scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source
Continuing with the Anne of Green Gables theme along with books like Anne's Colors and the graphic novel version, we now have Goodnight, Anne, a delightful bedtime book featuring Anne Shirley at Green Gables, as she carefully says goodnight to the people and places that are important to her -- from Marilla and Matthew to Diana and the Lake of Shining Waters, Anne lovingly weaves in many Avonlea favorites that she must bid goodnight to before she can sleep.
I love the subdued nature of the illustrations, and the complementary, sunset-like colors that permeate everything. I also like the whimsical Anne and the way the text captures her voice and exuberance.
Will this appeal as much to children who've never read the series as it does to adults like me who've enjoyed it for decades? Maybe not to the same degree, but while they may not experience the nostalgia, they will hopefully still be intrigued by the setting, and relate to the different personalities of the people in Anne's life -- parent figures, bosom friend, and enemy (Gilbert). Hopefully in addition to being charming and enjoyable now, this book will pave the way for a child's enjoyment of the actual series when they are old enough.
(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review.)
Scrounged From: A LibraryThing giveaway
Author: Kallie George
Illustrator: Geneviève Godbout
Content Advisory: Anne's declaration on the page featuring Gilbert that she will never forgive him might benefit from some context from an adult.
I've enjoyed the titles I've read so far in the Little People, Big Dreams series, and was glad to see one on the life of L. M. Montgomery, best known as the author of the Anne of Green Gables books.
This book, like others in the series, is written for very young children, and so is selective about the details and degree of information included. But I felt like I got a decent picture of Montgomery's life and what drove her and interested her as a child and beyond.
Despite creating one of the most endearing characters in children's literature, Montgomery's childhood was fairly lonely and sad. After losing both parents (in different ways), she lived with her grandparents who were not very affectionate, and young Maud (as she was called) had to create her own joy. It sounds like her writing was a way to not only express her loneliness, but also to imagine a better and fuller life.
One can't help but see glimpses of Anne Shirley herself here, even in this very abbreviated biography. It presents a hopeful picture of the power of persistence and imagination.
(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)
Scrounged From: NetGalley
Author: Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator: Anuska Allepuz
Content Advisory: One of the first things mentioned is that Maud's mother passes away, and her father sails away from their island and isn't mentioned again.
In New England, September and October are especially beautiful seasons -- it gets cooler (and sometimes quite cold) and the leaves turn gorgeous colors before falling. We enjoy apple-picking and harvesting pumpkins before the weather gets really cold. Here are some of our favorite picture books that involve the season of autumn (minus Halloween -- that will be a separate list).
We really enjoy Wild Child, a book that celebrates the colors and features of autumn by personifying the season as a young girl who doesn't want to go to bed, while Mother Earth helps her with her various fall-like requests before she's finally able to slumber. See my full review here.
In November, by Cynthia Rylant, highlights changes in the world as November comes along. For me, November tends to be when autumn stops being fun, because the leaves are all brown and dead, and the air starts getting cold in earnest. But this is a nice reminder of all the things that are still going on in nature, and the warmth and joy to be found in human gatherings and food.
I love the vibrant colors and contrast of blue with the warmer autumn tones in In the Middle of Fall, by Kevin Henkes. This book observes and meditates on many of the different changes that take place in nature during autumn, and even encourages us to stop and pay attention to the little things due to the inevitability of time moving onward. Fun and lovely, but can also make you think.
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn, by Kenard Pak, follows a girl as she walks through her neighborhood observing the changing of the season from summer to autumn. She asks simple questions of the things she sees, which may get a bit repetitive, but works nicely for young children, and includes beautiful fall colors in its illustrations.
Hardscrabble Harvest, by Dahlov Ipcar, is probably not an easy book to find, but I really enjoy the rhyming text that celebrates the culmination of many months of work on a farm -- harvest. While the colors are very clearly "70s" in nature, they actually work quite well for fall. I appreciate that this book touches on some of the difficulties of farming rather than romanticizing it. Singer Priscilla Herdman even turned the text into a song, which can be viewed as a video here.
Wild Child is a fun picture book with beautiful illustrations, in which the season of autumn is personified as a young child who isn't quite ready to go to bed, and so gets a snack (apples, pumpkins), PJs (bright-colored leaves), etc. before finally going to bed (and ushering in winter). When it comes to illustrations I apparently tend to favor cooler tones, because there seem to be a lot of blues in my favorite covers/illustrations, but this is one case where the warmth of reds and oranges is very well presented. I also like the rhythm of the text.
This is also a great example of a metaphor for younger children -- my son kept asking about the child and why her mother (Mother Earth) was made of rocks, etc., so it was a nice opportunity to attempt explaining how one thing can be used to represent something else.
Scrounged From: Our local library
Author: Lynn Plourde
Illustrator: Greg Couch
Content Advisory: None
Tree is a beautiful and vibrant celebration of trees and some of their purposes in nature, covering the ways they change throughout the seasons. I love the colors (even though they're occasionally unconventional) and the different aspects of nature that are represented -- birds, bees, rodents, flowers, fruit, etc.
The cut-outs in the pages and the owl make even more visual enjoyment for young kids, and the rhyming text is evocative and linear as it leads us gently through the year, inviting us to observe the different effects that the seasons have on the same tree.
Scrounged From: Our local library
Author: Patricia Hegarty
Illustrator: Britta Teckentrup
Content Advisory: None