What a glorious week in my corner of our earth. It's not quite sweater weather but the trees are flashing color. Lovely!
I hope you stop by Salt City Verse for a top-off of wonderful poetry from our Poetry Friday friends. Thank you, Janice, for graciously hosting this week.
Recently, author Karen Rostoker-Gruber asked if I would read and give an honest review of two new books she has coming out this fall. In exchange, I received pdf versions of her books.
Both Ms. Rostoker-Gruber's books are darling. I'm delighted to have had a chance to read both, share them with my students and you!
A Crowded Farmhouse Folktale (Albert Whitman & Co. October 1, 2020) is my favorite of the two books. I couldn't help falling in love with hapless Farmer Earl. His house was so crowded he went to the village wise woman for help. This might have something to do with the fact that I've been hunkered down with my spouse, four older teen and adult children, and pets for weeks (months, years, decades?) during this pandemic.
The wise woman's advice starts out silly and quickly moves to Ludacris but ends up working for Farmer Earl when the reader understands that everything depends on one's point of view.
Best of all this story is delivered in lively verse and soft, whimsical illustrations by Kristina Swarner. A Crowded Farmhouse Folktale is sure to become a bedtime favorite of toddlers to early readers.
I've not reviewed a board book before and am a little nervous to do so. However, Happy Birthday, Trees! (Karben November 2020) is a sweet board book I'm happy to discuss.
In ten rhyming tercets, Happy Birthday Trees! introduced me to the Jewish tradition of planting trees for Tu B'Shevat, Jewish Arbor Day. Holly Sterling's illustrations are lively and full of light surrounded by a generous space to rest little eyes.
A sweet and diverse group of children all take part in planting a tree (getting muddy and all) and watching it grow over the next year. This board book is a perfect gift for a toddler whose family, friends, or neighbors are celebrating Tu B'Shevat Sedar this coming January 27th - 28th.
I also think this book makes a sweet holiday addition to a shelf in need of Jewish literature for young children (as the pdf version has done for my virtual library).
Happy reading through October!