A lot of stuff is useless. We have some clothes with the tag still, books that remain unread, and products that haven't come out of the packaging. I know, I know, we are horrible, mindless consumers...but it is so much fun to buy stuff!
So why not periodically share some of the good stuff (and maybe some of the not so good stuff) that we have found. The best of the best, the most useful, most cute, most time-saving, most helpful, most creative, most awesome-est.
To show that we are good, cultured people and that our consumerism does have some redeeming value, I'll start with books! Enjoy, and let me know if you like the selections, have read the books, or have other suggestions.
All in a Day
Author: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator: Nikki McLure
Really, more of an illustrated poem than a children's book. Nikki Mclure's illustration is really the reason to buy this. Here is the artist's note from the book that describes the process:
The illustrations are cut paper. First, I draw the image on black paper, and then I cut it out with an X-Acto knife. I keep everything connected by a path of black paper...There is no erasing, so if I make a mistake, I just have to keep cutting and find a solution. The cut paper is then scanned, and color is added by computer.
You can see from the cover that the art is stunning, to the point that you wish you could rip out the pages and frame them. The story is a simple touching one about the possibilities that each day holds and implores us to make the most of each moment. My favorite line: "Every bird and every tree/ and every living thing / loves the promise in a day, / loves what it can bring. / There is faith in morningtime, / there is belief in noon. / Evening will come whispering / and shine a bright round moon."
Sure, the book is a little mature for Olive (probably about five or six years to mature) but sometimes it is nice to read something that isn't all about what sounds a duck makes or how fire trucks are red and oranges are orange.
By Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld
Rosenthal, author of Little Hoot, Little Pea, and Spoon, among others, is quickly becoming one of my favorite children's book author. Duck! Rabbit! isn't really a story as much as an argument between two competing point of views over an optical illusion. So, which one is it, a duck or a rabbit. Read it to a few different kids and let them decide. Again, Olive is more interested in trying to rip and eat the pages than trying to figure out what is going on, but another fun book for the adults to read.