Wednesday, August 08, 2007

oh, I am so happy

Ben has taken to reading us bedtime stories. Tonight he read one of my childhood favorites, The Monster at the End of this Book. It was a vast improvement over his previous choice, The Complete Guide to Everything Sold in Hardware Stores.

There is a particular pleasure in having your child read to you, not just one of your favorite books, but one that you had purchased for him years before his birth.

In other reading news, Evan has been reading him The Hobbit and he is much taken with Gandalf, carrying a staff and making some truly amazing pipes with which to blow smoke rings (using these.) We all have new nicknames: Ben is Bendalf, Evan is Dadagast, and I, lucky girl, am Mombo Baggins.


review: Growing Vegetable Soup

Growing Vegetable Soup written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert.
Harcourt Brace, 1987 (0-15-232575-1); 2004 (978-0-15-206176-0) $10.95

Although I've always enjoyed this book and it's companion, Planting a Rainbow, I don't think I ever fully appreciated it in its small board book edition. Now as a lap-size board book, it is bolder, brighter and more beautiful than ever.

This story offers basic information on gardening with a lovely touch of imagination. The unseen narrator describes the whole process of how he and his dad "grow vegetable soup," starting with their tools, going on to planting the seeds and sprouts, and ending with picking or digging up the vegetables and cooking them. The simple, direct text is accompanied by labelled illustrations of everything that's used, from the soil to the soup bowl. Ehlert's signature collage illustrations make each item colorful and distinctive, and give the little seedlings and growing plants their full measure of charm. If you've only seen the small board book edition, do yourself a favor and check out this edition, or the original picture book. (2-6)

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