Book #169: How to Hide a Lion

All the lion wanted was a hat, after all, but the townspeople chased him away nonetheless. Iris takes him in, but hiding a lion from your parents can be difficult. First of all, lions are big and fluffy, and they sleep a lot. I… Continue reading

Book #168: A Home for Bird

It’s hard to put into words how much I love this book. These pictures, my god, these pictures.  I’m thinking of buying some prints from Phillip Stead’s website. Phillip Stead, in case you were wondering, is married to the tremendously talented Erin Stead, of… Continue reading

Book #167: The Plant Sitter

Now that I’m nearly 170 books in, I’m thinking a lot about how to categorize my lists.  What about a vintage Friday?  How old does a book have to be to count as vintage anyway? Here’s a hilarious book from 1959 that exemplifies the… Continue reading

Book #166: A House in the Woods

This book is written and illustrated by Inga Moore, and it’s one of these obscure stories that you imagine someone will remember vividly as a child. I thought this was a very original observation, by the way, but then I noticed that someone said… Continue reading

Book #165: Brush of the Gods

Here’s a mysterious, beautifully written story about China’s most famous painter, Wu Daozi (689-759). While in calligraphy class, he was unable to form the letters properly, but worms, flowers, horses, fish — all flowed from his pen with majestic speed and beauty. Nicknamed “flying… Continue reading

How to Thaw Your Unborn Children — Update

Dear Readers of Thaw: I’ll be spending some time over the next few weeks working out a book proposal to some literary agents. My Thaw series has something of a bloggy feel (as it should, it’s a blog after all) and I’ve got to… Continue reading

Caldecott Announcement! Book #164: Locomotive

Congratulations to Brian Floca for winning the 2014 Caldecott Medal for best illustrated American picture book. This book is quite marvelous, and it was on my list of books to talk about. Trouble is, it’s such a big book, a huge reference book for… Continue reading

Book #163: Papa’s Mechanical Fish

I worry sometimes that all the quirky, exciting characters are male, especially when it comes to fun stuff like inventors, but this book is a great read nonetheless. In Papa’s Mechanical Fish, a new publication by Candice Fleming, a family sits back and watches… Continue reading

Book #162: A Man Called Raven

This book, from 1997, was not particularly well-reviewed and was never especially popular, but Ray was fascinated by the bold colors and stark morality of this tale. The story opens with two boys beating a raven with sticks. A tall stranger appears suddenly and… Continue reading

Book #161: The Cow Who Fell in the Canal

Anyone remember this one?  I believe it was published in 1950.  What a happy, lovely book this is, too. Hendrika is a very unhappy cow. She is unhappy because she has to stay at Mr. Hofstra’s farm all day long eating the sweet grass…. Continue reading