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Whisper1 (Linda's second thread of 2020

This is a continuation of the topic Whisper1 (Linda's first thread of 2020.

This topic was continued by Whisper1 (Linda's third thread of 2020).

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Edited: Feb 29, 9:20am Top

This is but one image of the artistry of Gennady Spirin. He is by far one of my favorites.

Edited: Feb 17, 12:26pm Top

BOOK #28

A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson

Originally, when reading this book, I thought it seemed to drag. Yet, as I continued, I was captivated by the story of parents who seemed to spoil and not hold their daughter accountable for her sociopathic behaviors. Throughout school, Stella was noted as a bully who did not follow rules of acceptable actions. Her parents, a mother who is a lawyer, and a father who is a pastor with the Church of Sweden, paid a high price for their lack of discipline when Stella landed in jail, accused of murdering an older man. His badly mutilated body contained many stab wounds. Finding her blood stained top, her father immediately tried to wash the garment. Later we learn that her mother burned this evidence. Again, even in adulthood, the parents cover for this child.

As the plot unfolds we learn that both Stella and her best friend Amina, were interested in this older man who used both. The ending is a surprise.

While I cannot rate the book highly, it did hold my attention because the writing was very good.

Three Stars.

Feb 10, 8:58pm Top

Happy new one!

Feb 10, 9:14pm Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 10, 9:47pm Top

>1 Whisper1: Could be any room in my house, Linda.

Happy new thread, dear lady.

Feb 10, 10:16pm Top

Happy new thread!

>1 Whisper1: Now that is the perfect happy place!

Feb 11, 4:29am Top

happy new thread

Feb 11, 8:05am Top

Happy new thread, Linda!

Feb 11, 8:09am Top

Happy new thread, Linda! A Nearly Normal Family may be only 3 stars but the premise sounds very good.
Hope retirement life is treating you well!

Feb 11, 8:41am Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 11, 8:45am Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 11, 9:06am Top

Happy new thread, Linda.

Feb 11, 10:16am Top

Happy new thread Linda. I look forward to more beautiful illustrations from your children's books!

Feb 11, 2:43pm Top

Happy new thread Linda my dear.

Feb 11, 2:52pm Top

Happy New Thread, Linda!

Feb 11, 5:20pm Top

On to #2!! Happy new one, Linda.

Your topper makes me happy, how could it not?!

>2 Whisper1: Nice review, but I think I a looking for more than a 3. ; )

Feb 11, 5:37pm Top

Happy New Thread, dear Linda!

Feb 11, 6:25pm Top

Happy new thread, Linda!

>1 Whisper1: A room filled with books, the best place to be :-)

Feb 14, 5:29pm Top

Checking in on the new thread, lovey.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Feb 14, 6:43pm Top

Linda - so great that you and your beautiful, faithful, therapy dog are doing so well through the winter.

Feb 15, 9:28pm Top

Hi Linda. Happy New Thread! I hope you are doing well.

Feb 16, 3:47pm Top

wish you a good new week

Feb 17, 1:59pm Top

Happy new thread, Linda.

Edited: Feb 20, 5:12am Top

Hello to all. I haven't been as active due to health issues. Thought the pain is severe because of degenerative disk disease throughout my spine, the neurosurgeon (whom I like and respect) has agreed that nine surgeries are enough. The tenth that was banded about, when weighing the long-term, painful recovery, we both agreed enough. Going forward, I will work closely with a very reputable pain management doctor whom I've known for 20 years. I had a spinal injection today, which left me very sick because of the amount of medication injected. But, it if helps the pain, it will be worth it.
Thanks to all of you who have followed this journey for a long time! I deeply appreciate it. Because of pain levels, I've been sedentary and read quite a few books.

Edited: Feb 20, 9:42am Top

BOOK #29

Of Dust and Echoes by Silent Bill

An excellent photographer, the writer was able to obtain stark images of the continued fall out from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster thirty years ago.
Still, high levels of radioactivity exist not only throughout Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and parts of Western Europe. Closest to the disaster was the Chernobyl plant in the town of Pripyat. Housing workers of the plant and families, the author notes that the population of 49,360 were evacuated.

Also as noted by the author, the images captured seem to appear as though it is a post-apocalyptic horror film.

Highly recommended to those who like me, are fascinated not only by this disaster and the fall out, but the sheer betrayalof the Soviet government who covered up the disaster until radioactivity was experienced throughout countries near, and far from the sight.

Edited: Feb 20, 5:31am Top

BOOK #30

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler with artistry of Maira Kalman

A YA book and also a winner of the prestigious Printz honor, this is a heart wrenching, well written chronicle of a young woman who fell in love and through a series of unforgivable transgressions and insensitive actions of her boyfriend, she was deeply hurt.

Titled an intellectual "artsy" person, her friend at first found her fascinating, but all to soon he and his immature friends were more important to the girl who loved him.

A national bestseller, and a very good story of a women hurt so badly, it will scar her for all future relationships, but also will help her to be more careful of whom she loves.

Edited: Feb 20, 10:28am Top

BOOK #31

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin

Separated from her husband, 69 year old So Nyo cannot be found. This is a story of a Korean family in grief, who go back to the subway in Seoul Korea, where the mother was lost as they continue to search throughout the surrounding areas and the countryside of Korea.

Excellently written, this Man Asian Literary Prize Winner, not only depicts the geography of Korea, but also portrays a portrayal of the children who thought they knew their mother well. Forced to admit defeat, the members of the family each tell their memories and stories of their beloved mother.

Edited: Feb 20, 10:30am Top


The Angel Tree: Celebrating Christmas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Linn Howard Selby and Mary Jane Pool
A stunningly beautiful book. Each time I visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, during Christmas time, I visit this exquisite creche, I am in awe at the magnitude and splendor of detail. The book was fascinating. I appreciated the in depth history of Neapolitan artists who meticulously hand carved the individual figures with such fastidious, detailed execution.

Each figure is exquisite. Dating back to the 1800's, when creche was at the height of artistry, this book outlines the history and detail of the figures and their rendition displayed shows the facial expressions not only of Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men and shepherds, but includes the townspeople who thronged to Bethlehem as the word spread of the birth of the Jesus.

I've wanted to own a copy of this book for a long time, but those I found were out of my price range. I located this book through Thrift Books.com in great condition and for a reasonable price.

Edited: Feb 20, 10:20am Top

BOOK #33

Opium Fiend A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction by Steven Martin

I love to read; I love to collect books. I know I have approximately 3,500 in my house, still I attend local book sales, and buy from online vendors. The draw back is space to store them. Thus, I see my habit as harmless.

Steve Martin also liked to collect objects. Traveling through Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam, Martin discovered that he liked to collect opium pipes, rare, very intricate items of beauty used in opium dens of China. Soon his habit of collection lead him to finding opium dens where he could simply try the pipes and deadly, highly addictive chemical used.

All too soon, he found he was horribly, tormentingly addicted. The book outlines what happened each time he tried to kick his deadly habit. Almost immediately, he developed profuse sweating, terrible bowel problems accompanied by severe stomach ache. Each time he tried to withdrawal, he could not handle the withdrawal and lined up his pipes and used one after another to take the hit that landed him in nirvana.

This is his story of his attempts to break the cycle. Haunting, scary and dark, I finished this book, but did not leave it with a good feeling.

I'll continue to purchase books as long as I have space. This is an obsession that will not cause potential death!

Three Stars

Edited: Feb 20, 10:30am Top

BOOK #34

Matthew and Tilly by Rebecca C. Jones with illustrations by Beth Peck

This is a cute story of Matthew and Tilly who are very good friends, until one day they disagree. Separating in anger, all too soon they realize they miss the solid friendship they have.

Feb 20, 10:47am Top

BOOK #35

Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese

After watching a Net Flix movie regarding the theft of one of the most well known of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, I was excited when I found this book at a local book sale.

Sadly, I slogged through it. I can't recommend it. It is a story of Vienna in 1903 and Adele Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy woman who falls in love with Klimt and allows him to paint her portrait.

The story then forwards to 40 years later when anti-semitism is ever encroaching upon the lives of Jews in Austria. The painting now in the hands of the family of her niece, Maria Altmann, the Nazi's invade their home and possess the painting.

Fortunate to flee their homeland and escape. Years later, the painting is discovered and shown as one of the most interesting in an Austrian museum.

Maria's family now wages a battle with the museum for ownership of their original possession.

Well researched, and interesting, still, I cannot recommend this book. Filled with page after page of way too much unnecessary sexual content, the vivid images are distracting and take away from the beauty of the story.

This could have been a very interesting book, but the author chose to go down a road that left the reader disgusted.

One star

Edited: Feb 20, 11:24am Top


A Stowaway on Noah's Ark by Charles Santore

The artistry of Charles Santore always leaves me wanting to find, and read more of his works. Lush, incredibly detailed, this is one of my favorites of Santore.

Written, as well as illustrated, the author writes a story of Noah's Ark and illustrates the building, and collection of two of every animal on the earth. This task must be completed before the Lord begins to flood the earth.

As Noah and his family work to accomplish this herculean task, a tiny mouse name Achbar joins the crowd of animals as they climb into the huge ark. In order to find safety, he hides behind the oscecones of the giraffes, the wool of the sheep, the feathers of the ostrich, behind the feet of the majestic elephants, and his life is spared.

Thus there are three, not two mice on the Ark. While the story is original and unique, it is the illustrations that held me captive. I find solace in art and in illustrations of children's books.

This book is at the top of my list of favorites. If you enjoy imagery, good writing, and like me, find peace in taking a lot of time studying each page, then this is a book you will enjoy!

Feb 20, 11:32am Top

BOOK #37

Shamed by Linda Castillo

I very much enjoy this series of the Amish people in a town the author titles Painter's Mill. Once Amish, she left behind the community. Still living in the area where she grew up, she is now the Chief of Police. When an Amish grandmother is slaughtered, and her granddaughter is taken, the hunt is on to find the child and the murderer.

Always well written and suspenseful, this is one of Castillo's best. In this book, her beliefs of the Amish community are scattered as she discovers secrecy and deceipt at the top levels of the community hierarchy.

This is a good! If you like her books, don't miss this one.

Feb 20, 11:45am Top

BOOK #38

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

This is a story of a man who knows love, and suffers from the loss of his true love who left him behind many years ago. Now 50ish, he longs to find her. Reading an unopened letter she wrote to him when she left, now he finds the courage to open it to read the contents. Alas, she loved him, but left because she was very ill and didn't want Monsiur Perdu to know, but hoped he would look for her.

Angry at him self, he leaves his belongings behind, unhinges his floating bookshop and travels in the quest to live life to it's fullest. His talent was to find just the right book for a person after talking to them for a short period of time. Housing 8,000 books, his floating store now represents the journey he undertakes to live the life written through books.

I didn't particularly like this book. It didn't hold me captive, and I thought it was too repetitive and boring.

Not recommended

Feb 20, 12:13pm Top

BOOK #39

Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan

I've read other books by this author and thought they were too harsh and dramatic. However, I couldn't put this one down. There is no doubt that O'Nan is an incredible author.

The setting is small town America. The winter climate in northern Pennsylvania is depressingly bitter cold. This is a story focusing on the mistakes made that end badly.

While practicing in the band, a young man hears a series of gunshots, coming from the woods near where the band is practicing. Learning that the person killed was previously his babysitter when his parents were married. As he witnesses the marriage spinning out of control, he learns his father has a lover. Living with his distraught mother who selfishly uses him as her counselor. Sadly, he is trying his best to handle both the death of someone he knew, and the nastiness swirling around him from the demise of his parent's marriage.

O'Nan then takes us inside another story of love gone wrong, and in vivid description tells the story of the man married to Anne (the babysitting of the young man,) and her husband Glenn. Dramatic, brutal, they separate but dance around trying to reunite. In the meantime, both find solace in the arms of others. Both Glen and Anne are tragic characters. Both depressed, and trying to hold onto a thread of something that they dream could work.

Their small daugther Tara sustains the brunt of Anne's inability to get her act together and tries to understand why her mother smacks her around so much.

One night, Tara walks away from the house after yet another smacking incident. As a frantic set of parents and a community strive to find the little girl through a bitter storm, it is the young man who heard the shots while practicing in the band., who finds the small child floating in a body of water. Her small bloated, dead, cold body is an image he holds and cannot release. Now, he wrestles with his family falling apart, and the murder of his previous babysitter.

O'Nan does an excellent job of weaving small-town, going no-where life and two sets of married people struggling to cope, and doing a very poor job of it all.\

This is an incredibly well-written story of struggle and failure.

Highly recommended. I read it through the night.

Four Stars.

Feb 20, 2:52pm Top

>34 Whisper1: - I am relieved to hear that I am not the only one who did not like this book. It had such promise but I don't think I even finished it. Oh well. You did hit me with a BB on the Santore book, though! Just requested it from the library!

Feb 20, 8:20pm Top

>34 Whisper1:

With the inviting title, I also was looking forward to a good, strong, relaxing Little Paris book read, with a lot of sequels.

Unfortunately, any deep interest was lost with the premise of the man not opening the letter. C'mon!

Linda - good to hear that you can avoid yet another surgery and a long recovery,
yet is there no way the pain of the spinal shots can be avoided with sedation...?

Feb 20, 8:37pm Top

Linda, I am sorry to hear that you are still in pain. I am glad that you do not have to go through another surgery.

I just picked up Bob by Wendy Mass from the library - it is a middle grade fantasy book. Do I recall you reading this at one time? I remember seeing it on someone's thread and I can not remember!

Feb 20, 8:44pm Top

Dear Linda, you have been quietly amassing quite a number of reads this year but I am of course less happy at the reason you are sedentary and reading quite so much!

I can empathise entirely that you think that 9 operations are quite enough. I do hope that the pain management process will help and not be so crushing in its side effects. I think you know that you are precious to so many of us here and I will keep your comfort in my thoughts and prayers as usual. x

>33 Whisper1: This one in particular appealed to me.

Feb 20, 9:23pm Top

>33 Whisper1: I'm way behind on the Castillo series. I'm slowly making my way through them.

Feb 21, 5:05am Top

Dear Linda, I keep my fingers crossed that the pain therapy helps you and that they can adjust you properly. Sending love and hugs xx.

Feb 21, 4:46pm Top

>32 Whisper1: Ooh, you got me! I've got Stowaway on Noah's Ark requested!

Karen O.

Feb 21, 6:06pm Top

>42 klobrien2: The illustrations look so great don't they?

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, dear lady.

Feb 22, 4:18pm Top

I’m so sorry you are still dealing with the pain. I hope the latest injection kicks in and provides some relief.
Having read Midnight in Chernobyl and Voices From Chernobyl, I am very interested in Of Dust and Echoes. My library doesn’t have it, so I will try to locate a copy for myself after we are settled in Florida.
I generally like Stewart O’Nan, so I will look for Snow Angels. My favorite by him is Wish You Were Here, a kind of family saga. I also liked Henry Himself, which focused on the husband of Emily of Emily Alone, which I didn’t like as much.

Feb 22, 4:36pm Top

>24 Whisper1: I hope the pain management doctor helps, lovey. I am glad to hear that you are not going to have the tenth surgery.

>25 Whisper1: >26 Whisper1: >27 Whisper1: >33 Whisper1: Adding those to the BlackHole!

>28 Whisper1: Gorgeous pictures!

>29 Whisper1: This is an obsession that will not cause potential death! Unless the bookshelves fall over on you :)

>35 Whisper1: I already have that one in the BlackHole. I just need to get my hands on a copy.

Edited: Feb 23, 4:25pm Top

>44 arubabookwoman: Hi There

Please send your address and I send the Chernobyl book to you. I am gong to the post office tomorrow.

I will also send Snow Angels.

Feb 25, 9:06am Top

>36 jessibud2: Hi Shelly. Every time I see the photo on your home page of your calico cat, I am tempted to get a kitten.

>37 m.belljackson: Hello Marianne. I really was turned off by much of The Paris Bookshop I
finished it, but prompted returned it to the library.

>38 jayde1599: Hi There Jess. I haven't read Bob, but it is on my tbr list. I own a lot of YA books. As with the illustrated books, I am going to start to read these genre's of which I have so many copies.

>39 PaulCranswick: HI Paul. I very much like the Painter's Mill series. I hope you are well my friend. I know grief can kick one in the stomach.

>40 thornton37814: Hi Lori. I'm reading another one that I started last night. They are enjoyable stories. How many have you read?

Feb 25, 9:20am Top

>41 Ameise1: Hi Barbara. I appreciate your kind wishes. The pain management doctor, staff and Physician's Assistant are very kind, caring and professional. I can only have six spinal injections in a year. Thus, there is only one more on the horizon. But, I can have trigger point injections more frequently. These are sharp needles that inject pain medication directly into the muscles. They are very short term, but very effective.

>42 klobrien2: Hi karen. Thanks for stopping by. The Santore books are incredibly beautiful. I purchased many from Thrift Books.com at a very reasonable rate.

>43 PaulCranswick: Hello again Paul. Thinking of you and your family.

>44 arubabookwoman: Hi Deborah. I checked my library and found that I own Wish You Were Here. I will check the local library today for a copy of Henry By Himself . Thanks for these recommendations.

>45 alcottacre: Hello Dear Friend Stasia! I hope all is well with you. Your comment regarding books falling down on us, reminds me that my neighbors know someone who had so many heavy books that the foundation of his house had to be fixed.

Feb 25, 9:28am Top

BOOK #40

Hush by Minfong Ho with illustrations of Holly Meade

A well-deserved Caldecott Honor book, this is a story from Thailand. Rhyming phrases implore the animals to please be quiet because baby is asleep. While the phrases are repeated during each two-page spread, the animals vary. At the end of the book, we learn that the baby is wide awake!

Feb 25, 9:43am Top

Hi Linda. I just wanted to mention that I recently borrowed 2 lovely books from the library from their Black History month display. Both were illustrated bios of music legends written for kids; one was Aretha and the other, called Muddy the Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters. The latter, in particular, had wonderful illustrations. The illustrator's use of colour and his style of mixing them was magical, in my humble opinion. I also didn't know that much about Muddy Waters so it was a great intro for me (I did know some of his music, of course, and spent some quality time on youtube, afterwards! ;-)

Feb 25, 10:32am Top

>50 jessibud2: Hi Shelly. Thanks for mentioning these books. I have an appointment with my lawyer to close Will's estate, then I am heading to the local library, which is close by! I'll obtain these books. I know nothing of Muddy Waters, and I look forward to learning.

Edited: Feb 26, 5:48pm Top


A Man Called Ove by Frederik Bachman

Ove was a curmudgeon; no doubt about that! When his wife was alive, she had a way of tempering him and helping him to see the sunny side of things. Now that she is dead, he is more introspective and alone. When neighbors moved by his house, he could not tolerate their kindness. There were two little girls who found a way to live in his heart.

Still, Ove's mission was to commit suicide. But, each time he attempted, there was a knock on the door from one of the family members. This only made him more angry.

This is a wonderful tale of finding hope when all seems dark. I loved this book!

Edited: Feb 26, 5:57pm Top


Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederick Bachman

Britt Marie is compulsive. She has little tolerance for anyone who does not have utensil drawers in order, or who do not live in cleanliness. She is 50, long-time married, until one day her husband has a heart attack and she discovers that he has a woman friend. His shirt was not clean. It smelled of perfume and pizza. She left him, and sought employment at a center. Her social skills are lacking. She is demanding and, because she had so little interaction with others, she came across as exceedingly rude.

She found a job in a very run-down town. Most of the businesses are closed, and a great many houses have a for sale sign in the front. Working at a community center where children play soccer, they need a coach. She knows very little about soccer, but the children insist.

Despite her abruptness, she makes friends. When her husband comes to re-claim her, he assumes she is helpless and thus will return to him. He was wrong. Not a bad man, still his actions hurt her terribly.

I very much like Bachman's writing style. He has a way of portraying the best in people who are struggling.

4.5 Stars!

Feb 25, 5:45pm Top

>47 Whisper1: I've only read 2 or 3 and a short story or two.

Feb 25, 6:46pm Top

Hi, Linda. It looks like I have not been by in awhile. Bad Mark. I do see that you are been reading a nice variety of books. Yah! I have been meaning to read Snow Angels. Thanks for the reminder. Hooray for Ove! I am also a big fan of that one!

Feb 25, 6:58pm Top


Feb 25, 8:37pm Top

>54 thornton37814: I am reading Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo. I hope to finish it tonight...It is a good one!
>55 msf59: Hi Friend. I appreciate your visits no matter how often. I need to get over and see what you are reading.
>56 ronincats: Back at you dear Roni!

Edited: Feb 26, 6:18pm Top

BOOK #43

Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo

I very much enjoy this series regarding a female Chief of Police in small town Painter's Mill, Ohio. One third of the population is Amish. Kate Burkholder oversees a small staff who help her solve crimes.

When an Amish woman, married and mother of five young children is brutally murdered, Kate is torn. The husband is accused and in jail, until he escapes and returns to find his children and plead with Kate to help him find who really killed his wife. Time is running out as the situation becomes escalated when a swat team arrives on scene forcing her to leave the premises because they believe the husband is very guilty.

When a teen aged young girl, Kate was very much drawn to this man. He moved away, became married, and his life spun out of control. Disrespecting the culture that he was raised in, he drank heavily, cheated on his wife, did not physically or financially support the family. Still, his little daughter, when three years old swears that she saw a man standing at her mother''s bedroom door. She saw him before the shots rang out that killed her mother.

The children are now in the custody of their Aunt and her husband who are strick Amish and care greatly for the children.

Pleading with Kate before the house is surrounded with a heavy armory of police and swat personnel, he is firm in his protestation that he did not kill the mother of his children. Unfortunately, his wayward behaviors worked against him, and at the trial he was found guilty.

Now, as he clock ticks, Kate tries not to let previous feelings for him cloud her ability to want to believe him. As she makes it a personal mission to get to the truth, her life is in jeopardy.

Four Stars.

Edited: Feb 25, 9:21pm Top

Today was sad. I had long meeting with the lawyer. Will's estate is now closed. It still is difficult to live without the man! He drove my nuts sometimes, but he was an incredible person who raised three children, ages 2, 5, and 7 when his wife left for a care-free lifestyle. Unfortunately, his long-missing wife, came back into his children's lives. Craving the love they never had from her, they hurt Will terribly with cruelty and major down right ugliness. When it got too harmful, Will decided he had enough of pain and disrespect..He still loved them to his dying day!

He was an incredible father to my daughter, a steadfast love of grand daughter Kayla. This time last year, he was heading to the rehabilitation center. Once there, one day, he looked at me, held my hand and said "I m going to make it! I feel good today."

Alas it was not to be. His legacy is one of humor, love and kindness.
While his estate is closed, I also had the lawyer draw up new will for me. Will's wishes will be met. When I die, he wanted our house to go to my daughter Breanna, then to her daughter/our granddaughter when Bre passes on. Rest in peace Will, your intentions are honored!

Edited: Feb 26, 6:25pm Top

BOOK #44

The Children of the Lir retold by Sheila MacGill-Cllhan beautiful illustrations by Gennady Spirin

Based upon an Irish legend, this is yet another folktale of the wicked step mother who despised her husband's children. Turning the four children to swans, she captures them and they are secluded.

There is a happy ending, and of course with the illustrations of Gennedy Spiring, the images are lush and incredibly rendered.

Edited: Feb 26, 6:31pm Top

BOOK #45

Yakov and the Seven Thieves by Madonna with lush illustrations of Gennady Spirin

I was skeptical when I saw the author listed as "Madonna!" Then, I opened the book to find lush, lovely images that enticed me to purchase it.

I need not have worried; the story is lovely and Gennady Spirin is one of my favorite illustrators/artist.

A cobbler by the name of Yakov has one child, a son who is gravely ill. Despite all attempts to cure him, Yakov and his wife, Olga, grow increasingly frightened when their son is slipping away. Hearing of a man of healing who lives in the last house of their village, Yakov goes to seek his guidance.

Attempting to give all his money to the learned elder man, his coins were refused, stating that if he is successful in helping, perhaps the cobbler would make a pair of shoes for his grandson.

The next day, he visited the wise sage only to be told that when he prayed, the gates of heaven would not open. Thus, Yakov was told that his son's death is inevitable. In distress, Yakov begged the wise man to try yet one more time.

The elderly man told his grandson to go into the village and find all the thieves, pick pockets and criminals and bring them back to the house. Among the lot was Vladimir the Villain who could bend metal and punch holes through stones, and Boris the Barefoot Midget is successful at grabbing the purses of old ladies and the toys of little ones. Among the lot were Ivan the Arsonist, Petra the Pickpocket Stinky Pasha and a large host of near do wells.

When the old man asked the beggars to pray, they all got on their knees and followed his directions to pray. Amazingly, a miracle occurred. The prayers of the man who previously robbed by opening gates, helped to open the gates to heaven so that the child could be healed.

The next day, Yakov came with a new pair of shoes for the elder's grandson. His son was alive and well. It was the prayers of the gang of crooks that made a difference.

Feb 26, 3:31pm Top

So sorry to hear about the pain. Dang it! As usual, your ability to carry on despite it all, is amazing and inspiring. And look at all the books you've read!! You should definitely keep this addiction going. ; )

>59 Whisper1: What a hard day, to say goodbye to Will in yet another way. "His legacy is one of humor, love and kindness." Love that. Big hugs to you, Linda.

Feb 26, 5:38pm Top

>62 Berly: hi Friend. I had lunch with Will's friends (and mine) today. Woody and Lynn are fine, fine people. They knew Will before I met him. Their history is long, and wonderful. It was good to talk about our shared memories. Woody was by Will's bedside when the decision was made for hospice. I can still see the tears he shed and the way he held Will's hands, saying "Oh, buddy, I really thought you were going to make it. I hate that it isn't going to work that way. He stayed with Will at the hospital while I came home to rearrange and make room for the hospice equipment and bed. Will had the ability to have good friends. He didn't need a lot of people, just kind, caring, ones!

Edited: Feb 26, 6:43pm Top

BOOK #46

The Story of Noah and the Ark from the King James Bible according to the Book of Genesis paintings by Gennady Spirin

I am in the process of acquiring all books illustrated by Gennady Spirin. Born in Russia on Christmas Day, he, his wife and three sons live in Princeton, NJ. He is one of my favorite illustrators. His talent is incredibly amazing! He brings a deep religious faith to his artisry. A graduate of the Stroganov Academy of Fine Arts in Moscow, he received many national and international awards.

This particular book is one of my favorites. This is the story of Noah who was directed by God to take his wife and sons to safety by building an arc before God flooded the earth. Told to bring two of each animal in the earth, he succeeds in building a huge ark to accompany all animals.

Feb 26, 6:49pm Top

>52 Whisper1: I loved that one too!

>53 Whisper1: I am going to see if I can find a copy of that one. Thanks for the recommendation!

>58 Whisper1: That is a series I need to get back to. I think I read the first 2-3 and then got sidetracked.

>59 Whisper1: I know that had to be tough on you, lovey. ((Hugs))

Really enjoying the illustrations by Gennady Spirin! Thanks for sharing them.

Feb 26, 6:54pm Top

HI Friend Stasia. As always, it is wonderful to read your comments. Thanks for visiting. It is so very great to have you back in the group as an active member. You were missed!

Edited: Feb 26, 7:05pm Top

BOOK #47

The Nutcracker illustrated by David Delamare

Delamare is another of my favorite illustrators , though I do think some of his images are dark in content. Still, he is incredibly talented. He hasn't produced a large amount of illustrated books, but those he has are very intricate and detailed. I find that I study each page of his illustrations, noting the tiny images that make the page pop out!

The Nutcracker is a beloved, well-known tale of a small girl, Marwho awakes to a tree filled with candy and lovely presents. Visited by her GodPapa Drosselmeier who presents her with an intricately carved soldier/man. As the Christmas Eve night unfolds, magic occurs as the mice king and his mouse soldiers wage a war. There is a beautiful dance with lush costumes.

The last image posted is taken from the cover of the edition I own. It includes pop out hard cardboard ornaments that can be hung from a Christmas tree.

Feb 27, 9:35am Top

Linda: I hope your injection does help with the pain. Good luck!

You have been reading up a storm! Snow Angels caught my eye. I haven't read any O'Nan yet.

Thank you for posting pictures from the picture books. There are some gorgeous ones here.

Feb 27, 10:33am Top

Hi Beth

O'Nan's books tend to be a tad serious and somewhat dark, but he is an excellent writer. The Snow Angels book was very good. I read it in one sitting.

All god wishes.

Edited: Feb 27, 6:29pm Top

BOOK #48

The Man in The Moon and the Hot Air Balloon by David Delamare

This book contains beautifully detailed illustrations by one of my favorite artists. David Delamare wrote and illustrated this magical story of London a long, long time ago when Old Winston Smith, a player of the violin and a credible violinist read the headline loudly proclaiming that "The Moon Has Gone Away!" And, as Winston searched the night sky, there was no quarter, waxing or waning, full moon.

Winston solicited the help of hi good friend the lion, Sebatian K. Curruso. Building a ship to sail into the air, they journeyed high in the sky. Studying maps and using a compass, higher and higher they traveled. Their adventure included a tumble by Winston who sailed through the blackness. Landing on a star, his friend Sebastian found a rope to pull him safely through the milky way.

Finding an arch, the entered and found the moon. Playing a song from his violin, the moon smiled and lit up the sky.
And, the moon shimmered and burst forth.
Thus is the tale of Sebastian and Winston who henceforth gazed upon the lovely moon.

Feb 27, 6:46pm Top

BOOK #49

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta with illustration of Frank Morrison

This lovely illustrated book is filled with a lot of wonderful text regarding the life of George Washington Carver. Born into slavery in Diamond Grove, Missouri, he was both father and motherless. When he was one year old, the 13th amendment outlawed slavery.

Still, that did not grant rights to those of color. Sickly, he spent his time by growing a garden. He developed a deep love and understanding of nature. He attended a colored school. He lived in a series of states, always seeking an education and better understanding of medicinal and beautiful properties of plants.

The first black man to obtain a master's degree , he attended Iowa Agricultural College, then moved to the Tuskegee Institute on Alabama and developed and used his love of botany to establish an agricultural program.

In 1921, Carver addressed the United State Congress House of Representatives to discuss the benefits of plants, in particular the peanut!

This is an incredible story of a man who never gave up his love of learning.

Edited: Feb 28, 6:43pm Top

BOOK #50

The Tale of the Firebird by Gennady Spirin

The images, as usual with art by Gennady Spirin are lush and magical. The tale however is long, convoluted and exceedingly difficult to follow. This is a story of a Tsar named Vasilyi. He had three sons. When it is discovered that the golden apples are stolen from the lush gardens. It is the elusive Firebird that is the culprit. Because of the beauty, the Tsar feels he must possess the Firebird.

Send each of his sons out to bring back the Firebird, The son Ivan Tsarevich comes upon a wolf to help him on the quest. Each time he is given a mission he is told not to touch that which he longs. Not only does the son want to capture the Firebird, but he also longs for the love of the beautiful Yelena. In the end through dedication and cunning, Ivan Tsarevich is successful in his quest.

Edited: Feb 28, 6:42pm Top

>71 Whisper1: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Linda!

ETA: Congratulations on hitting 50 books read for the year!

Feb 28, 10:28pm Top

Hi Linda, I thought I should drop by and see how you are doing. So sorry to hear that you are dealing with so much pain. I have been having some issues with my knee and last week had a cortisone shot which so far (and fingers crossed) has helped a lot. Thanks heaven we have our books to console us!

Feb 29, 8:29am Top

>73 alcottacre: Good Morning Stasia! I hope your day is a good one. We had very little snow this winter. One tiny smattering in January and that's it.
>74 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy, I hope the injection continues to work. I know they are painful, but in many cases are long lasting. I agree with you regarding books. This winter I am making it my mission to read as many illustrated book as possible. They bring such joy to me.

Feb 29, 8:41am Top

Hi Linda!

I, too, am sorry that the pain continues and hope that the pain management works well and consistently for you.

You're reading up a storm. Paraphrasing >39 PaulCranswick: Paul, "Yay for so many books, sorry for the reason."

Feb 29, 9:11am Top

I've learned to live with the pain. Truly, I focus on the fact I am walking, I have wonderful friends, I have two caring, kind daughters, and a Shetland Sheep dog who is very interesting indeed.

Thank for stopping by.

Edited: Mar 2, 8:37am Top


Thirteen Days by Robert F. Kennedy

As a child born in the 1950's, I now realize how scary times were. My mother was very interested in politics, and I listened to her times with friends round the kitchen table. I distinctly remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. When reading this book, I realized that my mother and friends had a reason to be so concerned.

This was also during the times of "duck and cover." We had small wooden desks at school. There were regular drills when the teacher told us to go under our chairs and stay there.

Told by Robert Kennedy, the book is a well-written chronicle of the reaction of President John F. Kennedy and his very competent team of leaders. Step by step, day by day, as the Russian's insisted in building an arsenal of atomic weapons on Cuban soil, it would have been very easy for the president to over react.

President John F. Kennedy was indeed an incredible leader. Knowing that the destiny of the world was in his hands and those of his leadership team, he methodically listened to differing opinions. This book outlines the letters that flew back and forth from Khrushchev and Kennedy, each one taking a firm stance. As the Russian ships approached Cuba, Kennedy drew a line of demarcation. He and his team spent grueling time, with little sleep hoping that Russia would realize the United States was not backing down and therefore there needed to be a workable solution before the bombs were sent to their targets.

As I read this book, I wondered what would have happened if this situation would have presented itself to leaders of today. Would egos become involved? Would there be an overreaction to "push the button?"

This book is filled with the details that eventually lead to a peaceful negotiation.

Feb 29, 11:13am Top

>77 Whisper1:

Still wondering if they can't give you mild sedation for a painful injection.

Feb 29, 12:36pm Top

Linda--I love all the pictures of book illustrations you post. That must take a fair amount of time--I know posting photos I take (as opposed to internet) certainly do. Thank you!

Mar 2, 8:23am Top

>79 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne: Happy Monday to you. The pain management doctor injects a numbing medication before the injection in the spine. It helps, but still it doesn't totally take away the pain. But, the fact that even if for a few days, my pain is minimized, the process is worthwhile.

A few months ago, knowing the injection would be painful, the doctor injected too much numbing material in my spine. I could not walk out of the surgery center. When I was able to get in my friends car, I fell on the floor. We laugh about it now, but it was a tad traumatic to not be able to walk. My friend, and neighbor who is always so kind to take me to the surgery center, knew that when we got to the house, I would not be able to get inside. She knocked on the door of a neighbor across the street who happened to be home. He carried me inside, placed me on the chair, laughed and said, "and now, can I get lunch for you fine ladies!"

I live in a wonderful neighborhood.

>80 Berly: Kim, you are indeed one of the most kind people I know! It does take time to give the codes to the images, but it is a good process because I can see the images anew and appreciate them again. I hope your Monday is a good day.
In a bit I am taking my 89 year old neighbor grocery shopping. Being with her is always an adventure as she has severe dementia. I have to stay right by her side, or she would wander off, perhaps into the parking lot.

Mar 2, 12:43pm Top

>81 Whisper1:

Linda - I was thinking of the kind of mild sedation where you are briefly asleep to avoid the pain of the injection.

So good you are now okay!

Mar 3, 1:10pm Top

>82 m.belljackson: Marianne, thank you for your frequent visits. It means a lot!

Edited: Mar 3, 1:29pm Top

BOOK #52

A Ride To Remember A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan with illustrations of Floyd Cooper

It's difficult for me to know that in my young years, blacks were treated terribly. Not only were there segregated bathrooms, water fountains, and schools, but children were forbidden to enjoy rides at parks. The sixties were a time of unrest, and a time of facing the fact that all these things denied to people of color were incredibly unfair.

This book is based on a true story. The Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore, Md, denied access to the carousel, and any of the rides in the park. Written by Sharon Langley, the first black child who rode the horse on this particular carousel, the book tells the importance of rebellion and the sheer stupidity and racism that many, not all, whites held against those of color.

Children who were raised to learn the golden rule of doing unto others what you would want to be treated, asked parents why whites did not adhere to this basic biblical tenant.

In 1963, people peacefully went to Gwynn Oak Amusement Park and protested peacefully. Singing songs of "We Shall Overcome," and carrying signs that demanded equal treatment, people were taken by bus to jail.

On August 28th, 1963, Sharon's mother and father entered the park. It was open to all. Marching to an ornately decorated horse, Sharon's father placed her on the carousel. Reporters and photographers were there to witness this story.

Today, on the Mall in Washington, DC, the carousel stands as a testimony to a time when people made a difference. This famous carousel ride represented the fact that the horses on the carousel all went around at the same time. No one was before, and no one was after!

Mar 4, 4:58pm Top

>8 karenmarie: Oh, I just had to go find a copy of A Ride to Remember A Civil Rights Story for myself! Thanks for the heads-up!

Karen O.

Mar 4, 7:35pm Top

>81 Whisper1: You do live in a wonderful neighborhood, with neighbors like that!

>84 Whisper1: Too bad my local library does not have that one. I will have to look further afield.

Mar 6, 12:51pm Top

Hi, Linda.

Nice illustrations up there!

I loved Bob by Wendy Mass when I read it. A simple story, but charming. I hope you enjoy it when you get to it.

Debbi and I loved A Man Called Ove, too. What an unforgettable curmudgeon with a soft heart. The movie they made from it is good, too.

Mar 6, 3:14pm Top

>87 jnwelch: - There's a movie of Ove?? How did I miss that one? Who is in it?

Mar 6, 4:41pm Top

>85 klobrien2: Hi Karen. I liked the fact that this was a true story and that the carousel is on the Mall in Washington, DC. I hope to get there sometime.

>86 alcottacre: Hi Stasia, knowing that you met Will helps you to understand why the neighbors loved him so. When I brought him home with hospice assistance, the neighbors visited throughout the day and then the night that he died. I will never forget the image of one of our neighbors stood at the end of the bed when Will passed on and had tears streaming down his face. I never felt as though I was handling this traumatic time alone.

And now, almost a year later, a good friend who lives next door visited with me almost every day to listen and ensure that I was ok.

>87 jnwelch: Hi Joe. My local library has a copy of Bob. I am going to pick it up tomorrow. Thanks for the glowing recommendation. I didn't know

>88 jessibud2: Hi Shelly. I too want ot know more about the movie.

Edited: Mar 6, 4:56pm Top

BOOK #53

Scott Carson, The Chill

What a page turner this book is! It is obvious the author did a lot of research regarding dams and water flow. Chill is the story of a small community in upstate New York. The Catskills contained pockets of small communities. A small town was drowned in order to build a set of dams and waterways to help provide water to Manhattan, NY.

The story has great character development and includes the ghosts who inhabit the area, haunting the tunnels and worksites of the miners. On a clear day, one can look down into the water and see the houses, eerily submerged, but still visible.

Some of the characters had relatives who lost their lives working this grueling task. In tandem with the Chilewaukee Reservior, thee story includes miners who work deep down in the water tunnels of New York City. One of the miners sees ghosts but chooses to ignore them. He fell in love a long time ago with a beautiful woman who lived in the forests near the Chilewaukee Reserviour.

She became pregnant with their daughter. He supported the child, however was way too spooked by the ghosts and eerie happenings and continued to live in NYC. Fast forward to modern day when his daughter returned to the Catskills and became a police woman. She has many memories of her grandmother. Unfortunately, there is a rumor that the waters call for sacrifices. Her grandmother was one such sacrifice and she intentionally pulled a black cloth over her head, placed chains on her feel and hooks in her hands.

The dam is called "The Chill." When it pours and pours rain making the dam suspect to overflow, an engineer is called in. He knows the structure of the dam well. It was his grandfather who engineered and helped to build the chill.

When the dam overflows, those who knew the area and the sacrifices that needed to be continual, could not escape their fate.

Perhaps they will become the ghosts of the future.

A good read, but the switching of characters back and forth became tedious at times.

Four Stars.

Mar 7, 1:00am Top

Just now reading the full update, Linda. Nine surgeries does seem like enough and I hope they're able to help manage the pain through the injections. They sound difficult.

I join Kim in thanking you for all the images you post. They make me happy. And some of the illustrations are just so beautiful. I can get a wee bit envious that I am not an artist. Never was. I really like that you have introduced me to Gennady Spirin.

And you make me want to read A Man Called Ove. :-)

Mar 7, 1:33am Top

>91 EBT1002: You should read Ove! ; )

Linda--here to wish you a wonderful weekend. I haven't been on a carousel in years! Someday....

Mar 7, 7:00am Top

>91 EBT1002: - When I first started read A Man Called Ove, I felt resistance and wasn't sure I wanted to continue reading. He felt like such a grump. But suddenly, without warning, I couldn't put it down. Very worth the read, and I have to see if my library has a dvd copy of the film, now that I know there is one!

Mar 7, 10:17am Top

>91 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. Harmonic convergence is in the air. I visited your thread a few minutes ago. Gennady Spirin brings a lot of Russian folklore in his images. He was born on Christmas Day in Moscow. I recently read an article regarding the increasing amount of adults enjoy children' s illustrated books. Maybe, the genre will no longer be called "children's" books.

>92 Berly: Hi Friend! I came from a small NE town in Pennsylvania. My heritage is Welsh and English. The community of Bangor, PA was founded by many who worked the mines in these two countries. We later moved to the next town over called Pen Argyl. There is a Pen Argyl, Wales. At the turn of the century, when carousel building was at its height, our small community had a mayor who believed there should be a carousel in the park. It created quite a controversy in the town.

He commissioned a carousel by a well-known carver, Denzel from Philadelphia.

The carousel is unique in that it contains many menagerie animals, including three giraffes, three zebras, a lion and many others. The carousel arrived. The mayor lost his job!

Mar 7, 10:25am Top

Hi Linda! Wishing you a good weekend, and I hope you enjoy Bob as much as I did.

Mar 7, 10:35am Top

>91 EBT1002: Recently I found an article regarding the increasing enjoyment of children's illustrated books. Noting this is a great way for artists to become respected, the article mentioned the fact that there are many adults who have book shelves devoted to this genre...I would fit this category.

Thanks for your kind comments!

>92 Berly: Dear Friend Kim:

I came from a small town in NE Pennsylvania. The town was named Pen Argyl, after the community in Pen Argyl, Wales.

At the turn of the century, when carousel building reached its height, the mayor of the town thought we should have a carousel. They were very expensive, still the mayor persisted.
He commissioned a carousel by an excellent carver -- Dentzel in Philadelphia. To save money, Denzel placed a lot of horses and menagerie animals left over from other machines he built.

The Pen Argyl carousel is quite a beautiful work of art. It contains many animals. There are three giraffes, three zebras, as well as three deer who are carved with the installation of actual deer horns.

I have such wonderful memories of this carousel. My grandmother and I would walk to the park where she paid a nickel for me to ride the carousel. She always sat at one particular spot as she watched me. When grand daughter was born, I knew I would take her to the carousel when she was older. And, I sat in the same spot as my grand mother did as I watched Will hold on to Kayla as they laughed.

These images were found on line, the person who deserves credit is:By Shuvaev - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42187923

Mar 7, 10:38am Top

>93 jessibud2: Shelly, I agree with you. At first I wanted to put down the book. I am usually wary of popular books.

>95 karenmarie: I am heading the library this afternoon to obtain a copy of Bob. There is so much wisdom in YA books!

Edited: Mar 7, 2:46pm Top

I hope you enjoy Bob, Linda. I know I did when I read it last month. It is a simple, but fun story.

Edited: Mar 7, 5:11pm Top

BOOK #54

Charles Santore Snow White

Lovely illustrations from one of my favorite illustrators. This Grimm's fairy tale is a favorite, well-know story by many. Snow White's mother dies. One short year later, her father marries a beautiful and vain woman who has a magical mirror. Not trusting her beauty, she is obsessed with looking in the mirror and hearing that she is the fairest of all.

Until, one day, she hears a different mantra. The voice now tells her that young Snow White is fairer by fair than her. Telling a huntsman to take the young girl into the woods and kill her, and to bring back proof of his evil deed. Alas, he cannot kill a little girl and brings the heart of a deer to the evil queen.

While trying to find a secure place in the woods, the animals do not harm her. Finally, exhausted, she finds a small cottage with seven beds and seven plates. She falls asleep in the last/biggest bed. The dwarfs find her and ask her to stay with them. She cooks and cleans and loves the dwarfs.

Pleading with her not to open the door, she is asked by a woman to buy her pretty wares. She enters the cottage and pulls Snow White's corset tighter and tighter. The seven dwarfs rescue her. Another time the queen approaches Snow White and combs her beautiful black hair with the poisoned comb. Once again the dwarfs return home and rescue Snow White. But, the final time the queen visits, she gives Snow White a beautiful red apple that was poisoned.

The dwarfs cannot bring her back to life this time. Encasing her in a clear glass box, she is taken high in the mountains. One day, many years later, a handsome prince, finds the dwarf's house and then stopping in the mountain, he gazes upon Snow White. His servants carry her coffin down the mountain, and in doing so, the poisoned piece of apple falls out of her mouth.

When once again the mirror told the queen that Snow White is the fairest, she searches and finds Snow White. Frozen with anger and fright, she is given a pair of magical slippers. The minute they were on her feel, she had to dance faster and faster..

Snow White and the Prince live happily ever after.

The End.

I think this is one of the most beautiful image in this book. This image is Snow White's biological mother

Mar 7, 6:44pm Top

What a lovely carousel!! And the images in >99 Whisper1:. Wow. And I agree about the last image -- I'm glad to see that Snow White's biological mother has a companion cat. :-)

Mar 8, 9:42am Top

Such a treat to come here an relish the beautiful art you share. And that carousel...I'm ashamed to say I had no idea such a treasure was so close. I wonder if my niece knows about it; her little girls would love it.

"In a bit I am taking my 89 year old neighbor grocery shopping. Being with her is always an adventure as she has severe dementia. I have to stay right by her side, or she would wander off, perhaps into the parking lot." Bless you for taking that lady out. My own 89-year-old Mom is suffering from dementia as well, but at least she doesn't wander. I can take her to the grocery with little trouble. Making her understand her limitations is another matter!

Mar 9, 9:39pm Top

>100 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. I have such wonderful memories of the carousel. If they chose to dismantle and sell it piece by piece, it would net a fortune.

Each year, I am so very happy that it remains.

>101 laytonwoman3rd: Hi Linda. Where does your niece live? What continues to happen to Dottie is so sad. I remember our great conversations, the love she showed to me, the times we would laugh and laugh and laugh. Now, it is difficult for her to say an entire sentence. Usually, she can say about three words and the her mind wanders off. When we went grocery shopping, I had to stay right by her side. She placed things in her carton she didn't need, or would never use. I confess to putting some things back as I know they really are on a tight income. Their two sons want to move them near then in NJ. But, I don't see any movement toward that goal.

Edited: Mar 9, 10:23pm Top

BOOK #55

Gennady Spirin Little Red Riding Hood

Gennady Spirin tried something new with the illustrations of this book. Many of the images look like something from the Dutch golden age of the 17th century. And, since the Dutch painters have always been favorites of mine, I immediately liked this book.

In this story of the classic tale of young Red Riding Hood taking a basket of food to her grandmother. To do so, she must go through the woods. She is told to stay on the path and not to wander. Alas, she did not listen. Picking flowers for her grandmother allowed the big bad wolf to hurry to grandmother's house before Red Riding Hood arrived there. He hastily ate granny. Then, repeated his feast when the little girl arrived. He ate her as well! Two hunters in the woods, were walking near grannies door. They saw the wolf and his great big stomach. They cut the stomach open, releasing Red Riding Hood and her grandmother.

As usual, the illustrations are simply beautiful and exquisitely detailed!

Edited: Mar 10, 7:22pm Top

I went to the library today to pick up some of the books I had on hold. I brought home the following:

Now, I need to make time to read these gems.

Mar 10, 7:27pm Top

>104 Whisper1: Nice library haul, Linda. I hope you enjoy them all!

Edited: Mar 10, 8:49pm Top

Hi Linda. I have Finding Chika but haven't read it yet. Did you see the piece on CBS Sunday Morning, a while back, where they interviewed Mitch Albom and he told the story of Chika and this book? It was lovely. Edited to add the link for you: https://www.cbs.com/shows/cbs-sunday-morning/video/ujAp_IgIhfPQOqk4BVZc73Q7gWCx0...

That last set of illustrations, in >103 Whisper1:, remind me a bit of the beautiful art work of Jan Brett. Do you know her work? She has a distinctive style, too, of *windows* in the left and right vertical margins of her illustrations, that let you peek back and peek ahead at what's coming. Really delightful. My favourite title of hers and one I used to do a lot in my classroom is The Mitten. My classroom assistant sewed a giant mitten out of canvas and we used a variety of hand puppets and turned the book into dramatic play, with the students choosing their roles from the puppets. The ending, of course - I won't give away a spoiler - was the highlight of our reading. All her books are lovely, though.

Mar 10, 9:13pm Top

Excellent library haul!

Mar 11, 1:08am Top

>96 Whisper1: That carousel is amazing!!! WOW.

>104 Whisper1: Awesome books from the library!! You know I loved There There--hope you do, too. And I really have to get to Red at the Bone....sooner that later. LOL

Mar 11, 4:20am Top

>104 Whisper1: Some handsome looking books there, Linda.

Mar 11, 12:02pm Top

>106 jessibud2:

Your giant mitten sounds splendid to a retired 4th grade teacher who had celebration Read-Ins
with sleeping bags and sharable snacks all over the place. Any chance of a photo?

Mar 11, 12:10pm Top

Hey Linda!
>52 Whisper1: >53 Whisper1: Happy to see you're reading Bachman! I love his style and glad I own a few more to enjoy.
>104 Whisper1: Lots of good reading ahead - Enjoy

Edited: Mar 11, 4:59pm Top

>110 m.belljackson: - Marianne, I never did take a photo of The Mitten event(s) in my class, unfortunately. But if you are familiar with the story, you can use your imagination to visualize the ending...! ;-) If not, it's a famous enough storybook that I"m sure your library would have a copy.

Mar 11, 11:48pm Top

Very dear Linda, I'm happy to read the good things that your neighbors continue to do for you. You deserve them! I'm also glad to read your courage and love in following Will's wishes at the same time that you relinquish that part of your life and move into the future. You are, as always, a brave, brave woman.
Thank you for your example and your kindness!
Wishing you more days of less pain!
LOVE your posting of all the lovely art!

Mar 12, 2:48pm Top

>105 alcottacre: Stasia, I am always torn between reading books on my shelves, and going to the library to find more recent books.
>106 jessibud2: Hi Shelly, while I don't own all of Jan Brett's books, I believe I've read all of them, each one very special. Her artistry is incredible. I agree with you regarding the enjoyment gained when looking at the sidebars!

What a great idea for the use of the book The Mittens. I still remember some of my favorite classroom projects that caring teachers used to reinforce the beauty of books.
>107 thornton37814: Hi Lori..Now I have to find time to read them!

>108 Berly: HI Kim. I have so many memories of that carousel. I am surprised that the carousel isn't sold by now. I know it is on the National Registry. That carousel led to reading many books regarding the carousels, how they were carved, used, and sold.

>109 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. I slipped into my habit of going to the library and placing recent collections on hold. These are books I really want to read, most of them found on the threads here on our 75 challenge group.

>110 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne, thanks for stopping by!

>111 Carmenere: I confess that I tried reading Beartown and I didn't like it at all.

>112 jessibud2: Shelly, I was able to obtain a lot of her books via the library

>113 LizzieD: Dear Peggy, always kind and sensitive. I have a major decision to make. Memorial day is a family day for Will's mother's side of the family. There is a small parade in town, then we visit the cemetery where Will's mother, sister and various other relatives are buried. We have a plot there. Because we had a service in October by Will's favorite place - a beautiful lake about an hour away, my daughter, and granddaughter do not want another service. Their are still grieving and feel that Memorial Day service of placing Will's ashes at the cemetary plot coincide with the date of Will's passing. In April it will be a year since Will died.

Will's family will need to understand that his ashes are not going to be buried until later. I'm not feeling all that brave right now in telling the family (who have always been so very good to us,) that we will have to wait awhile. Thanks for your kind words regarding posting the illustrated book art. Looking at the incredible images calms me.

Mar 12, 3:45pm Top

BOOK #56

The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen illustrated by David Delamare

Twenty five tin soldiers, placed in a large box, continue to wait for a child to open the box. All were made from the same made from the same spoon, all exactly alike, save for one who is missing a leg because the maker of the soldiers ran out of tin.

Different, yet proudly standing as tall as the others. Black hats, white trousers, black boots and a rifle held tightly in place, the steadfast soldier performed as well as the others who were more fortunate. When taken out of the box, the steadfast soldier noted other toys in the room, including a beautiful paper castle with a lovely maiden standing so prettily outside the castle door. When the soldiers were placed back in the box, the steadfast tin soldier remained, gazing at the beautiful ballerina.

At night, when the toys come alive, the other tin soldiers could not open the fixed lid. But the one without a full leg, remained since the day. In a large snuff box, came a wicked, ugly goblin. With a nasty voice demanding the tin solider to return to the box. The next morning,the children placed the tin soldier on the windowsill, where he promptly fell. Frantically searching, none of the children could find the soldier. Two children, passing boy, made a paper boat for the solider. Spinning round and round, in dizzying speed, the boat flew down a drain.

A big, fat rat demanded a pass before the soldier could continue. The soldier put aside his fear and followed the current until light. Sinking to the bottom of the water, he landed inside the belly of a fish.

When the fish was split open by the person who caught him, the solider escaped and found himself back in the living room of the house with the beautiful dancer spinning beautifully.

The final adventure was nasty children who threw him into the fire. As he continued to watch the ballerina, his heart was filled with love. The next day, the maid found a small tin heart with a spangle the ballerina wore when she performed her beautiful dance.

Edited: Mar 12, 4:37pm Top

BOOK #57

The Crane Wife retold by Odds Bodin with illustrations of Gennady Spirin

This is yet another book in my collection with incredible illustrations of Gennady Spirin. I am locating and purchasing as many books illustrated by Spirin as I can find. His works of art never cease to amaze me! This story of the Crane Wife is no exception. His illustrations seem magically sheer and beautifully rendered.

A story of love, but also greed and selfishness, this is the tale of Osamu, who lives high in the Japanese mountains. He makes sails and sells them as his only way of making a living. One cold, cold night a crane was thrown tempest-tossed by the howling wind. Finding the crane outside his door, Osamu couldn't help but help the lovely crane. Three days of providing care, he nursed the lovely bird back to life so that it could once again fly in the lovely mountains.

Years later, another storm brought a lovely lady to Osamu's door. They fell in love and married. Yukiko saw the poverty of Osamu and offered to help by building a sall that he could take and sell in the village. Weaving a magical sail, her only request was that he not watch her as she wove a thing of incredible beauty. Magically, Yukiko wove the wind into her sails. Because of the uniqueness of the sail, it sold and was paid for in gold. There was enough gold to last a year.

When spring returned, so did the gentle, stunningly beautiful cranes. When the money was gone, Osamu pleaded with his wife to make yet one more sail. She told him that making these works of art caused her severe lack of energy. Exhausted, she gave a new sail to her husband, and again he was paid with enough gold to last another year.

Rather than working for both of them, he relied on his wife. And, again, when the gold was gone, he needed yet another sail. When a huge sailing ship arrived in the harbor, upon hearing of the incredible sails, he demanded one to be made and in return enough gold for a last time was promised.

Entreating her husband that making the sails literally takes life from her, nevertheless selfishly demanded another sail...a final one! Another selfish act occurred when the husband broke the rule of never coming into the room as the sails were made. He entered the room, and he say an actual crane weaving the magic. Weaving its white feathers into the sail, the wife/crane lifted herself and sailed out with the wind with the company of the other cranes.

Sadly, Osamu, was once again lonely. He lost his love through his selfish demands. The rest of his life he spun his simple sails and waited, hoping he would once again hear the gentle knock on the door.

Edited: Mar 12, 5:03pm Top

BOOK #58

The Silk Princess by Charles Santore

Charles Santore is one of my favorite artists. Each and every book I've read with his illustrations, provides stress release and joy by simply examining the beauty of his works.

In this story a young princess notes a caccoon as it drops into her mother's tea. As Princess Hsi-Ling Chi tells her mother that she will place the string around her waist and will see how far it will take her. This leads to a magical journey of many miles, a dragon, a huge black spider, the discovery of the great palace and mountains.

Tired, exhausted, the little princess looks to see the thread that tethers her to her mother, alas the string is broken. Coming upon a small hatch, she finds a man at a loom. Happy to see her, he explains that he was waiting for her and her thread to complete a beautiful robe for the Emperor. Taking a nap, she awakens to find the thread still wrapped around her waist. She returns to her mother and tells her of her adventure.

Mar 12, 7:32pm Top

>116 Whisper1: I just love that artwork!

Mar 13, 1:08pm Top

>118 alcottacre: It's Gennady Spirin -- again. He is fantastic!

Edited: Mar 15, 1:04pm Top

BOOK #59

There There by Tommy Orange

I'll start right off in saying I wanted to like this book; I could not wrap my mind around all the violence, alcoholism, negative self-esteem, and tragedy of the characters.

American Indians (I'm not sure that is the politically correct word) have certainly had terrible events happen, for which they could not control. To name a few travesties, the white man took their land, their health, their belongingness, leaving them in a place where it is near impossible to climb out of the well of pain.

The author tells the story of twelve people, all of whom want to get to the Big Oakland powwow. Perhaps the attendance is an attempt to bond with others and share experiences. Sadly, that isn't what occurred.

I closed the last page feeling exhausted. It was difficult to read page after page of heart break for a proud nation that did not deserve the travesties they experienced.

Mar 13, 11:54pm Top

>116 Whisper1: Everything else you post is beautiful, but this art really speaks to me. Thank you, Linda!!!!!
>120 Whisper1: I will avoid this like the plague - a term that has real meaning right now.
>114 Whisper1: What you do will be exactly right. Listen to your heart and forgive anybody who disagrees.

Edited: Mar 14, 4:39pm Top

>99 Whisper1: Oooh, you got me with this one, too! I've so enjoyed following along with your read of Charles Santore and Gennady Spirin illustrated books. So incredibly gorgeous!

Karen O.

Mar 14, 7:42pm Top

Just catching up a bit, and hope you're doing well, Linda! I love the illustrations you've posted by Gennady Spirin, I'll have to look for some pictures books you've been reading. Some are so lovely, aren't they?

Mar 15, 1:08pm Top

>122 klobrien2: Hi Karen. I enjoy beautifully illustrated books. I slowly turn the page after appreciating what came before. Charles Santore lived in Philadelphia, PA, about an hour and 1/2 from where I live. Sadly, he passed away at the age of 89.

>123 bell7: Hi Mary. Yes, Gennady Spirin is one of my favorites. The detail he places on each and every image is too precious for words! I hope all is well with you and your wonderful niece and nephew!!!

Edited: Mar 15, 1:41pm Top

When my daughters were little girls, we went shopping for the book of the week. It usually was a large illustrated book. My older daughter Amy chose a series of books containing the works of A.A. Milne. There was a story of Jane whose mother asked her repeatedly if she was going to be a "good girl." I changed the name to Amy and she laughed and laughed at this poem. There were small illustrations that went with the stories.

The Good Little Girl
by A. A. Milne

It's funny how often they say to me, " Jane?
" Have you been a good girl? "
" Have you been a good girl? "
And when they have said it, they say it again,
" Have you been a good girl? "
" Have you been a good girl? "

I go to a party, I go out to tea,
I go to an aunt for a week at the sea,
I come back from school or from playing a game;
Wherever I come from, it's always the same: " Well?
Have you been a good girl, Jane? "

It's always the end of the loveliest day:
" Have you been a good girl? "
" Have you been a good girl? "
I went to the Zoo, and they waited to say:
" Have you been a good girl? "
" Have you been a good girl? "

Well, what did they think that I went there to do?
And why should I want to be bad at the Zoo?
And should I be likely to say if I had?
So that's why it's funny of Mummy and Dad,
This asking and asking, in case I was bad, " Well?
Have you been a good girl, Jane? "

Perhaps this was were I started my love of illustrated books that augmented a tale. First grade brought the books of Dick and Jane.

A few years later I met a wonderful librarian, Miss Alice Blake, who took a liking to me and encouraged my love of reading. She introduced me to the Doctor DoLittle books. Every week, I would return the one read and she would open her desk drawer, and write on the card that I returned, and then checked out another DoLittle book.

Now, I return to the love of stories accompanied by wonderful images!

Bear's First Christmas written by Robert Kinerk illustrated by Jim LaMarche

Edited: Mar 15, 1:57pm Top

BOOK #60

Bear's First Christmas written by Robert Kinerk illustrated by Jim LaMarche

This is a charming story of a little bear awakened from his long winter's nap by sounds. Leaving his cave, the lonely bear finds friends, some of whom are in need. The bear helps each one who requests it.

While searching for a place to sleep, the animals found a cozy house, with a decorated tree. The animals realized they were seeing their first Christmas!

As always, the illustrations of Jim LaMarche are incredibly detailed. He has a way of capturing expressions on both animal and human subjects. He remains one of my favorite illustrators.

Mar 15, 1:51pm Top

Hi, Linda. I love all the illustrations, especially The Crane Wife.

>88 jessibud2: The A Man Called Ove movie, Shelley: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4080728/ It's Swedish and got two Oscar nominations.

Mar 15, 2:27pm Top

>127 jnwelch: - Thanks, Joe. I just placed a hold for it. Of course, who knows when the library will open again but my request is in!

Mar 15, 2:32pm Top

>125 Whisper1: Great poem. Makes me wonder if I asked the same thing too much!! To be fair, I pestered my son, too. LOL

Mar 16, 10:33am Top

Hi Linda!

Just checking in.

>114 Whisper1: The right words will come at the right time to tell Will's family.

Mar 16, 2:51pm Top

Hope you are finding some relief from pain!

Mar 16, 4:02pm Top

<127 Joe, I find tremendous joy, and peace when looking at the very special images contained in these lovely books. The Crane Wife is a favorite!

>128 jessibud2: Hi Shelly. Our library is closed for two weeks. I went to the store for a few things, and was surprised at how empty the shelves were. Over reaction? I simply do not know what to think of this. My neighbor is in quite a tizzy. I refuse to panic.

>129 Berly: Amy was a "good girl." She remains stubborn into her adult life. For years, she coached a girls softball team. She was able to obtain all the sports shirts and pants for her team who contributed this for the girls team. Later, in a meeting, a coach told the group that he was using the equipment for his team. Amy loudly protested since she was the one who met with the business who donated this. By then, her father and I were long divorced.
After the meeting, he turned to Amy and said "You have a mouth like your mother!" She turned to him and said, "Yes, and proud of it!"

>130 karenmarie: Thanks Karenmarie. Will's mother's side of the family has always been kind to me. I think they will understand.
We want to have a private time to bury his ashes at the family plot where he will be with his mother, sister, and other close relatives.

>131 ChelleBearss: Thankfully, Pennsylvania is a state that allows medical marijuana. It works! I appreciate your kind words.

Edited: Mar 17, 12:02pm Top

BOOK #61
Bird by Zetta Elliott with illustrations of Shadra Strickland

This award-winning book deals with two very difficult subjects: death of a beloved grandfather, and death by drug overdose of a brother.

Fortunately, Mehkai, because of his beautiful art work of drawing birds, find a way to overcome his grief; his nickname is also known as "bird." Losing two very important family members is difficult. Drawing is Mehkai's release from pain. As time goes on, his grandfather's best friend Sonny looks out for him.

When Mehkai told Sonny he would like to play the saxophone like Charlie Parker, Sonny reminds him we are all different and possess varying skills. Bird's skills are incredibly beautiful, and they are the release from pain that he seeks. The illustrations are incredibly detailed, and I will seek additional books illustrated by Shadra Strickland.

Edited: Mar 17, 5:07pm Top

BOOK #62

Up by Jim LaMarche

Jim LaMarche is another favorite illustrator. He is particularly great at rendering emotions on the faces he paints.

In this tale, a father and brother believe that Daniel is too small to go onboard the boat. One day he discovers a surprising talent. He can lift items upward when he concentrates on this task. As his special skill grew stronger, one day he and his mother watch as a whale is beached on shore.

Daniel moved the whale to it's side, concentrated and looked into the whale's eyes. By concentrating, and peacefully believing he can help the whale, he is successful. Slowly, the whale moved deeper into the water. Both Daniel and the whale were successful in making this major event occur.

With this amazing feat, Daniel's brother and father now believed he was big enough to go out on the boat with them.

Mar 16, 5:11pm Top

Oh, these last two look wonderful! I am going right now to my library's website to see if they have them. The libraries are all closed here for now but if they have them available, at least I can put in my request. Thanks, Linda.

Yay! Done. They have both and I have reserved them. Thanks, Linda!

Edited: Mar 18, 4:42pm Top

BOOK #63

Finding Chika by Mitch Albom

I've read many books written by Mitch Albom. Certainly Tuesday's with Morrie was stellar and tugged at the heartstrings. But, this book, in my opinion is his best. Exceedingly well written. Both the story and the telling of it are excellently portrayed.

Chika was born three days after a major earthquake hit Haiti. Mitch and his wife Janine sponsored a home for children in Haiti. Most of these children have experienced poverty like many of us never had to experience, or most likely, never will.

Their steadfast commitment to the children of Haiti is beyond admirable. Then, they discover the plight of five-year old Chika who was taken from Haiti by this loving couple to try to help get rid of a brain tumor. Seeking the best resources that the United States have, they went from one excellent hospital to another. But, the prognosis was terribly grim. She came to live with the Albom's. Their previously childless lives were incredibly enriched by this spunky, intelligent, kind and sensitive little girl.

Soon, their lives were a circle of hope and never-ending love. As her progression heads downward, she has courage beyond belief! This is a beautifully told story that shows that love is never ending and always has the ability to change us.
At the hands of less than a writer as Albom, the story would not have the supreme power of love that it contains.

Highly recommended.

This is a person who can write, without triteness, without sappiness, but from the perspective of a man and woman who grow to love a little girl despite knowing none would have a happy ending, save for the fact that love opens doors and changes lives.

Five Stars

Mar 18, 7:22pm Top

>53 Whisper1: Good to see that you like Britt-Marie Was Here, Linda. That is my book club's pick for next month and I wasn't too sure about it. The illustrations on your thread are wonderful!

Good thing you went to pick up your library holds. I did that the day before the main Vancouver library closed. All of our libraries are closed now indefinitely and the school children who are now on March Break for 2 weeks won't be going back to school at the end of that time.

Mar 18, 10:30pm Top

Hi Linda: I love all the illustrations that you post. Thanks! My granddaughter is a big fan of David Wiesner. Sector 7 is a favorite, although I think she likes Tuesday the best.

Stay healthy!

Mar 18, 10:53pm Top

>132 Whisper1: "a mouth like her mother's" GOOD for both of you!!!!!!!
>133 Whisper1: Superlative!

Mar 19, 4:10pm Top

>116 Whisper1: Love that story but have not seen that version of it before. I will have to look for it, the illustrations look gorgeous.

Mar 20, 1:04pm Top

Hi Linda, here's a little music to uplift. We can all use that now! :


It's terrific.

Mar 21, 11:54am Top

>138 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. My grand daughter is here with me. Usually, I don't mind being alone, but, it is a whole different thing when we are told to stay inside. I have to venture out for some groceries today, and to pick up my pain medication. The sun is shining.

I'm not so sure if this corona virus is over reaction, or truly is as bad as noted. My physician said that the danger is that they most likely won't have a vaccine until next year. One person died in a hospital quite near to where I live. Schools are closed. The university where I previously worked, is closed for the entire semester. The offices are shut as well. Everyone is working from home...Except those of us who are retired...

I liked Brit Marie was Here, but not as much as A Man Called Ove.

>139 BLBera: I very much like the illustrations of David Wiesner. I believe he won a Caldecott award for Tuesday. How is the weather in Minnesota? We are experiencing very weird weather. We only had one snow, and I can't call it a storm. It was a bit more than a dusting, but didn't need shoveling. Yesterday temperatures were in the 60's.

>140 LizzieD: Peggy, my former husband is a wonderful person. I can't say anything nasty about him. We were simply too young when we married, and our personalities were very different. He is very passive. He sold his electrical contracting business and became a Methodist minister when he was in his late 50's.

>141 Oberon: Hi Erik. I believe that The Crane Wife is a long-standing tale. aken from your home page: "The large number of unread books demonstrates my inability to stop buying books or asking for books as presents for birthdays and Christmas. I think most of us are the same. Every single year, in January many members post that we are going to read more from our own libraries, and try not to add more books. It is a good attempt at first, but then, I am drawn to books who seem to call me to read them!
Thanks for stopping by!

>142 jessibud2: Happy Saturday Shelly! WOW! Thank recording is incredible! How did you hear about it? Thanks so much for forwarding it my way, so that now I can send it to others!

Edited: Mar 21, 10:03pm Top

BOOK #64

here Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead with illustrations of Nicholas Gannon

This is an enjoyable book that takes the reader to Australia where there hasn't been rain in a long, long time. Livy's grandmother lives in Australia; the last time she and her mother visited was five years ago. Now Livy has a baby sister that is with them.

And, in the bedroom closet is her friend Bob. He was there the entire five years, waiting in the closet. He appears to be a dressed as a chicken in an orange suit with some feathers tacked on.

Mad because cannot remember him as much as he remembered and missed Livy, together they try to fit pieces of five years ago into this current visit.

Endearing, creative,

Edited: Mar 21, 10:20pm Top

BOOK #65

The Wall by Eve Bunting

In Washington, DC, there is a wall, a testimony to the large number of people who died, or who were never found in their United States military served in Vietnam. Those men and women, and those missing in action have their name on a panel of the wall, listed in the year they died or were missing.

This is a story of a father who took his child to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. When they find his name, they take a piece of paper and rub the name onto the paper. This is also a journey of people they see at the wall who are crying, or like them, looking for the name of the person who died in that country in a war that so many thought was senseless.

No matter what the personal thoughts or feelings about this war, the wall reminds us that these people deserve to be honored. The wall is a healing place where many leave trinkets at the bottom of the panel listing the name of the loved one.

Thus, the wall was needed. It helped to heal a nation in grief. Stark in its presentation, the shiny black panels are different that a statue. The names give honor to those who did not make it home alive.

The teacher who brought her class that day told the class members that this was a wall for "all of us."

Edited: Mar 22, 3:13pm Top

BOOK #66

The Carousel by Liz Bosenberg illustrated by Jim LaMarche

At twilight and the gloaming hour, two sisters walk home from school, through the park. As they approach the canvas covered carousel, they hear the sound of hoofs and the whinny noises of horses.

As they enter, they discover the horses and menagerie animals are alive. When one sister rides the zebra, the other rides a lovely grey dappled horse and together they fly through the winter sky.

As more carousel animals joyfully unencumbered, through the night sky, overlooking the park, untethered, the are free!

Remembering their mother, the girls are mindful of her stories of broken animals. Using her tool kit, the daughters fix what is broken. The reader is left with the sense that the mother of the girls has passed on, and in riding and fixing the animals, their grief turns to joy.

The incredible illustrations of LaMarche combine light and dark and create an atmosphere of magic. LaMarche is one of my favorite illustrators. When I look at his artistry, I am amazed by his talent.

Mar 22, 2:47pm Top

>145 Whisper1: I have been to the Vietnam Wall and it is truly moving. I cried. I didn't even personally lose anyone to that war, but I am so thankful for all those who sacrifice for our country.

Be happy and healthy!! Hugs.

Mar 22, 3:13pm Top

>146 Whisper1: My former husband was a Vietnam vet. Over time I watched his personality change dramatically. Some of this could be attributed to his childhood, but I really attribute so much of the anger to the fact that he was smack dab in the middle of the nastiness of the war.

We did see the wall, shortly before it was finished, and we cried. Then, we saw it twice after it was completed. It is certainly tear producing. The reactions of those visiting the wall, were very similar, a lot of tears, and a lot of memorabilia at the bottom of the particular place on the wall where the name of a loved one was mentioned.

The first time we visited, before completion, it was difficult to find a particular name. Then, they had a way that people could find the name of the person they wanted to find.

It was a sad, sad war, especially the way in which the vets were treated when they returned home.

I really can say that Michael's experiences during the Vietnam impacted on our relationship. I feel so sad for anyone who served in a war, but especially Vietnam.

Edited: Mar 22, 3:50pm Top

BOOK #67

Sector 7 by David Wiesner

I am having difficulty finding the right word to explain my feelings regarding the illustrations in the
Caldecott Award-winning book. There are no words, only images that tell the story. The images are incredible.

A young boy goes on a school trip to the top of the Empire State building in New York City. While there, it becomes exceedingly cloudy. Looking up, he sees a cloud with a personality. Smiling, wearing read gloves, a scarf and a hat, the cloud wraps itself around the young boy, and together they travel up and away to the destination of Sector 7.

Sector 7 is the arrival and departure place of clouds. While there, the boy sketches images other than clouds, including a large star with a face, and many large fish. After the boy is returned to the Empire State Building, the sky is filled with clouds, and fish.

If you like illustrated books, this is a great one to add to your collection.

Mar 23, 1:33pm Top

>149 Whisper1: What beautiful illustrations! Sadly this one isn't available through my library system. Mr Wuffles was such a favorite of mine, that I bought a copy to add to my collection after reading it on your recommendation.

Edited: Mar 23, 5:41pm Top

Hi Linda - I've had a delightful few minutes reading through your thread and enjoying all the beautiful illustrations you put up. I've added several books and picturebooks to my list, with libraries being closed it will take time to get hold of them.
The last two picturebooks are so lovely, also the book illustrated by Charles Santore.

Regarding carousels, there is an Australian illustrator who draws magnificent horses and is involved with restoring carousel horses and rocking horses - Patricia Mullins.
I'm fairly sure she has a picturebook about a carousel horse though I can't seem to find it so must have been One horse waiting for me. She illustrated Lightning Jack which is a beautiful book. She's an authority on antique rocking horses and wrote The Rocking Horse, A History of Moving Toy Horses.
Her carousel website: http://equusart.customer.netspace.net.au/About%20Us.htm

Mar 23, 6:09pm Top

>150 streamsong: Hi Janet. Anything that David Weiser illustrates is incredible!

>151 avatiakh: Hi Kerry. It is wonderful to hear from you. Charles Santore and David Wiesner and incredible artists. Thanks for the links regarding carousels. Since a child, I've been enthralled with the art work of carousels. Many of the carousels built in US, were carved by people from Germany and Italy. I've collected coffee table books on the art of the carousel. The eight of building was during the turn of the century. Before TV, people took the trolley for Sunday rides. Many parks were built at the end of the trolley stop. When my daughter was born, her father and I took her on the carousel that my grandmother so lovingly paid .05 for me to ride. Then, when my adopted daughter came to us, she also rode the carousel. Later, as mentioned above, I took my grand daughter on the carousel, and held her while Will took a photo. Then, I sat at the same place my grandmother sat to watch me go round and round and round. I confess that I shed some tears.

I hope you are well. Luckily, even though the libraries are closed, we have enough books to read for a long, long time, located throughout the house.

Mar 23, 6:17pm Top

Yes indeed, I know that we both have a goodly stash of books in our homes. I hope you can manage your pain medication etc around all these closures.
I didn't have the joy of visiting the carousels as a child but did ride on one a few years ago at one of the Christmas markets when visiting my daughter in London.

Mar 25, 6:29pm Top

Sector 7 is amazing. Wiesner has such a marvelous imagination.

It's chilly and rainy here today, but at least it's not snowing. Spring is about ready to arrive, I hope. I wish it would stop raining so I could go for a walk, the only time I get out of the house.

Mar 25, 6:44pm Top

Happy Wednesday, Linda. I hope you and your family are safe & sound. I like all the illustrated books. You sure seem to find comfort with these reads. Virtual hug to my pal.

Mar 25, 7:10pm Top

>153 avatiakh: Kerry. Two state where I live legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. It is a rather long process to go through. But, I certainly qualified. And it does work. It does not create a feeling of being high. It simply helps the pain very much. Though, I would never drive after taking it.

>154 BLBera: Hi Beth. We had one instance of snow, and it couldn't qualify as a storm. Today was misty and rainy.

>155 msf59: Hi Friend Mark. I vow to read through my illustrated books, and then hope to make a dent in the hundreds of young adult books I've collected. I hope you are well. Our mailman..a wonderful, friendly man, who places my book packages on my door step, is a tad different these days. When he got out of the mail car, he had a package of books in his hands, I was far away and walking down the pavement. I knew enough not to go close to him. Yet, he loudly yelled "Get back, Get back!!! I mean it~."

I understand his concern. But it is very unlike him to tell like that. I fear that society might spin out of control before this virus runs it's course.

Keep safe Mark! Watch out for crazy book ladies..

Mar 25, 7:17pm Top

>120 Whisper1: I have that one in the BlackHole. I may have to read it with something lighter to temper it. Thanks for the heads up!

>136 Whisper1: I already have that one in the BlackHole, but my local library is closed right now so I cannot get my hands on it at the moment.

>152 Whisper1: Luckily, even though the libraries are closed, we have enough books to read for a long, long time, located throughout the house. I do too! I know that comes as a shock.

Mar 26, 7:46am Top

>156 Whisper1: I'm sorry your mail carrier was so stressed and yelled. If a package is too large for our huge mailbox at the entrance to our little subdivision the carrier brings it down to the house but usually just leaves it on the porch. The last time UPS came rather than have me sign he asked if he could 'sign' for me and that was perfectly find with me.

Mar 26, 4:07pm Top

>157 alcottacre: It is so glad to have you back participating actively. You were missed.

>158 karenmarie:. Hi Karenmarie. Today, when he delivered a package from Thrift books, he softly knocked on the front door. I wait until he got to his truck and thanked him and told him to have a good day. He was very friendly. I think he felt a tad bad. I can't blame anyone who reacts to this crazy virus and the scare of contracting it.

Edited: Mar 26, 4:39pm Top


Tale told by Natalie Romanova illustrated by Gennady Spirin

This is a simple tale, beautifully written by the author and beautifully illustrated by Gennady Spirin.

This is a circle of life tale. An old tree was hit by lightening, and it was split in half.

A woodsman saw the damaged tree, and he took his ax to chop it down, leaving it open for the beetles to lay their eggs in the stomp. the eggs became full grown beetles who flex away, leaving the tunnels open for ants to make the stump their home.

Next, a large bear sharpened her claws on the stump, leaving long, deep gashes in the wood. When a Titmouse approached, she ate a caterpillar that an ant claimed. Now, the ants belonged to the Titmouse bird. But so too did the stump belong to the frog who found a hole in with to clime into.

Later an earwig came along, and so too did a man who was walking through the woods on a stormy night.

Since it was the nature of every inhabitant to claim to stump, the author asks who really owns the stump?

And, in the end, nature belongs to all. And the cycle of life and death continues. As a new tree grows where the old tree lived.

Four stars for a beautiful story with excellent illustrations.

Mar 26, 4:39pm Top

Just waving Hello!!!

Mar 26, 4:43pm Top

Waving right back at you my friend!

Mar 26, 4:44pm Top

: )

Edited: Mar 26, 6:41pm Top

BOOK #69

Three Hungry Pigs and the Wolf who Came to Dinner by Charles Santore

A mother pig had piglets that the farmer kept because he wanted them to be good "truffle hunters." The farmer loved the pig, but one day she went too far with her love of truffles. She was alive to bring truffle hunting piglets in the world, NOT to over eat all the truffles she could find. Thus, the farm grew very angry and told her that she and her truffle hunting piglets had to go .

Frightened, Bianca, the mother pig, had never been on her own. Living in a strange environment and searching for food for her piglets was no easy task. Soon, Bianca and her baby pigs discovered their own truffles, and they were Happy!

Night brought more fear as the wolves found them and tried to make them their prey. Binaca gave the wolf one of the delicious truffles. And because truffle hunting is not easy, he decided to walk with the pigs.

Befriending Bianca and her piglets was a blessing when an entire pack of nasty wolves descending upon them. When the friend, the big wolf snarled and challenged the pack of wolves, they acquiesced. And for the rest of their lives, Bianca, her little piglets and the large wolf lived together. This is a lovely spin to the tale we know of the Three Pigs.

As always, the illustrations of Charles Santore are crisp, clear and beautiful. i take time to find the samples of the artistry so that perhaps you will also grow to love the art of illustrators of wonderful tales.

Mar 26, 5:21pm Top

>159 Whisper1: >155 msf59:

Maybe your postal worker had just read the newest online "Postal Workers are Stressed..." article.
Being asked to risk your life to deliver mail is scary.

It is time for fewer deliveries, maybe by drone?

Mar 26, 5:31pm Top

>164 Whisper1: I love the illustration at the bottom of the smiling wolf and her piggy friends!

Mar 26, 5:43pm Top

>165 m.belljackson: Hi Marianne. I was surprised by Roger's strong words. I think he is a gentle man. I can only imagine the stress he is under.

>164 Whisper1: Hi Stasia. While I love the costumes of Gennady Spirin's illustrations, I appreciate the way in which both Charles Santore and Jim LaMarche paint faces and portray an incredible range of emotions.

I'm having fun with this project. When I set the goal of reading the bulk of my illustrated books, I knew it would be great, but I truly am enjoying the art.

Edited: Mar 26, 7:57pm Top

BOOK #70

The Camel's Lament by Charles Edward Carryl illustrated by Charle Santore

This is a poem made into a story with illustrations. Thinking in terms of the lowly camel who is over burdened with packs of heavy bags attached to his back, but, and the author notes, he has to sleep in the dessert, cold by nigh and hot by day.

While birds have crackers, and poodles each noodles, a camel has anything given to him. While cats can nap in favorite chairs, and chickens roost, the camel laments that any place is good enough for him. Lambs and hens, kittens and pigs have beds or wonderful pens, not so for the camel who has sand, dusty, dusty sand. In the circus, the author points to the giraffe or an ox who can be ridden upon by a clown, but not so for the weighed down camel who has people and hundreds of pounds of additional objects.

But, the author praises, that the camel is lumpy, bumpy and humpy, and any shape is ok for them.

I can imagine a little boy sitting on his grandmother's lap while this lovely rhyming poem is read. And, of course the illustrations are lush, as always for Santore

Edited: Mar 26, 8:00pm Top

BOOK #71

Katherine the Queen The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr by Linda Porter

The sixth wife of Henry VIII was truly remarkable, and she is one of my favorite historical characters. Sharp and intelligent, she out foxed the members of Henry's court, and kept her life when it was in peril.

A very kind mother to Henry's three children, she was sensitive to know that Mary, in particular, needed a lot of love given the fact that her mother was banished not only from court, but from her daughter whom she did not see before she died. She took Elizabeth under he wing, and brought her into her household at Sudley Castle.
A decision she later regretted.

Previously married twice before, she made wise arrangements and came to Henry with her own cache of fortune from her previous husbands.

Sadly, at the end of her life, after Henry died, she made a foolish choice and married Thomas Seymour. Quite the cad, he previously tried to weasel his way into Elizabeth's young life. Hurting Katherine beyond redemption, he outwardly flirted and wooed Elizabeth. Banned from Katherine's presence, while she was young and not as sharp as when she became queen, Elizabeth learned from the mistake of Thomas Seymour and his advances.

Katherine died shortly after birthing a daughter, whom she name Mary in honor of Princess Mary, Henry's first child, as a result of his first marriage with Catherine of Aragon.

The author did an excellent job at researching the material or the book. Well written, and very well researched, I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the wives of Henry.

Mar 27, 11:41am Top

>168 Whisper1: I love the camels, Linda!

>169 Whisper1: This one sounds like a good one. I do love history.

I hope you are keeping well.

Mar 27, 12:49pm Top

Beth. Like you, I love history. I always did. Then, in college, I had an incredible professor and he knew history very well. He was the one who got me interested in British history. That was many years ago, and the interest is still here.

This topic was continued by Whisper1 (Linda's third thread of 2020).

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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