Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Brock Cole 2000

Madeleine and I ADORE this book.  Set in the Regency time period, the patriarch of a family has burst the buttons off his pants and calamity ensues.  Each of his three daughters selflessly hatch a plan to get more buttons for their father (who can't leave his bed for shame!).  The oldest daughter, a beauty, plans to parade around and attract a handsome wealthy husband (who will supply buttons), the middle daughter will disguise herself as a young man and join the army where she will have plenty of buttons on her uniform.  And the silly youngest daughter decides to run through the fields every day hoping to catch buttons that fall from the sky.  None of the sisters' plans go accordingly, but even better things happen and in the end, thanks to a lovestruck cowherd, buttons are finally to be had!

The pictures are fun with costumes that suit the time period, and the story had us laughing out loud.   What a rare treat to find a story that is silly, sweet and charming with three capable heroines and romance all around.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Floral Fantasy

Just in time for spring- more of Walter Crane's beautiful flower illustrations.  A nice companion book to Flora's Feast a Festival of Flowers.

In an old world garden dreaming
Where the flowers had human names,
Methought, in fantastic seeming,
They disported as squires and dames.

A Floral Fantasy
Walter Crane 1899

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sister of the Birds and Other Gypsy Tales

This book has been our companion these chilly Spring nights.  As with all my kids, Charlotte is getting a healthy dose of fantasy before bed!  I'm familiar with many fairy tales and fables, many of which are just variations of similar stories, but these Gypsy tales are unlike any others that I've read before.  I particularly liked learning about their origin.   Jerzy Ficowski was sent to Auschwitz during WWII where he met many Gypsies and after the war he travelled with them collecting their stories, songs, and poetry.

Charles Mikolaycak does the illustrations, which is how I discovered the book in the first place.

Jerzy Ficowski
translated by Lucia M. Borski
illustrations by Charles Mikolaycak 1976

There's a handy pronunciation key at the back.