M is for Mouse

Mice are popular children book characters. They are adorable, they give authors the opportunity to create a tiny world with familiar objects and children can relate to them being small in a world where everything around them is big.

To illustrate this, I chose

The Mouse Mansion

by Karina Schaapman

originally published in the Netherlands under the title Muizen huis

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A collection of 17 simple stories taking place in an elaborate dollhouse made of cardboard, paper maché and hundreds of tiny familiar items. Each story takes place in a different room and each photograph reveals amazing details. A work of art and patience

N is for Never

These two books have more than the word never in the title. They  feature characters who can see beyond the obvious.

The first one is a reminder that creativity is a talent that is not always seen in conventional ways. The second one shows that kindly ending a fight brings many rewards.

I will never get a star on Mrs Benson’s blackboard

by Jennifer K. Mann

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Rose is messy, she doodles and daydreams. She is quiet and clumsy but as Mrs Benson discovers, she is a true artist. Would that deserve a star?

And to think that we thought that we would never be friends

by Mary Ann Hoberman

illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

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It takes more to end a fight than to start one but the rewards of friendship, peace and harmony are endless.

k is for kangaroo

My fascinations for kangaroos goes back a long way. I used to dream of living in a National Park and have my very own pet kangaroo. I was one of the many children around the world who watched: “the adventures of Skippy the bush kangaroo”. Kangaroos are special, they bounce, they jump and they have a pocket and this is what their stories are made of.

Kangaroo’s Cancan Café written by Julia Jarman and illustrated by Lynne Chapman

This kangaroos can dance but who else can  join in?

I Love You, Blue Kangaroo! written and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

A lovely story of friendship

 

 

 

Katy No-Pocket written by Emmy Payne and illustrated by H.A. Rey

Through the familiar illustrations of H. A. Rey, Katy kangaroo goes on a quest for a pocket and finds more than what she wished for.

j is for Jeremy

For this one I chose to think outside of the “Jack in the box” and associated the letter J with Jeremy.

Jeremy written by Chris Faille and illustrated by Danny Snell

This lovely story about family and caring for a kookaburra bird is as entertaining as it is informative.

Jeremy draws a monster written and illustrated by Peter McCarty

This great story based on the classic theme of a children’s drawing coming to life, sits on the fine line between reality and imagination

The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter

In spite of the several obstacles Jeremy encounters on his fishing trip, he finds a way to share with his friends.

i is for ice and i is for island

There is something magical about islands. They stand alone strong and beautiful offering shelter to nature’s most precious treasures. Each and every one of them has something unique and it is in our nature to explore them. Continents, countries, states, provinces  cities, parks or private properties they all attract us in so many ways. I am so fortunate to have experienced all these types of islands. The most precious above all is a small  island on a small lake about one hour drive north of my  hometown, the island of Montréal. This is where I grew up and spent my summers. That beautiful island taught me everything I know about nature. Every spring I couldn’t wait to see her again. We saw each other only a few times between summers. On a cold and bright winter day it was always breathtaking to see her standing in the sparkling white snow with tones of green contrasting with the blue sky. When spring came and the ice started to melt, we had to be patient and wait until the ice sank to be together again.

At the end of April I plan to visit this beautiful island and I hope that the ice will be gone.

Do you know an island? How about visiting it this spring?

Islands and ice are the words I chose for the letter i and here are a few books about them.

On my Island written and illustrated by
Marie-Louise Gay

This beautiful book explores the world of imagination and shows that boredom is a state of mind.

Islands by Anne Smythe and illustrated by Laszlo Gal

A winter visit to an island with a special place in the heart of a young girl and her mother

Dolphin SOS written by poy and Slavia Miki and illustrated by Julie Flett

image of Dolphin SOS

This story about the rescue of 3 dolphins trapped in the ice is based on the true events in Seal Cove Newfoundland in 2009

Marja’s skis by Jean L,.Pendziwul and illustrated by Jirina Marton

A beautiful story about a rescue in a land of ice and snow

H is for Heart

On my way to work this morning as I walked in the blowing snow, I thought, what if it snowed hearts on Valentine’s day… wouldn’t it be sweet?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I picked these 2 books for that special day:

Snowy Valentine

Petersen, David

A lovely bunny searches for the perfect gift for his girl. A valentine story with a heart warming ending. Beautiful illustrations.

A String of Hearts

written by Laura Malone Elliott and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

A feel good book about friendship with lovely illustrations.

 

G is for Groundhog

Winter had a surprise for me one morning last week. I had a walk in the freezing fog and when the fog lifted and the sun came out, it had left a tin layer of sparkling frost on every bushes and twigs. It was beautiful!

Monday February 2nd is Groundhog Day. It is the halfway point between the Winter solstice and the Spring equinox. Cheer up Winter lovers! Winter is not over but for those of you who choose to hibernate, have a peek outside and perhaps you will see more than your shadow …and an early Spring is always a possibility.

I read several books about that special day and these are my favorites:

Gregory’s Shadow

by Don Freeman

A lovely story about the friendship between a groundhog and his shadow. Beautifully illustrated

Gretchen Groundhog, its your day!

by Abby Levine and illustrated by Nancy Cote

A lovely story about gathering the courage and the confidence to do something for the first time in spite of rules and traditions.

Go to Sleep Groundhog!

by Judy Cox and illustrated by Paul Meisel

A cute story about a groundhog who wakes up and sees something new while he should be hibernating. In addition to explain groundhog day, this book has a repetitive style which makes it a great bedtime story.

Groundhog Weather School

by Joan Holub and illustrated by Kristin Sorra

A great informative book written and illustrated with humour

F is for Frost

I met winter this week on my walks to and from work. We watched the sun shine on the fresh fallen snow, listen to the crunching noise of my footsteps and let the crisp fresh air tickle my bones. It was great!

I love Winter. Do you?

Here are some books featuring that beautiful season: 

Jack Frost

by Kazuno Kohara

Jack frost

A book about a beautiful friendship with Winter. The magic of Winter is skillfully expressed in simple blue and white illustrations, silver letters and glittery snowflakes.

A Kitten Tale

written and illustrated by Eric Rohman

A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann

A cute book about fearing the unknown or chosing to embrace it. Illustrated in relief and monotype prints

On a Snowy Night

by Jean Little and illustrated by Brian Deines

On a snowy night - JEAN LITTLE - BRIAN DEINES

A beautiful story about a pet rabbit forgotten in the snow finding its way home. Illustrated with oil and linen paintings

Rabbit’s Snow Dance: a traditional Iroquois story

by James and Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Jeff Newman.

A book about patience and why rabbits have a short cotton tail. Illustrated in watercolor, gouache and ink

The Snow Queen

by  Hans Christian Andersen and retold by Ken Setterington

illustrated by Nelly and Ernst Hofer

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This classic fairy tale is presented in seven stories and illustrated in the cut-paper art of scherenschnitt (silhouette), a technique also used by Hans Christian Andersen.

These books offer a description of some of  Winter’s little pleasures:

100 Snowmen

by Jen Arena and illustrated by Stephen Gilpin

100 Snowmen

A rhyming description of the activities of one hundred snowmen and the discovery of an interesting number pattern

Cold Snap

by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

 

 

 

The description of the daily life in a small town during the coldest part of the season through busy illustrations done in gouache

A Perfect Day

by Carin Berger

A good description of a perfect Winter day. Beautifully illustrated in a collage

 

E is for Elves and Emerson

As papa elf puts it in the movie Elf,

“There are only three jobs available to an elf.

The first is making shoes at night,

you can bake cookies in a tree

…The third job…it’s the profession that every elf aspires to. And that is to build toys in Santa’s workshop.”

What would the Christmas season be without Santa’s little helpers?

Here are my picks for books featuring these amazing little creatures:

starting with the classic:

The elves and the shoemaker

retold from the Brothers Grimm and illustrated by Jim LaMarche

The cookie business was referring to the Keebler cookie company

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and to be one of Santa’s little helper is in fact the most seeker job for an elf!

Here are my picks:

The Christmas Wish

by Lori Evert and photographs by Per Breiehagen

 

The Christmas Wish

This beautiful story may be built on a familiar theme but its presentation through breathtaking photographs gives it a magical feeling

A Wish for Elves
By Mark Gonyea

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Could there be too many elves?
The Little Red Elf

by Barbara Barbiori McGrath and illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet

A cute adaptation of the Little Red Hen

E is also for Emerson, the main Character of the book:

The Lost Christmas Gift

by Andrew Beckham

This beautiful story grabbed my heart as soon as I started reading it. It is one story I chose to read slowly to make it last longer. This story was a Christmas gift written from a father to his son. It took 60 years to get to its destination. What a story it is!