I have two wonderful books to share with you this week.
That Book Woman by Heather Henson, illustrated by David Small
Cal lives way up high up in the Applachian Mountains with his family. One day a strange woman arrives on horseback with a passel of books. His sister Lark is thrilled, for she is the “readenest child you ever did see”, but Cal just scoffs; if this woman thinks the family has money to spare on such a luxury, she’d better think again. But she doesn’t want to sell or even trade the books. She’ll let the family hang on to them for free and then will come back in a few weeks to swap them out for new ones. Cal is skeptical, but when that book woman makes the trek to their home in all kinds of weather, he yearns to know “what makes that Book Woman risk catching cold, or worse.” So he learns to read. And in the spring, when the book woman returns, he reads to her.
Right about there is where I lost it. This is such a beautiful story about the power and magic of books and the dedicated librarians who will do almost anything to make sure everyone has access to them. The illustrations are goregeous, with soft lines that do a lot to evoke mood in the story. Definitely one of my favorites.
That Book Woman by Heather Henson
Picture Book | 32 pages | October 2008 | Atheneum |1416908129 | Library copy
In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Alice is wide awake and can’t go to sleep unless her room is blue. It seems unlikely that will happen, since the walls are quite obviously yellow. Her mother brings in items to try to soothe her into dreamland; a cup of tea, flowers, a cozy blanket, lullaby bells. But none of them are blue. Finally, Alice settles down enough to snuggle into bed. When her mother shuts off the light, her room is bathed in blue – blue tea, blue flowers, blue blanket, blue bells.
The writing is rich and lyrical and Averbeck artfully weaves concepts (colors, five senses) into a simple and timeless bedtime story. Soft, whimsical illustrations by Tusa provide just the right feel for this lovely book.