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, June 30, 2018


Saturdays are perfect bubble days, don't you think?

After a yummy breakfast this morning, my visiting grandsons were full of energy and started chasing each other around the house with a couple of kites their grandpa had gotten out of the garage the night before.

But unfortunately this morning there was no wind. Then remembered I had two unopened bottles of bubbles.  That's when the magic began!  What is it about these weightless little orbs that bring so much joy to children?

Bubbles are INSTANT FUN, and so is this book - Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy (illustrated by Polly Dunbar).

When little Mabel’s bubble gets away from her, it’s her baby brother who gets into trouble. Soon he’s floating out of the house, above the fence, and all over town! And it’s up to Mabel, Mother, and the rest of the townspeople to get him safely back down. Who knew that so much trouble could come from one little bubble?

If you'd like more bubble book suggestions, you can look at my past post, "The Fun and Science of Bubbles", here.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Breakfast Pancakes with Pettson and Findus

If you don't know about Farmer Pettson and his cat Findus, go to my past blog post here. I had fun visiting an awesome interactive children's exhibit featuring the books during my visit to Lund, Sweden. You'll be guaranteed many laughs from these picture books by Sven Nordqvist

The Birthday Cake is one of my grandsons' current favorite read alouds.  All Pettson's neighbors think he's a little crazy as they mistaken his round-about quest to obtain an ingredient for some birthday pancakes as eccentric, bizarre behavior. Well, it actually is eccentric and bizarre, but it has a purpose...

Pettson's cat Findus celebrates his birthday three times a year. When Pettson sets out to make the pancake-cake, he finds that he's missing a key ingredient: flour. This starts a hilarious chain of events resulting in Pettson distracting a bull, in order to climb through a skylight into his attic to find his fishing pole to fish the key out of the well, so he can open his shed, fix his flat tire, then ride to the store to buy some flour (and a new pair of overalls) - all in order to make a tasty cake for Findus!

The last page of the book has a recipe for the pancakes.  My daughter and I decided to make them with my grandsons.  

It made for a fun morning and the pancakes were super tasty, served with whipped cream and blueberries!!

Interesting tidbits about Sven Nordqvist...
Sven Nordqvist was born in Helsingborg, Sweden. Although he studied architecture, he always wanted to be an illustrator and found work illustrating advertisements, posters, and textbooks. He is a renowned children’s book illustrator and writer in Sweden and across Europe. When he’s not illustrating books for children, he spends time building playgrounds, children’s play areas at hospitals, and decorations for schools. Carpentry has always been an important part of Nordqvist’s life—often reflected in the actions of his industrious character Pettson—with the central goal being the enrichment of children’s lives.  [Source: go here.]

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Back in Print: Memoir of a Romanian Princess

I couldn't be more excited that I Live Again, A Memoir of Ileana (Princess of Romania and Archduchess of Austria, who later in life became Mother Alexandra, founder of an Orthodox Women's monastery in Pennsylvania) is back in print from Ancient Faith Publishing.

Father Remus Grama gives a perfect summary of this book in his Prologue: "I Live Again sums up not only the dramatic ups and downs of the life of a princess but the epic poetic story of the triumph of true faith in the face of adversity...written with the American reader in mind.  It reveals the life journey of the young princess, from the peace of her royal chambers to the stinking, lice-infested rooms of wartime hospitals.  It confesses the loss of that bygone world and the struggle to regain the essential meaning of life in service..."

You can read more about Princess Ileana/Mother Alexandra in my past blog post, "A Monastic Princess and the Jesus Prayer".

I Live Again was originally published in 1951. The Ladies' Home Journal printed the first of four installments of Princess Ileana's memoirs in 1951 under its own title of I Was A Princess. You can see this wonderful 4-part series with lots of nostalgic photos online, HERE.

For more of her writings and articles about her, go here [http://www.tkinter.smig.net/PrincessIleana/index.htm].