Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Windy and Foggy, Dolls and Origami

Lately, I've been on an an origami bend. I stay up late at night folding butterflies to make these cheerful color garlands. I also like reading the blogs of other artists and recently connected with Australian feltist, Trudi from Me and Ewe. She's stayed in a teepee too.

Trudi has a little shop where she sells this Waldorf bead doll kit. You can make your own dolls! I think they're the cutest.

So, when I came across this book at our library last week, everything seemed to fall into place. Windy by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman is done with photo tableaux and contains both Waldorf dolls and origami. Just look at those adorable origami chickens and that's Windy flying her kite above the colorful cut-out paper trees. It's the sweet story of a little girl who lives beneath a tree. She loves to fly her big blue kite, but when the wind blows it away she sets out on an adventure to find it. You'll be surprised at where it finally appears.
I did a little googling and found out that Windy has her own blog here and is also on facebook, where she gives away prizes and free coloring pages to download and print
It just so happens that Canadian authors/artists, Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman just had a book launch on March 20th at Collage, Collage. Foggy is the fourth book in the Windy series and it looks to be just as incredibly adorable. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Don"t Lick The Dog

Spring is officially here and we've been out and about, strolling here and there with the kids.

The apartment clustered neighborhood we live in (Sherman Oaks) must be second in the world to West Hollywood's largest pet-owned dog population. On an 8 block walk to school we encounter an average of 15 dogs being walked!
The best is when it rains here and the dogs are wearing raincoats and sweaters. I need to get my camera ready but I don't want to be rude. Dogs are not always in the mood to smile.
Don't Lick The Dog (Making Friends with Dogs) is a new book by Wendy Wahman. It teaches kids how to interact with unfamiliar dogs with silly rhyme and humor. The illustrations are wildly outrageous which make it even more fun to read to kids.
Wendy provides really great helpful tips about all kinds of dog behavior: slow down, stay still and remember, don't lick the dog!
" Good dog manners show you care...... when meeting new dogs everywhere."
The adorable Springy- Boston Terrier Dog illustration above is by etsy artist Brian Rubenacker.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wormy Worm Meets Hip Hop Dog

My sister Nancy and I are big-time Chris Raschka book fans, so much, that we talk about his books over phone conversations.
Yesterday, I was telling her how my little C, who just turned 3 (rhymes) wants me to read Wormy Worm over and over again as she squeals in delight!

It's part of his series of Thingy Things published by Hyperion from 200-2002.
Some in this series include: Moosey Moose, Whaley Whale, Sluggy Slug, Doggy Dog, Snaily Snail, Whaley Whale, Goosey Goose and Wormy Worm.

I know we've already had a few Chris Raschka posts at Bees Knees: there's one on the Hello, Goodbye Window which you can revisit here and A Kick in the Head here.

Meanwhile, Nancy is raving about Chris' new book: Hip Hop Dog published by Harper Collins which I haven't seen or read but can't wait to check out. The illustrations are not by Chris but Snoop Dogg fan, Vladimir Radunsky. It's a great combo!
Here's a super neato trailer I found of it:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dark Night

French author/illustrator Dorothee de Monfreid has created quite a few wonderful picture books. Unfortunately, Dark Night is the only one I found that has been translated to English.

These are some of my favorite illustrations from the story. You can find an excellent review of Dorothee's book by Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
If your library gets a copy in, check it out asap. It's wonderful!

Friday, March 5, 2010

In Our Mothers' House

My sister, Nancy passed Gringa ( A Contradictory Girlhood) by Melissa Hart on to me when she came down for a visit a few weeks ago.
Hart tells her coming of age story which starts early on with forced separation from her lesbian mom by the court system in California in the 1970's. " You can't grow up parented by two women. It's unnatural." This was the rationale of the court system back then.
She finds comfort in Latino culture as she tries to find her identity and tells of her desires, aspirations and vulnerabilities with total honesty (which made me laugh out loud a few times).
Melissa Hart grew up in So Cal with her father and stepmother and in Oxnard with her two mothers in the 70's and 80's and attended college in UC Santa Cruz and UC Santa Barbara , same as Nancy and I, so it was extra fun to read.
After my Tuesday Babygarten class with C, I noticed that our Studio City branch Library just got in a brand new picture book which happens to run along the same vein:
In Our Mothers' House by Patricia Polacco is a beautifully illustrated and wonderful story celebrating an untraditional family with two mothers raising their three adopted children in "a big old brown shingle house on Woolsey Street in Berkeley, California." Marmee and Meema's house is full of love and they teach their children that different is not wrong. But one family in the neighborhood doesn't accept them because they are different: "How can a family have two moms and no dad?"
Polacco shows an amazing, unique family that lives by its own rules and one that is held together by a very special love. The story lets us watch the three children grow up into perfectly normal adults with children of their own. Marmee and Meema enjoy their grandchildren and when they grow old and pass away, they are laid to rest in a green hillside overlooking the bay "near the place where they pledged their love to each other so many years ago."
The house remains as a gatheing place for the three children and their families. "All of our hearts find peace whenever we are there, together, in our mothers' house."

Now I'll leave you with a fun clip of Melissa Hart's recipe for the California 70's Frito Boat (I forgot to add that each chapter in Gringa ends in a recipe) Good Stuff!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dr. Seuss Day

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS! D and I made this Green Eggs and Ham get-up for you. He proudly wore it to school this morning for NEA's Read Across America and to Honor you, Theodor Seuss Geisel.