Friday, March 27, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Your Lone Journey

Your Lone Journey was published in 1986.
 It was M. B. Goffstein's 25th book, the first she'd ever 
illustrated with the words of another author. 

The book is stunning; without a doubt, one of the 
most eloquent expressions of love I've ever seen. 

It was published as an adult book. 

It is utterly timeless.

Reading it, the first time, might break 
your heart with happiness.

Reading it again (and again), there is sweet 
comfort in the brilliant marriage 
of words and pictures, grief and joy.

"Brooke Goffstein had long wanted to explore
the theme of true love in a book. When she
first heard 'Your Lone Journey' sung by John
Hartford on his album Gum Tree Canoe (Flying Fish 
Records), she recognized it as the exact expression 
of what love is, and what real marriage means. 
She got Rosa Lee and Doc Watson's album 
The Watson Family (both records erroneously call it 
'Your Long Journey') and played the two recordings
again and again, until several years later she 
could illustrate the stanzas with color."

quote: jacket flap of 
Your Lone Journey 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mrs. Deane

from the Alaska Archives, via 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Books Change Lives

Just this morning, received an email that reminded 
me of how much I adored the book club (and library) 
when we (here, I drag my sister into the equation again)
were growing up. And I started to wonder about this.

When was the last time a book changed your life?

All of the books, above, changed mine
(the timeline, here, would be Katie John to 
My Ántonia, just for the record).

I remember each one, clearly,  
and the town we lived in 
(we moved often, to various Army posts;
it was a marvelous education, growing up, 
to live in so many different places)
and what our house looked like at the time
and why the book in question 
changed everything around me.

Almost all of the books we loved were checked out of
some wonderful library, in town or at school, or purchased
from the Scholastic Book Club: the best friends 
two girls (who moved a lot a lot a lot) ever had.

[When we lived in Kansas, Linda and I realized we had
enough book-club-books that we could actually create
(and so we did) our own little library. We even checked
the books out to each other. It was a good thing to spend
our time doing, at nine and seven. We loved it. Think I've
mentioned this before, but I remember her part of the
card catalogue being very, very organized.]

The Scholastic books were affordable, 
packable (ready to move to the next house),
exciting to order, heavenly to receive (from 
the teacher, who handed them out in the classroom)
and very important additions to our little at-home library.
(We both, now, have very big at-home libraries, 
as do our parents.)

And those magnificent parents of ours 
were happy to support our
little (big) book habit. Thank goodness. 
What a difference it has made.

For the rest of our lives.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sisters! [Tinda Binda Alte Kinder]

by Doris Orgel
with pictures by 
Maurice Sendak
Sisterly Love 

"Now trees grow tall on Jenny's wall,
and morning glories bloom, 
and she can use, as she may choose,
her own or Sarah's room!"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Heavenly Being

There is a Goldie doll.
Let the celebration begin.

Farida found Goldie found on Rakuten.
She is our new hero.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Virginia Lee Burton. Textile Designer.

The Little House is, far as I can see, one of the best books of all time. But who knew that Virginia Lee Burton was up to all this? More, here. Fabulous, what one can find on the internet.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Don Stevens. Beatnik.

Wandered over to The Selvedge Yard again. 
Absolutely magnificent post on The Best Generation.

As usual, JP's put together a 
beautifully edited group of photos.

This one, in particular, stuck with me. 
It's remarkably timeless,
somehow. Seems as though it 
could've been taken in yesterday.

(Note: This was meant for the other blog; sometimes I get mixed up & post on one when it was supposed to be the other. Anyhow, think Don here is so charming figured I'd leave him. Happy Weekend.)

Meet The Unquiet Library

Last weekend, searching twitter for any Peter Sis mentions, I came upon The Unquiet Librarian. Several posts ensued. I linked to Buffy (said librarian) on twitter. I sent her a tweet (how strange to be using this language, but there it is) when Peter Sis joined (here! you can link, too) twitter (thanks to the magnificent Eric Case)

Today, I found myself stopping by one of Buffy's blogs again (it has become habit forming). And, after one week, I can tell you this: I'm not really sure Buffy sleeps a lot. This woman gets an incredible amount of stuff done. (And there are so many who benefit from her work!) 

Buffy Hamilton and Ruth Fleet are on to the most amazing thing: they've created The Unquite Library (which, today, has an incredibly moving tribute by author Laurie Halse Anderson). It's on the web. (It's sort of all over the web.) And I am amazed and delighted and thoroughly pleased to bring them to you (and will probably do so again and again). 

The reason I started this blog was that I was convinced that children and young adults would be finding their books on the web....their art on the web...and an awful lot of answers (and, obviously, questions) on the web. And I had high hopes that we could band together and make sure that this will be done in the way that is best for the children. 

There will always be real books (the kind we all love, made with paper and ink all those good things), but there will be...there begins to much more: the future is wide open... 

Just as the delivery of news is undergoing revolutionary change, so must (and is) publishing. It's just the beginning. How wonderful that the Unquiet Library is helping to lead the way!

Thanks, Unquiet Library. Onward!

It's all very exciting, really, isn't it?

Neil Gaiman, and his Father and his Father

Neil Gaiman just returned from the U.K. 

He went (I learned only from twitter: here is he is there, for those of you who are interested) for his father's funeral.

It is a sweet and somber moment on his blog. Worth checking in. 

Neil is quite a guy (this is not news). I'd reprint some of what he says in his last few posts, but you really have to look at each of them. They are not long. But they hold the essence of that love that you feel for your family, and for your friends, and for the fleet nature of time. 

Above: Neil, his father, and grandfather. Here: Neil's blog.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dave McKean Interview on Seven Impossible Things

Yet another magnificent and momentous interview

Just In Case

Good Books, great choices, here: The 2009 Notable Books in the Language Arts...via A Year of Reading, charming blog by "two teachers who read, a lot." One of the books on the list is by Yuyi Morales, Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book.

Good time to bring up my current infatuation with the Señor Calavera video, created by Yuyi Morales (who is utterly delightful and blessedly brilliant: was lucky enough to hear her speak at remarkable Reading the World a few years ago). Yuyi has her own blog, here, and has her own Top Ten, here. SEÑOR CALAVERA has his own site, here. There's more about Yuyi at the always-amazing 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

And, finally, the video: Meet SEÑOR CALAVERA.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Garden History and Playgrounds Galore

A playground in Madrid...

Alexander Pope's drawing of 
Twickenham Church, 
from his own garden...

and Langston Hughes' Children's Garden.

All found at gardenhistorygirl and playscapes.
They're the vision of arcady [at] cox [dot] net,
the hand behind several delightful blogs.

Here, a bit more about Hughes (via gardenhistorygirl and "The Life of Langston Hughes," by Arnold Rampersad):
"...But most of the patch of earth beside the front steps, about six feet square, was barren from years of trampling by neighbourhood children, who had little time for flowers. Langston decided to rescue it, and teach the children a tender lesson at the same time. He named the plot their garden.
From Amy Spingarn’s home upstate in Dutchess County came nasturtiums, asters and marigold. Under his supervision, aided by Mr. Sacred Heart [the gardener!], each child chose a plant, set it, and assumed partial responsibility for weeding and watering the garden. On a picket beside each plant was posted a child’s name. Proud of the garden, which flourished, and prouder still of his children, Langston was photographed at least once beaming in their midst."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time to Jet to Florence, dear Readers: See Messaggero delle stelle!

Florence: 13 March to 30 August, 2009

The Exhibition Galileo:
"Images of the universe from antiquity to the telescope will be inaugurated at Palazzo Strozzi, in Florence. The exhibition is a journey through space and time, exploring the science of the heavens and the birth of the achievements of the classical Greek and Roman the head of the astronomical revolution heralded by Nicolaus Copernicus, confirmed by Galileo and his telescope, and completed by such extraordinary figures as Johannes Kepler, René Descartes and Isaac Newton."

Dear Reader, if you can translate the wonderful information about Peter Sis's "Starry Messenger," (see last image in post) from the folks at Rizzoli, please do let me know and I will reprint it for all to see (leave it in comments, or send me an email...I'm not picky). This new version of the starry Sis classic (more info, here) will be available at the beginning of April.

And, for that little touch of class you have come to expect from art.books.children, we've included a final salute from Galileo...his preserved finger, which is housed in the Museo di storia del scienza, Firenze. A bit of the story behind it all:

The Messenger from the Stars
"This short book created a revolution in astronomy – and in the history of science! Based on his observations of the moon in 1609, the Starry Messenger was published in Venice the following year. The publication was met with a storm of protest, and several rivals argued that the moons of Jupiter – which Galileo dubbed the Medicean stars – were mere artefacts caused by the faulty lenses of his telescope. But the real revolution was the use of the telescope to see celestial objects that had been hidden to the naked eye for the first time in the history of humankind.

 The proposal that the earth circled the sun not only shocked contemporary astronomers, but challenged the teachings of the Church, which preached that the earth was the immoveable centre of the universe. Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Chief Two World Systems was banned in 1632, he was forced publicly to recant his beliefs under threat of death a year later, and was placed under house arrest in Arcetri until he died in 1642. In 1992, over 300 years later, Pope John Paul II admitted the Church had been in error. Galileo has long been revered as champion of science over faith, and his middle finger preserved, in the manner of a secular saint." [Biblioteca Nazionale, Firenze]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jen Bekman = Art

Lord have mercy, that Jen Bekman is a veritable ball of fire! She's rustled up some of the best artists around (and keeps rustling them, click here) and--joy of joys!--she's making art accessible to all. Yep. Seriously. I mean, you and me. Positively pristine prints delivered to your door (in the coolest mailer you've seen for a long while), archival quality and all, for a little bit of shipping and--are you ready? 


Yep. $20.00 for real-live art, straight from the gallery in NYC to your doorstep somewhere in the USA (or beyond).

Life, people, doesn't get any better than this. 

Git your fresh hot art now! Click here.

"Let's...Get Lost," copyright Shaun Sundholm