So I've been hideously MIA, but it doesn't mean I haven't been pondering creative ideas. Today's post is about a children's picture book that I absolutely love, but hesitate to label as a "children's book" because my adult friends have enjoyed it as well. (Isn't that the definition of a good picture book anyway?!) The book is the The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee. Appreciated by both boys and girls, it tells the tale of mysterious paintings whereby the subjects walk off of their canvases and, in some cases, wreak havoc. For a full summary, you can read the Children's Book Review from Publisher's Weekly here. Inspired by my daughter's eclectic project some months back where she re-purposed small plastic toy animals, (See post "Take a Walk on the Wild Side") I decided to take a stab at her project. A friend gave me a bag of very small animals she picked up at a thrift store. If you've read Agee's book, and the above-mentioned blog post, you know where this is going. I headed out to my husband's garage to create mini-art that pairs so beautifully with Agee's book. I think the book and the framed animal will make an exceptional gift. Good clean fun!
I have been an avid reader since I was a very young girl. I have those fond memories, like so many other avid readers, of going to the local library with my mom, cloth book bags in hand, getting a stack of books. I regularly attend book festivals (LOVE the Nantucket Book Festival) or author engagements. (In RI, Robin Kall puts together marvelous author events.) I'm in a terrific book club, Reading Between the Wines, and contrary to our husbands' quips, we do discuss the books. I'm also an English as a Second Language Teacher and a Reading Specialist. I work with high school students. I do not teach them to learn to read (i.e., decoding/phonics), but rather I teach them how to read to learn (i.e., comprehension strategies). I am also a book snob. If I don't see books in a person's home or apartment, I immediately notice. Are they strictly E-readers? I wonder. Do they check their books out from the library and keep them by their bedside? or Are they simply non-readers? (Gasp!) Therefore, I feel compelled to comment on the use of books for decorative purposes only in styling bookshelves as...distasteful. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate the styled book shelf at right. I love the gals (Bridget & Casey) behind the blog The DIY Playbook. I think their ideas are creative and their blog fantastic. I am not a hater. I just don't understand the concept of displaying books with the spine (i.e., the title) hidden. I also do not like the idea of covering books in decorative paper. Okay, I love the look of the map-covered books at right creatively displayed by April Foster on her blog. Her aesthetic matches my own. However, as an avid reader, why would you do this? You have no idea what is under the paper, you have no intention of sharing your books with others, you cannot derive the pleasure of seeing the title of a book that you read and loved, and taking a moment and basking in the memory of that experience. So as I rework my own messy, chaotic bookshelf, I do want to practice the art of styling it a bit; however, I still want, no NEED, to see the titles of the books. They are my prized possessions. They contain my journeys, my memories, my friends, and so much more. Next post, I will share my attempt to re-style my bookshelves. Currently my shelves look like this:
I feel like it's been way too long since my last post. A quick trip to visit a friend in VT and another quick trip to visit family in MN in-between teaching, and the time has slipped away, yet inspiration can be found everywhere. I was taking a walk with my sister and my aunt's dog and we happened upon this adorable Little Free Library in a Duluth neighborhood in MN. One of the things that I've always loved about traveling and staying in more casual inns, youth hostels or B&Bs is that often there's a place to take a book and return a book, so that you're never left without reading material. That's why I love the idea of the Little Free Library so much. What a clever way to share books with other readers, and in this case, with your neighbors, while also donating a book or two. How fun to have a library of ever-changing books to boot! Continue reading Share your own Little Free Library