It's A Childs Life

This week we have been diving in deep with the children's chapter books for my Granddaughter and the children's picture books for my Grandson.  Most interesting is that these are books from an overseas publiser, Floris Books with the American distributor of Steiner Books.   As you know I want to share them with  you too.  So lets all dive right in.

I want to start with the board book that I thought was darling.  My First Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers is a quaint story of how the Root Children all come out of their slumber to go above ground and help the bugs and plants go through their seasons.  The simpicity of teaching the seasons while incorporating in colors and bugs is beautiful.  The illustation is so country cottage looking.  I would adore them as prints to frame.  I love that the original book was published in German in 1906!  Yes, this is a story that has been told to children for generations. 

Next we read In the Land of Twilight by Astrid Lindgren as one of our bedtime stories this week.  Astrid Lindgren created the character of Pippi Longstocking to entertain her daughter. Lindgren was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her contribution to international children's literature.   This is a delightful story that shares the power of the imagination in the setting of Stockholm and painted in beautiful shades of twilight. Goran has an injured leg and he gets bored spending so much time in bed. But when his mother turns out the light at dusk, Mr Lilyvale knocks on the window and takes him to the Land of Twilight. Goran and Mr Lilyvale walk and fly around Stockholm when people from the daytime world are sleeping. At the end of their journey each night, Mr Lilyvale takes Goran home just before his mother comes in and turns on the light.

Landon especially loved The Golden Prince by Felix Arthur.  We get to play along in our imagination as The Golden Prince goes through his day.  We shared as the brave knight rescued damsels in distress, captured criminals, hunted wild beasts and saved his castle from destruction by bad wizards and fearsome dragons.  When all the while the little boy was bothering his big sister, entertaining his little brother, playing with the family pet and exhausting his grandparents who have come to dinner? I love the juxtaposition between the vivid imagination of a little boy and the reality around him.

Now TK loved reading The Children of Hat Cottage by Elsa Beskow to us as one of our bedtime stories.  This was read the night after the Grandbabes got in trouble for putting play dough in the microwave.  (Oh my goodness I was so upset with them!)  The Children of Hat Cottage have to rebuild thier home after the first on is destroyed by fire.  I used this lil gem to help them understand the dangers of playing with items they are too young to use.  Asking them what would they do if the microwave had caught fire and burnt down our home?  Would we have to go live in a hat? 

Three more to go!  Yes we really did enjoy reading these books for bedtime most nights.  Happy by Miles Van Hout was one that Landon was able to help us "read".    Every double page spread had a beautiful bright painted fish expressing the emotion of the word on the page.  Now Landon might not be able to read the words but I promise you he was able to read the paintings.  Each emotion feature, he would then make a face to mimic the fish that was showing it off.  This is a wonderful first reader to share with lil ones.

Being that we live in a lil country town and our Grandbabes are from the city, we like to let them experience the differences of the two.  A day out visiting a farm and having them help us pick fresh veggies that would become our supper was supported by Reuben and Barney's Day on the Farm by Nannie Kuiper and Alex de Wolf.  Reuben lives on a farm with his dog Barney.  They feed the animals, care for the garden, visit the cows and ride the pony.  This colorful picture book is filled with movement. Our Grandbabes would look for all the different animals and then make the noises each are known for.

And last but not least for today is The Man in the Clouds by Koos Meinderts & Annette Fienieg.  The man in the clouds has won the Gelett Burgess Award 2012 in the category Society and Culture!  When the Man in the Clouds created a beautiful painting, many people begin to climb up his mountain to see it.  So many find it especially comforting. An art expert arrives and tells the artist that it is very valuable.   That makes the Man in the Clouds determined to protect it rather than share it.  He starts to destroy all he has around him in order to keep the painting safe.   Finally, he sees that his greed and possessiveness has changed the way he sees the picture so he tosses it into the fire.  That made the grandbabes ask why.  When I explained that he needed to learn to love his life more than the painting they began to understand.  Soon they turned the page and saw as the Man did that beauty was all around him always.  (God sure does paint a lovely sunrise.)  I have to say the watercolor paintings in this book were so lively. 

These books have been so much fun to share with my Grandbabes this last week.  I am sad to know they will be going home today.  But I have to housesit til the end of the month and it is not much fun for them as it is me.  I am hoping to have them retun in July though! 


  1. I'm proud to say that The man in the clouds has won the Gelett Burgess Award 2012 in the category Society and Culture!

    1. Congratulations! I am so happy for you and Annette Fienieg. I felt that this book had a great moral to learn and was done in a beautiful manner. I can see why you won!


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