Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Picture Books Where Creativity Saves the Day

A while back, I posted about my secret habit of reading Martha Stewart Weddings even though I won't be hosting or attending a wedding any time in the near future.

Well, here's secret habit #2...

I spend a lot of time in the Children's section of the bookstore reading picture books...even though Jack, at age 14, is no longer reading at the 4-6 yr old level. *sigh

I look for books with great stories, great illustrations...and, if a needle and thread appear in the story, then I am absolutely giddy.

Well, check out this book I just found this past Saturday when Jack and I went to the store...


It's wonderful. The story is about a mouse named Noodle who finds a ball of yarn...


And she teaches herself to knit. The illustrations are captivating...


But the greatest thing is that the yarn is flocked on every page so little hands (or big ones) can rub the yarn as you read the story...


You might want to check it out for the little one in your life. Or for you...*wink

I have lots of favorite children's books but today I'll focus on a few where Creativity Saves the Day.


The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau is my absolute fave of all time but I've talked about that one before and I know many of you love that one too.



Delly needs new shoes but her family can't afford them. When she finally gets a pair, it's just in time for a fundraiser at school...the Shoebox Social. Before the big day, her shoes are ruined by her nasty classmates but Delly uses her talent to overcome her sadness...


Cinderella's Dress by Nancy Willard is a new take on the old fairy tale told from the perspective of two magpies who nest in the tree outside Cinderella's window. It's not the fairy godmother that gives Cinderella her dress for the ball...it's the two magpies who use all of the treasures they've stashed in their nest to sew her a beautifully be-ribboned gown with feathers, and beads, and all sorts of shiny things...The rhyming could be a lot better but it's still a sweet story...check it out before you buy this one...

The Lost Ears by Phillida Gili is about a beloved teddy bear who loses his ears when he mistakenly gets thrown in the washing machine. A clever girl who can sew saves the day and, not only fixes the bears ears...but makes him a scarf, coat and hat to boot...

Phew! That's enough to wet your whistle for today.

I'd love to hear about your children's favorites where creativity saves the day...

Happy Reading.

18 comments:

Michelle said...

Big fan of The Elves and the Shoe Maker (I love pictures of workshops)... then there's The Tailor of Gloucester but my absolute favourite (which is more of a teen book I think but has the most mesmerising story with weaving caught up within the tale is North Child by Edith Pattou (though there are no pictures in it it is such a beautiful story). I have read it twice and may still read it again!

I love children's picture books which have quilts and cosiness in them.

Emerald Window said...

I also get a lot of inspiration from Children's books. The colors and the beauty are done on such a pure level. We are all still children. What appeals to us in children's books also appeals to us in our art.
Cenya

Linda H said...

I too LOVE children's story books and especially those with wonderful illustrations. Jan Brett is one of my favs, just for the incredible llustrations. Although my two are now almost 22 and 20, I still spend time in the children's section at my local bookstores.(there are worse places one could be, right?)I collect children's books with references to quilting and sewing. One of my most favorites is "Sam Johnson and and the Blue Ribbon Quilt" by Lisa Campbell Ernst, because the main character is a male. Farmer Sam decides he should join his wife's quilting group, and when that idea is not well received he convinces other men in his community to form their own quilting group and give the ladies some competition at the Fall Fair. When tragedy befalls the men's quilt just before the judging, the two groups come together and co-operate to creatively repair the quilt. A great story, and lesson!
I have lots of other favs too- think I'll do a similar post on my Blog and share some of them with you. Thanks Susan!!

Marty52 said...

I have never thought to check out the children's books for creativity sparks... such a good idea (and I love the thought of a knitting mouse!). Thanks (again) for the info.

Elizabeth said...

So this is yet one more thing that we have in common!!! I love love Quilt Makers Gift and so does my daughter. I love th part where the tiny sparrows are fitted with purple cloaks and then come and resue the quilter form her tiny island. That works in my lvoe for birds!!
how about Rashenka's Gift, by Patricia Polako. I lvoe all of her fabulous books- she does her illustrations as well. This is a bout a russian Babushka who does the russian eggs and abouta goose that she rescues that gives her a very creative gift!!!
Big Hugs and thanks!!

Lisa said...

Lovely book reviews!

I think my all time favorite that has to do with sewing is Beatrix Potter's classic, "The Tailor of Gloucester". I've loved that image of the immaculately embroidered waistcoat with the teensy tag, No More Twist pinned to it. I really loved that the garments in it were copied from the real things in the V&A museum!

kaite said...

sorry, no stitching books, i'm on a roll with kids' dragon books instead!

Catherine said...

I am a huge fan of children's books and love so many that I don't think I could pick favorites. I do love Winnie-the-Pooh and Eeyore is always having to sew his tail back on!

Gerry Krueger said...

I also adore children's books and used to have a lot but have given most away except for a magic few... and this is one The Red Thread by Tord Nygren.

It's about a little boy who follows a red thread and discovers strange and exotic worlds, including a forest full of trolls, a magical garden, a circus, and the elaborate funeral of a honey bee. Interwoven with the drawings are characters from famous works of art and literature. The thread starts on the front cover and a child (or you) could follow it with your finger through the entire book onto the last cover and over to the beginning...

It has no text and the illustrations are just quirky in a way that lends itself to great story telling... I've had it many years but I bet you could find used ones... Gerry

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

i too love picture books!! thanks for the reviews. i have the quilters gift that megan loves to hear. i am thrilled that megs teacher sends home the book orders!

MosaicMagpie said...

"Cordoroy" is my favorite children's book. "Just In Case You Want To Know" is another precious one. Now I must comment on your previous post I was so blown away by it I was visiting her blog and forgot to come back and comment.
Debbie

Debbie said...

Your post put a smile on my face today and led me on a walk down memory lane. When my oldest son (now 32) was in kindergarten our favorite book to read was A Pocket For Courdroy" about a little bear who was looking for someone to sew his pocket back on his overalls. Now I"m gonna have to go search and dig out this book and read it again just for old times sake..

black bear cabin said...

what a fun post!
i worked in a bookstore for years, so i had the pleasure of enjoying children's picture books with or without a child present. :) Now that i have a 4 year old, i am constantly buying her books and checking them out from the library. the quilt makers gift is a favorite of mine too.
Two other nice creativity books you may like (if you dont already know about them:) are The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaola and also Mother Earth and her Children: A quilted fairy tale by sibylle von olfers. Im excited to check out some of the other books listed by your visitors :) Thanks!

Createology said...

I too love children's books as I am still such a child. I just bought "Fairy Shopping" by Sally Gardner at Powells in Portland. It is merely an enchanting fairy tale and I just love all the tiny little drawings. I love your fun post today. Happy reading...

Carol said...

My daughter loved The Velveteen Rabbit and Bentley and Blueberry was her all time favorite. One of our Christmas traditions is to visit downtown Chicago at Christmas. When she was so small, we were in the bookstore of Marshall Fields (Macy's). They had a bundle that included the book and a Blueberry dog. The well read book and the stuffed dog still sit on a shelf in her room.

My oldest grandson devoured Mercer Mayer books. I still scan the childrens bookshelves to see if there is a new one. I LOVED those books right up to 3rd grade with him.

Bobbi Pohl said...

Yes, yes, children's books!! One of my favorites is "Paper Bag Princess" in which the princess saves the prince from a dragon. In the process she has her clothes burned off and dresses in a paper bag. She is also disheveled and dirty. The Prince, ungrateful lout, tells her she looks terrible, so she walks off with her head high and leaves him in the dust.

Judy S. said...

Oh my, Susan, while I have scads of children's books, I never thought of theming them around stitching; thanks for a new excuse to shop! [great suggestions too;)] Do you know Katy No Pocket or Tops & Bottoms? Both are cute stories with great illustrations and fun and creative problem solving... Off to Amazon...........

Judy S. said...

PS. I forgot. There's another Quiltmaker book: the Quiltmaker's Journey. Someone else mentioned Jan Brett; her illustrations and stories are fabulous. Oh, and how about Mother Earth's ABC?

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