, crunch.  
His feet sank into the snow.

Ezra Jack Keats' Inspiration:
Just who was the inspiration for Ezra Jack Keats' "Peter"?  This little guy:

"In 1940, Life magazine published a short photo essay focused on a little boy in Liberty County, GA, who was about to undergo a blood test. Keats was struck by the sweet images of the child, and cut the group of photographs out of the magazine. That little boy was the inspiration for Keats' character Peter, the African-American protagonist of The Snowy Day and six books that followed."  (source: npr.org - read more about Keats here).

Baby, It's Cold Outside!
Reading aloud comes in a close second to being out-in-the-snow for my grandson, but it has been a saving grace for my daughter. A few days ago, they experienced -27 degree weather (with the wind chill factor): just too cold to go out!

Here are some exceptional "snowy" books I posted about in past years - great for when there's snow, but it's so cold you have to stay in...and great for Southern Californians who have to experience their SNOWY DAYS (mostly) through books!

A Snowy Book That Will Warm Your Heart:  When It Snows

The Art and Science of Snowflakes and the Determination of a Young Boy From Vermont:  Snowflake Bentley

The Beautiful, Frozen World of Hans Brinker , (from the hand of gifted artist, Laurel Long).

For more recommendations, go here to read my past post, Picture Books in Winter.

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