Sunday, January 25, 2009

Watermelons, Bulls and Nevada City

Blogging about children's books keeps us connected to a creative group of independent publishers, authors and illustrators we may otherwise never know about. Of the thousands of children's titles published, I enjoy receiving books from authors who are clearly publishing for the love of children and market their books in their communities and schools with joy.

Lovabull Stories and Adventures written by Tony Bosserman and illustrated by Alice Brown was inspired by the bedtime stories Tony told his seven children while living on a ranch in Wyoming. The characters are Big-Horn bulls with names like, Constabull, Knowledgeabull, and Honorabull. The Lovabulls' adventures take them around the world and through history. They travel from Istanbull where they search for Noah's Ark in the mountains of Arat, to Wallstreet where they experience a bullish stock market and play cards with a bunch of donkeys in the capitol building. And these are only two out of seven adventures. The stories weave fact and fiction in way that will entertain children 8 to 12 who may be learning about some of these subjects in school.

Mommy's Having A Watermelon, co-written by Danny and Kim Adlerman, with mixed-media illustrations by Megan Halsey, is a lovingly humorous tale about a girl who discovers that her mother is not having a watermelon like she thought (on account of a seed she may have swallowed when the girl accidentally spit it into her mom's water glass.) The story is told in 6 very short chapters and the simple dialogue makes it an easy reader for children ages 7-10. There are bonus watermelon recipes at the back including, Watermelon in a Blanket. This is the tenth book by Danny and Kim who also produce music for little and big people. What a creative, and busy team!

There are wonderful new children's books by small publishers to discover, and vintage and out of print books too. Imagine my amusement when we turn a corner in the tiny mountain town of Nevada City, CA on a family snow trip to Find, Toad Hall Book Shop "Books for Children of all Ages." It's a tiny, colorful shop located on North Pine Street. If you are looking for a vintage classic or a signed copy of a childhood favorite, owner Clarinda Stollery, may have it. You can contact Clarinda at As often happens on family trips with small children, I didn't have much uninterrupted time to browse the shelves but I'll be back to visit Toad Hall and this other bookshop that was closed, so I could only press my nose against the glass.

1 comment:

  1. I love the tin man in the top photo! Book store finds like those in Nevada City are always the BEST. Wouldn't it be fun to just travel across America in search of those hidden gem book shops?


We love to read your thoughts : )