Friday, June 29, 2012

Used Book Report: Savers & Goodwill

After a crazy morning yesterday, the universe decided to offer some balm in the form of used book blessings.  I learned the phrase "fisher of books" from the Collecting Children's Books blog (RIP) and I think some of these were very good catches!

Someone thought they were too old for their once carefully curated Calvin & Hobbes collection and donated it to Goodwill. I'll be happy to add this to our book stock for what I hope will be the inevitable C&H phase/obsession. (J's dad loved reading Calvin & Hobbes.)
Did you know there was a companion to The Golden Book of Fairy Tales? Me neither. Meet The Snow Queen and Other Tales, also by Ponsot & Segur. (For the record, I spent many hours of my childhood reading a version of The Snow Queen, illustrated by Susan Jeffers. I can still see many of the pages in my mind!)
I believe when I saw the Provensens' Aesop's Fables on the shelf at the Goodwill I actually shouted, "NO WAY! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!" Or something exclamatory to that effect. I love Provensens. I love Golden Books. I love illustrated classics. I am veryveryvery hapy to have found this.
Here's just one example of the high-'60s illustration style. Check out the orange and pink and avocado color scheme on the fable of the crow and the pitcher. The layout of the book is one black-and-white full-page spread with two fables, and then a cartoon-like full-color spread on the next page that illustrates one of the previously described fables.
Apparently Norman Bridwell wrote more than Clifford the Big Red Dog...The Witch Next Door is simple and cute. Next is a Gail Gibbons non-fiction about the sun and light. I have mixed feelings about her output, but a few extra facts won't kill us. And Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger gets a lot of love on some message boards I follow.
Some Parents Magazine Press Read-Alouds written or illustrated by Quakenbush, Calemenson, Asch and Jerry Smath. 

Syd Hoff I Can Read books (love the Barkley cover!) and one easy reader about a tortoise and hare sorting out their friendship.
More Parents' Magazine Press, including How Fletcher Was Hatched by the Devlins, The Great Sea Monster, and Granny's Fish Story, all of which have been featured on the great Vintage Children's Books My Kid Loves blog.

Some latter-day Golden Books published or reprinted in the 1970s and 1980s: Whales , written by Jane Werner Watson (she is a Golden goddesss) and illustrated by Richard Amundsen, a Sesame Street science book for very little kids called The Whole Wide World: A Question and Answer Book, and a Patricia Scarry-Tibor Gergely collaboration called Animal Friends All Year Long. I also picked up a Little Golden Books compilation (not pictured) that I thought had some stuff that was new to us, but then I realized I had all the titles in another compilation. Oh well! (P.S. I will send cookies to anyone who can 'splain me the official relationship between Golden and "Merrigold Press." I find the reprint relationship between the two institutions intriguing and baffling.)
One lone Best in Children's Books, volume nine, hard-to-clean cover either dirty or slightly mildewy, but no smell. :)
Just for fun, from the Best in Children's Books above, a Kate Seredy illustration for "The Princess and the Pea."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Used Book Report: $1-a-Book Store

I told myself I'd quit. But I just needed one more hit. I think I have to relisten to The Power of Habit or take methadone or something. Anyway, here are a bunch of yellow-tinted images of today's haul:

Seven volumes of Doubleday's Best in Children's Books, which is enough to make me quite giddy! 
Donald Crews, Helen Oxenbury, Byron Barton, Hans de Boer, whee!

A cute picture book from the Leo the Late Bloomer people, a Feodor Rojankovsky Golden Book reprint (I love you Feodor!), and a bizarre, quasi-Freudian '70s book about dreams that was translated from the German. I cannot resist out-there semi-psychedelic '60s and '70s children's books, even if they're always too weird to ever actually be given to the kid.
Four Little Golden books, include The Three Bears illustrated by Rojankovsky, and My Little Golden Word Book, illustrated by my guy Joe Kaufman.

Our first Virginia Haviland fairy tales collection! Appears to be everything I've heard and more. Must refrain from ordering others online...
But look at that list of illustrators! Duvosin, Weisgard, Ness, Cooney, Hyman, Adams, aaaah!

ABC's of Nature, which will serve as another nature study handbook (we already used it to look up "owl pellets"!); The Book of Goodnight Stories, which I almost cried over because I have an unlikely affection for Czech illustration and that's what this is; and Usborne's The Time Traveller Book of Long Ago. I kid you not, just a couple of months ago I was visualizing some of the images from the Rome & Romans volume included herein and thinking to myself, man, "I don't know how I'll ever find that book again, but it taught me everything I know about life in ancient Rome." And here it is, in the company of similar books on the Vikings, the middle ages and ancient Egypt. As it turns out these books are still in print, but I'm very happy to have found this beat-up old compilation!
More Parents' Magazine Press. I need more bookshelves. Don't tell my husband. (As if he doesn't know, LOL!)

PETER SPIER! PETER SPIER! Never less than magical, and this title is no exception.

Our Nature Shelf

I can never seem to take a good picture of this thing, so I'm posting a bad picture, and it'll just have to do until my photography skills improve!

Once upon a time this nook in our kitchen contained an ironing board. It stood empty the first few years we lived in the house, and then when we redid the kitchen, our contractor installed the glass shelves. We could never figure out what to put on the shelves--wine and liquor would have been the obvious choice, but those were all too tall. At some point, it accidentally became a nature-study display area, and finally this space has a purpose. Jackson demands that we pull down various objects and he gets to handle them and we talk about the various items.

This is getting featured today because the baby-food jar on the bottom shelf is a new addition: We found an owl pellet on our sidewalk, and nothing makes mama excited like digested and regurgitated fur and bones! Hee. Anyway, here's a quick walkthrough of what's what, with my personal favorites bolded:

Top shelf: Geode collected from a streambed on one of our last family trips to Indiana, pine cone, rock labelled ROCK.
Second shelf: Sea snail shell from a tide pool, various other shells from grandma's trip to Florida, multicolored macaw feathers collected at the bird sanctuary at the Veterans' Garden
Third shelf: Another pine cone, European paper wasp's nest, bunya bunya tree seed (falling apart), lizard skin (falling apart)
Fourth shelf: Various dead insect stuff (fig beetle, honey bee, some spider egg sacs), magnolia tree seed, mussel shell (falling part), maple tree seed, owl pellet in baby food jar.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Reading Program Decision

For the record, after looking at Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, The Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading and Phonics Pathways via a couple of different library systems, I've decided to give Phonics Pathways a try as our first reading program, where and when such a program becomes appropriate.

EZ100 made my small brain hurt, largely because it uses orthographic notation on the theory that the kids will need to know it someday, so why not start when they're six. {?!!} Maybe I'm just scared of something I don't understand myself, but I thought that approach was thoroughly off-putting and scary.

OPGTR is better, but what I discovered is that it's called "ordinary parent's guide" because it assumes no knowledge or skill whatsoever on the part of the parent, and therefore scripts nearly every line and action in the teaching process! "Instructor: Now you are going to read this word on your own. I will use my finger as a guide to help you." I'm sure this is all very wise and wonderful, but I am stubborn rebellious snot, and I am simply unable to operate under this level of control. If Phonics Pathways fails miserably, I'll try OPGTR next, but I can't stand the thought of being so mechanical in my approach. That said, I will be keeping OPGTR out of the library for a while so I can take some notes. For example, in the lesson on the "ph" sound, the authors write, "There is a delightful poem that contains all sorts of ph words called "Eletelephony" by Laura Richards. You can find this poem on several Internet sites or in the book Favorite Poems Old and New by Helen Ferris, 1957." I love ideas like this, and the general information chapters at the front and back are interesting as well.

Anyway, Phonics Pathways seemed to strike a nice blend between well-structured, complete lessons and superperky enthusiasm for children and language, and since it didn't push any of my psychological buttons, LOL, it's on order from Amazon now.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

1969 Children's Book List by Lavinia Russ

Here's another vintage booklist for those of you who might have need of such a thing. This list was produced by an interesting character named Lavinia Russ who was once the children's book seller at the Scribner's Book Shop on Fifth Avenue and then became the children's books editor at Publisher's Weekly.

I discovered her book The Girl on the Floor Will Help You, which is a collection of humorous memoirs and essays, through the Collecting Children's Books blog (RIP), and I also found Lavinia Russ' obituary in the New York Times, should you care to read more about her.

In the interest of time, I only linked the books with which I was personally unfamiliar. I might link up the rest someday in the future. We'll see.

The Girl on the Floor Will Help You (1969), by Lavinia Russ 
Chapter 12: “Watch It! We’re Listing!” (pp. 110-117)

But a lifelong habit still holds me in thrall, and a grandmotherly desire not to have children--mine or anybody else’s--miss anything makes me whip up one more list--one more book list, a very personal one. It’s for young readers, up to ten. If they don’t choose their own books after that, they’re in trouble--and so are you. (The “etc.” after a title means you’ll love everything this artist or writer has created. Omitted are the established classes--the Treasure Islands, and the rest--probably you probably already have them on your shelf of favorite books. Omitted, too, are some titles you can get in paperbacks--the E. Nesbits, Eagers, Spykmans, etc.) The books I have included are the ones about people, ideas, and things that I couldn’t bear to have anybody grow up without knowing. For their own pleasure. And for a practical reason--so that when someone says, “It was the best butter,” a child will know it’s the March Hare talking, not a TV announcer. 
  • Abraham Lincoln, etc., written and illus. by Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire. 
  • Aesop’s Fables, adapted by Louis Untermeyer. Illus. by Martin and Alice Provensen. 
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll. Illus. by John Tenniel. 
  • Andersen’s Fairy Tales, by Hans Christian Anderson. Illus. by Lawrence Beall Smith.
  • And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street, written and illus. by Dr. Seuss. 
  • The Animal Family, by Randall Jarrell. Illus. by Maurice Sendak. 
  • The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts, written and illus. by Hilaire Belloc. {transcriber's note: Terrifying and bizarre and inappropriate. Not recommended by me!}
  • A Bear Called Paddington, etc., by Michael Bond. Illus. by Peggy Fortnum. 
  • Bedtime for Frances, by Russell Hoban. Illus. by Garth Williams. 
  • Ben and Me, etc., written and illus. by Robert Lawson. 
  • The Borrowers, etc., by Mary Norton. Illus. by Beth and Joe Krush. 
  • Brian Wildsmith’s ABC, etc., written and illus. by Brian Wildsmith.
  • Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink. Illus. by Kate Seredy. 
  • The Cat Who Went to Heaven, by Elizabeth Coatsworth. Illus. by Lynd Ward. 
  • Celestino Piatti's Animal ABC, etc., written and illus. by Celestino Piatti. 
  • Chanticleer and the Fox, etc., by Chaucer. Illus. by Barbara Cooney. 
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. Illus. by Joseph Schindelman. 
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Illus. by Garth Williams. 
  • A Child’s Garden of Verse, by R.L. Stevenson. Illus. by Jessie Willcox Smith. 
  • Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, by Ian Fleming. Illus. by John Burningham. 
  • The Complete Nonsense Book, written and illus. by Edward Lear. 
  • Curious George, etc., written and illus. by H.A. Rey. 
  • The Doll's House, etc., by Rumer Godden. Illus. by Tasha Tudor. 
  • Ella, etc., written and illus. by Bill Peet. 
  • The Enormous Egg, by Oliver Butterworth. Illus. by Louis Darling. 
  • Fairy Tales, by the Grimm Brothers. Illus. by Elenore Abbott. 
  • Five Chinese Brothers, by Claire Bishop. Illus. by Kurt Wiese. 
  • The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night, etc., written and illus. by Peter Spier. 
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, etc., written and illus. by Elaine Konigsburg. 
  • The Ghost in the Noonday Sun, etc., by Sid Fleischman. Illus. by Warren Chappell. 
  • Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. Illus. by Clement Hurd. 
  • Harriet the Spy, written and illus. by Louise Fitzhugh. 
  • The Hey Diddle Diddle Picture Book, etc., by Randolph Caldecott. 
  • Higglety Pigglety Pop!: Or There Must Be More to Life, etc., written and illus. by Maurice Sendak. 
  • Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, by Rachel Field. Illus. by Dorothy Lothrop. 
  • The Hole Book, etc., written and illus. by Peter Newell. 
  • A Hole Is to Dig, by Ruth Krauss. Illus. by Maurice Sendak. 
  • Homer Price, written and illus. by Robert McCloskey. 
  • It's Wings That Make Birds Fly: The Story of a Boy, written and illus. (with photographs) by Sandra Weiner. 
  • Johnny Crow’s Garden, etc., written and illus. by Leslie Brooke. 
  • Kate Greenaway’s Birthday Book for Children, by Sale Barker. Illus. by Kate Greenaway. 
  • The Legend of the Willow Plate, by Alvin Tresselt and Nancy Cleaver. Illus. by Joseph Low.
  • Lion, etc., written and illus. by William Pene du Bois. 
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, etc., by C.S. Lewis. Illus. by Pauline Baynes. 
  • Little Bear, etc., by Else Holmemund Minarik. Illus. by Maurice Sendak. 
  • The Little House, written and illus. by Virginia Burton. 
  • Little House in the Big Woods, etc., by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Illus. by Garth Williams. 
  • The Little Island, by Golden MacDonald. Illus. by Leonard Weisgard. 
  • The Little Match Girl, etc., by Hans Christian Andersen. Illus. by Blair Lent. 
  • The Little Prince, written and illus. by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. 
  • The Little Princess, by Frances Burnett. Illus. by Ethel Betts. 
  • Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain, etc., written and illus. by Edward Ardizzone. 
  • Little Toot, written and illus. by Hardie Gramatky. 
  • Little Women, etc., by Louisa May Alcott. Illus. by Jessie Willcox Smith. 
  • Look, There is a Turtle Flying, etc., written and illus. by Janina Domauska. 
  • Macaroon, etc., by Julia Cunningham. Illus. by Evaline Ness. 
  • Madeline, etc., written and illus. by Ludwig Bemelmans. 
  • Make Way for Ducklings, written and illus. by Robert McCloskey. 
  • Mary Poppins, etc., by P.L. Travers. Illus. by Mary Shephard. 
  • Melendy Family, etc., written and illus. by Elizabeth Enright. 
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, written and illus. by Virginia Burton. 
  • Millions of Cats, written and illus. by Wanda Ga’g. 
  • The Moffats, etc., by Eleanor Estes. Illus. by Louis Slobodkin. 
  • Mommy, Buy Me a China Doll, etc., adapt. by Harve Zemach. Illus. by Margot Zemach. 
  • The Mother Goose Treasury, compiled and illus. by Raymond Briggs. 
  • Mr. Brown and Mr. Gray, written and illus. by William Wondriska. 
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins, by Richard and Florence Atwater. Illus. by Robert Lawson. 
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, etc., by Betty MacDonald. Illus. by Hilary Knight. 
  • New Illustrated Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling. Illus. by Nicholas. 
  • The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore. Illus. by Arthur Rackham. 
  • The Nightingale, by Hans Christian Andersen. Illus. by Nancy Elkholm Burkert. 
  • Nubber Bear, by William Lipkind. Illus. by Roger Duvoisin. 
  • The Nutshell Library, written and illus. by Maurice Sendak. 
  • Old Mother West Wind, by Thornton Burgess. Illus. by Harrison Cady. 
  • One Small Blue Bead, by B.B. Schweitzer. Illus. by Symeon Shimon. 
  • One Snail and Me, by Emilie McLeod. Illus. by Walter Lorraine. 
  • Oxford Book of Poetry for Children, compiled by Edward Blishen. Illus. by Brian Wildsmith.
  • Peter Pan, by James Barrie. Illus. by Nora Unwin. 
  • Pied Piper of Hamlin, etc., by Robert Browning. Illus. by Kate Greenaway. 
  • Pippi Longstocking, by Astrid Lindgren. Illus. by Louis Glanzman. 
  • Play With Me, written and illus. by Marie H. Ets. 
  • Pooh Library, etc., by A.A. Milne. Illus. by E. H. Shepard. 
  • Rabbit Hill, written and illus. by Robert Lawson. 
  • Real Mother Goose, written and illus. by Blanche Wright. 
  • The Red Balloon, written and illus. with photographs by A. Lamorisse. 
  • The Renowned History of Little Red Riding Hood, etc., illus. by Nonny Hogrogian. 
  • The Rescuers, by Margery Sharp. Illus. by Garth Williams. 
  • Return of the Twelves, by Pauline Clarke. Illus. by Bernarda Bryson. 
  • Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever, written and illus. by Richard Scarry. 
  • Rootabaga Stories, by Carl Sandburg. Illus. by Maud and Miska Petersham. 
  • Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine, etc., written and illus. by Evaline Ness. 
  • The Secret Garden, by Frances Burnett. Illus. by Ethel Betts.
  • The Sleeping Beauty, etc., by the Grimm Brothers. Illus. by Felix Hoffmann. 
  • The Snowy Day, etc., written and illus. by Ezra Jack Keats. 
  • Some Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, etc., written and illus. by Howard Pyle. 
  • The Story About Ping, etc., by Marjorie Flack. Illus. by Kurt Wiese. 
  • The Story of A Little White Teddy Bear Who Didn't Want to Go to Bed, written and illus. by Dorothy Sherrill. 
  • The Story of Babar, etc., written and illus. by Jean de Brunhoff. 
  • The Story of Doctor Dolittle, etc., written and illus. by Hugh Lofting.
  • The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf. Illus. by Robert Lawson. 
  • The Strange Disappearance of Arthur Cluck, etc., by Nathaniel Benchley. 
  • Stuart Little, by E.B. White. Illus. by Garth Williams.
  • Swallows and Amazons, etc., by Arthur Ransome. 
  • Swimmy, written and illus. by Leo Lionni. 
  • The Tall Book of Nursery Tales, etc., written and illus. by Feodor Rojankovsky. 
  • The Thirteen Clocks, etc., written and illus. by James Thurber. 
  • Three on the Run, etc., by Nina Bawden. Illus. by Wendy Worth. 
  • The Three Poor Tailors, written and illus. by Victor Ambrus. 
  • Thumbelina, etc., by Hans Christian Andersen. Illus. by Adrienne Adams. 
  • The Tomten, by Astrid Lindgren. Illus. by Harald Wiberg. 
  • Walter, the Lazy Mouse, by Marjorie Flack. Illus. by Cyndy Szekeres.
  • The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll, the Broom Handle, and Who Was In It, by Carl Sandburg. Illus. by Harriet Pincus.
  • Where the Wild Things Are, written and illus. by Maurice Sendak.
  • Who's There? Open the Door, etc. written and illus. by Bruno Munari. 
  • The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. Illus. by E.H. Shepard. 
  • The Wizard of Oz, etc., by L. Frank Baum. Illus. by W.W. Denslow.
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, etc., by Joan Aiken. Illus. by Pat Marriott.