Children’s Books about Yarn, Mittens and other Knitted Things November 15, 2012Posted by flashlightblog in Bedtime, Knitting, Pinterest, Winter.
Tags: Crafts, crocheting, knitting, mittens, scarves
This winter, grab a knitted blanket, a cup of cocoa, and some of the books featured below, to stay cozy. We’ve crafted a slideshow of twenty children’s picture books from the past 25 years that feature knitting or knitted items. Please re-post, share, pin, and tweet this slideshow to all your friends, knitters or (k)not.
There’s still a lot more winter to knit Pobble mittens January 4, 2012Posted by flashlightblog in Imagination, Parents, Winter.
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Thanks to these wonderful people in cyberspace who helped to spread the word about our wintry campaign for knitting mittens like the ones Pobble wears in Pobble’s Way (written by Simon Van Booy, illustrated by Wendy Edelson):
Long Island Books: Life With Dad December 25, 2011Posted by flashlightblog in Book News, Reviews, Winter.
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by Baylis Greene
“They’re having a kid? His life’s over.”
I heard those only half-joking words at a summer barbecue a few years ago. It took me a while before I could complete the thought: “And a new, richer one begins.”
What’s nice about Pobble’s Way (Flashlight Press, $16.95) by Simon Van Booy is that on a winter walk a father’s flights of fancy match his daughter’s, and the two play off each other. To him, a leaf is a butterfly raft. To her, a mushroom is a frog umbrella.
And the exercise in imagination extends to a menagerie of woodland animals who, in a furred and feathered Rashomon effect, take turns deciphering what a dropped pink mitten actually is. The options: cotton candy, a mouse house, a wing warmer, a fish coat, or a carrot carrier.
Mr. Van Booy, originally from Wales but a South Fork resident-slash-visitor ever since he earned an M.F.A. at Southampton College, is the author of a recent debut novel and story collections that range from well-received to prize-winning, and the language here is fresh: The duck comes “strutting over to the Something”; the mouse “parked her plump body” on top of it. Or simply fetching: “Dusk had stilled the creaking trees, the branches wore long sleeves of snow. . . .”
There’s comedy, too. A mitten?
“ ‘Never heard of it,’ Mouse muttered.” Rabbits are accused of engaging in gluttony when it comes to carrots? “ ‘Some do, I suppose,’ Bunny said, looking at her paws.”
Wendy Edelson’s illustrations, in watercolor glaze, capture the woods’ profusion of life. She hails, not surprisingly, from Washington’s Bainbridge Island, where the wildlife is indeed wild and the greenery so green it practically throbs.
She includes charming endpapers showing where each of the animals makes its bed. Which is where they retreat to as the story, set after dinner but before bedtime, comes to hint at the eternal parental struggle to get a child to sleep.
And the moon “pulled her white blanket across the woods.”
My Side of the Car
At last, a kids’ book that explores life in the car. It occupies so much of a parent’s time, energy, and worry — from negotiating harnessed safety seats worthy of the Space Shuttle to the use of rolling motion as sleep inducement, and what do you do when the kid’s asleep and you have to run an errand? — you’d think they’d have proliferated like so many side-impact air bags.
My Side of the Car (Candlewick Press, $16.99), by Kate Feiffer with deft pencil-and-watercolor illustrations by her father, Jules Feiffer, is about a long-delayed trip to the zoo that gets put off yet again by rain. Complication ensues when little Sadie notices that it’s falling on only the driver’s side of the car. Her dad splashes through puddles and can barely see past the wipers, but out Sadie’s window it’s all garden parties and sunflowers.
(The whimsical book, based on an actual argument the two once had in trying to get to a nature preserve on Martha’s Vineyard, is one of a number of projects the cartoonist had lined up for himself when he holed up in a rental off a quiet Southampton street not long ago.)
Is it merely wishful thinking? To investigate, Sadie steps out of the car and into mud up to her pink stockings. On his side, anyway. She relents.
But one good turn deserves another, and they don’t get far before the sunshine crosses the (psychological?) divide, enabling father and daughter to stride happily into the zoo together. At last.
You won’t find a lovelier children’s book than Claire A. Nivola’s Orani (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $16.99). It tells of a family trip she took close to 60 years ago back to the village on Sardinia where her father grew up. (Her father being the artist Costantino Nivola, who kept a house in Springs for many years.)
Like magpies, she and her Sardinian cousins “flew and settled wherever something was happening” in Orani, a small place of stucco and red tile roofs ringed by mountains. The sheer immediacy of life there renders her experiences indelible. “All I needed to learn and feel and know was down there,” she says from a perch overlooking the village.
She eats fruit and figs right off the tree. Women bake bread communally at night to avoid the heat of day; neighbors make the cheese and honey. She walks the streets and through open windows hears plates being cleared. Among the sights are a three-day wedding celebration, a nearby newborn, and, in a second-floor room open to children, a corpse laid out for a funeral, “his face rigid and white and cold with the unspeakable strangeness of death.”
She finds her return home to crowded New York City, with its height and symmetrical layout, equally strange. The book ends with her wondering what different worlds so many people might have come from. It’s a passage with all the feeling, hope, and generosity of a prayer.
Their own Oranis? They should be so lucky.
This East Hampton Star post appeared online on Sept. 29, 2011.
Winter weather + warm mittens = cozy little fingers December 6, 2011Posted by flashlightblog in Contests, Winter.
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Note to bloggers (knitting or otherwise): Please help us spread the word about this heart-warming story by award-winning author Simon Van Booy, by posting this announcement on your blog. Send us an email with a link to the post to be entered in our weekly lottery for a free copy of Pobble’s Way. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
“…a perfect book for this LONG winter…” February 3, 2011Posted by flashlightblog in Book News, Read Alouds, Reviews, Winter.
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Ms. Eileen of the Richmond Memorial Library in Marlborough, CT recommended Pobble’s Way on her blog, StorytimeRML.
Today’s pick is a picture book called Pobble’s Way by Simon Van Booy. Pobble and her father set out for a walk in the winter woods and play a fun game along the way. Winter mushrooms on a tree must be ‘frog umbrellas’ decides Pobble, and a lost feather becomes a ‘tickle stick!’ Little do they know that when Pobble drops her fluffy pink mitten, the woodland animals play a game of their own. Owl decides the mitten is a ‘wing warmer’ while Duck is sure it is a ‘fish coat.’
Ms. Eileen continues:
You would think the illustrations would include a lot of snowy white, but illustrator Wendy Edelson brings out the most vivid colors in the animals and scenery. This is a perfect book for this LONG winter we are having, and just may inspire you to take a winter walk of your own. Also a great choice for fathers to read and enjoy with their own little Pobbles!
Sweet Dreams with Pobble January 4, 2011Posted by flashlightblog in Bedtime, Imagination, Reviews, Winter.
Tags: Picture Books
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Beautifully written and tenderly illustrated, “Pobble’s Way” eavesdrops on an imaginative dialogue just before bedtime between a loving father and daughter in a still winter woods setting that has many hidden animal friends. “Pobble’s Way” is a great bedtime story book, especially matched to fathers and daughters. The wise, imaginative comments of the animals about Pobble’s lost pink mitten will linger sleepily in the dreamings of many children.
Read the full review and check out more Midwest Book Review picks here.
Starting to look for holiday gifts? November 21, 2010Posted by flashlightblog in Holidays, Reviews, Winter.
Tags: Children's books, Gift Ideas, Simon Van Booy
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We imagine with Pobble, Daddy, and the forest animals; we believe that something simple is more than it appears; and we know that nature is full of possibilities. I highly recommend this beautifully illustrated and narrated book and think it would make a great holiday gift.
(Read the rest of the Colorado Parent review here)
Winter is about holidays and family and of course gift-giving. But it is also about quit walks together in the snow, the warmth of home, and the light of imagination. A gift of Pobble’s Way is all of these great winter things wrapped in one.