Tyler Makes Spaghetti

Mr Tyler Florence is a famous chef. That’s a fancy word for a cook. He has a TV show and everything. I know him through his books. His picture books. Mr Florence has done several such books starring a young man named Tyler. They are a great platform for teaching kids about food and cooking. And I’m all for food, cooked or not!!

IMG_1938Tyler Makes Spaghetti
by Tyler Florence
illustrated by Craig Frazier
published by Harper in 2013

suitable for ALL ages

Themes – cooking, food, spaghetti!

It begins
Tyler and his family were at their favorite restaurant. The chef came by to say hello.
“Buon giorno. Welcome back!” he said. “Tyler, I see you’ve ordered your usual.”
“Spaghetti and meatballs is my favorite, Chef!” said Tyler. “I could eat it every day!”

The Tyler in the book loves spaghetti! Chef Lorenzo takes Tyler and his dog, Tofu, on a trip around the world to learn about making spaghetti and sauce from scratch. Not from a box and a jar! We all get to learn how pasta is created and where all the lovely, smelly herbs come from that make the sauce superb. We visit an olive farm to see how olive oil is made. And a cheese factory! It’s a fun adventure! That Tofu is one lucky dog to get to go along. Mmmmmmmm. A spaghetti factory. And a cheese factory. Heaven.

IMG_1939The illustrations are simple and bold. And hilarious! Great style! At the end of the book is Tyler’s recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. Yummmmmmmm! And some factual stuff about all the ingredients. A GREAT little resource of a book! And you even get to learn a little Italian!

Now I’m off to make some spaghetti!

IMG_1942And here’s an interesting little eating competition – you could equate Golden Retriever with Labrador Retriever. I wonder what the prize was for winning?!

Ciao!!
Your hungry friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck. That’s an interesting word. Wonderstruck. The dictionary says it means – struck with wonder; feeling admiration, surprise, etc. I like this word. I don’t believe that I have ever been struck before. But I like the idea of being struck with wonder. I think that I am Wonderstruck over Mr Brian Selznick. His books fill me with admiration and surprise. We’ve been kind of on a roll lately with his books. The latest to cross our threshold is called Wonderstruck.

IMG_1934Wonderstruck
by Brian Selznick
published by Scholastic Press in 2011

suitable for grades 3-7

themes – deaf culture, museums, chasing your dreams

it begins -
(The book actually begins with several pages of illustration of wolves running toward the reader.)
The first text begins on page 16 -
Something hit Ben Wilson and he opened his eyes. The wolves had been chasing him again and his heart was pounding.

This is another really BIG book by Mr Selznick. 637 pages! Another really BIG mostly picture book that can be read in a short amount of time. I’ve noticed that a lot of my readers in 3rd and 4th grade like to check out BIG books. I think they like the look and feel of BIG books. But most BIG books are a little much for some of them to handle. Mr Selznick’s BIG books are delightful! Lots of great illustrations that are filled with story.

This book – Wonderstruck – is actually TWO stories being told at the same time! One in text and one in pictures! Both stories kind of parallel each other throughout the book, but then in the end they intersect. Ben Wilson’s story begins in words in Gunflint Lake, Minnesota in 1977. His mom has recently died, he doesn’t know anything about his father, and he is living with his aunt and uncle. He was born deaf in one ear.

IMG_1936Rose Kincaid’s story begins in pictures in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1927. She seems to be obsessed with an actress and has a scrapbook of stories and pictures about her. It turns out that Rose is deaf and unhappy. Ben gets struck by lightening and becomes totally deaf. Both kids run away from home and venture to New York City. Rose, in search of her mother and brother. Ben in search of his unknown father. Their lives intersect at the Natural History Museum. And that’s as much as I’m going to tell you!! You’ll have to solve the mystery yourself!

This book is a thrilling mystery filled with Wonder. The wonder of a museum and all that is in it. The wonder of the universe. The wonder of being deaf and learning to get along in a hearing world. The wonder of friendship. The wonder of finding yourself.

Mr. Brian Selznick is a Wonder.

Ben kept a treasure box full of wonders that he found around him. Rocks and bones and fossils, twigs, a baby tooth, a game piece, My Mom Person is a collector like this. She doesn’t have a special box – she just kind of makes little shrines all over the house. But I think that kids might like to make a treasure box like Ben’s. What kinds of things would go in your treasure box? Do you keep a box like this?

A trip to a Natural History Museum would be in order after reading this book. And a planetarium! I’ve been to a Natural History Museum. There were BIG animals behind glass that were kind of scary. They looked real, but they could sure stand really still! I’m sure that there is probably a Natural History Museum in your area. If you would like to learn more about the one in New York that is talked about in the book you can visit their website HERE.

HERE is a link to information and teacher resources about American Sign Language.

This happens to be Friday. Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. It’s USUALLY PPBF. But today, Ms Hill is announcing the winners of her writing contest. So you might want to venture over her way and check that out.

This is a song that plays a big part in Ben’s story. It was his mom’s favorite song and Ben liked to pretend that Major Tom was his dad. The song is Space Oddity by David Bowie — I think that Ben may have been a little odd.

I hope that you find Wonder in this holiday season.
Your Wonderstruck friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

The Perfect Christmas

Well, The Great Thanksgiving Feast of 2014 has come and gone. I hope that yours was PERFECT. Lots of PERFECT turkey and carrots and sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Lots of PERFECT fun with your family and friends. Maybe a PERFECT game of tennis? or football? Full tummies and smiles on faces. PERFECT?

Well, as I said – that’s all come and gone. It’s history. It’s now time for —-

IMG_1850The Perfect Christmas
by Eileen Spinelli
illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi
published by Christy Ottaviano Books with Henry Holt and Co. in 2011

suitable for ALL ages!

Themes – Christmas, family, traditions

It begins -
Abigail Archer’s family
is perfect as can be.
They drive into the countryside
To chop down their Christmas tree.

Back around that PERFECT Thanksgiving time, I reviewed another book by Ms Spinelli titled The PERFECT Thanksgiving! You can check out that post by clicking on that title – right there! And guess what?! Ms Spinelli herself actually read my review! Wag my tail!!!! And she thought that I might ought to read the companion book – The Perfect Christmas! Of course I needed to do that very thing!! So she had her publisher send me my very own copy of The Perfect Christmas! Now isn’t that PERFECT?! What a nice lady, right?! I think that she deserves a standing ovation! I’m standing! How bout you?!

Well, ok, now, back to the book!

The Perfect Christmas brings us the same families that we met in The Perfect Thanksgiving. The Archer family is still Martha Stewart PERFECT. Candles on the mantel and bowls full of silver balls! The narrator’s family is still eclectically PERFECT with macaroni reindeer and dented fruitcake tins! Abigail’s family enjoys PERFECT Christmas treats and sweets – they even have a poodle that eats on a PERFECT Christmas mat! While the narrator’s Christmas cookies would “bounce to Mexico”

IMG_1852Each family has their own unique style and traditions. And each family has their own version of a PERFECT Christmas! This little book shows, in a big way, that what makes Christmas PERFECT is the love that is shared with family and friends. That’s what it’s all about! A PERFECT Christmas book to share!!

My family is very much like the narrator’s family. A bit crazy. But PERFECT in all the ways that matter to them – and me! It’s a BIG family and they like to party and have a good time. They always have a theme for their get-togethers. They dress up and have appropriate food and gifts. I just wag my tail and laugh. My favorite part is the cookie bake. I get to help with clean-up! I love being a janitor!

IMG_1833What kind of traditions does your family have? Do you have a “real” tree that smells like the woods? Or do you have one that comes out of a box? Do you have fancy decorations that all match like Martha Stewart? Or do you have homemade macaroni reindeer? Do you sing Christmas songs? Do you go to church? Maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas at all!

If you are inclined to make your own PERFECT Christmas Cookies, HERE is Martha Stewart’s recipe!

And HERE is a link to some fantastic ornaments that you can make with the kids!

Whatever and However you celebrate – I hope it’s PERFECT in every way!

Whatever you might be doing this time of year
I wish you GREAT JOY!

JOYYour JOYful friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Dog Breath

Today I post my last entry for the 2014 Small Fry Safari KidLit Readers Challenge! Whew! Just under the wire so to speak!

The challenge was to read and review books in the following categories -

1. A book with something related to Safari in the title.
My entry was Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham

IMG_4742

2. A book with a piece of furniture in the title.
My entry was Dogs on the Bed by Elizabeth Bluemle

IMG_0296

3. A book with a specific time in the title.
My entry was It’s Milking Time by Phyllis Alsdurf

IMG_1529

4. A book with someone’s name in the title.
I had two entries for this one! — Sweethearts of Rhythm by Marilyn Nelson and
    You Are My Cupcake by Joyce Wan

IMG_4966IMG_4963

5. A book with something that comes in pairs.
My entry was My Feet are Laughing by Lissette Norman

IMG_1516

6. A book with something precious in the title.
My entry was Water in the Park by Emily Jenkins

IMG_4745

7. A book with some sort of wordplay in the title.
My entry was A Poke in the I by Paul B. Janeczko

IMG_1404

8. And my last one! A book with something unsightly in the title.

And my contribution here is –

IMG_1867

Dog Breath
the Horrible Trouble
with Hally Tosis

by Dav Pilkey

published originally by Blue Sky Press in 1994
My copy is published by Scholastic in 2004

It begins -
There once was a dog named Hally,
who lived with the Tosis family.
Hally Tosis was a very good dog,
but she had a big problem.

Now I believe that poor Hally’s problems started with her name! I have a fascination with names. Names can foretell your destiny. This might have been a whole different story if this little dog had been named Molly or Susie or something.

But she wasn’t. She was named Hally. And her destiny was BAD BREATH. Her breath was so bad that when she opened her mouth, horrible things happened. Trees shriveled, wallpaper peeled off the walls, folks crossed to the other side of the street. Even skunks avoided little Hally. But Hally didn’t notice any of it. She was a happy little dog with a smile and a wagging tail.

IMG_1870But one day, Grandma came for a visit and was knocked out cold! Mr and Mrs Tosis decided that Hally had to go! Oh No!! But now comes the funny parts!! The Tosis Tots try to do something about Hally’s bad breath. They go to a mountain with a breathtaking view, and a movie and a roller coaster that are supposed to take your breath away. None of it worked. But that night, Hally became the super hero! Burglars broke in the Tosis house and Hally knocked them out cold!! Yay! Bad Breath wins the day!!!

And they all lived happily ever after!! Yay!!

Now I understand that lots of dogs have Bad Breath. I believe that that is a subjective assessment. I have found that what smells offensive to my Mom Person is usually quite pleasant to my nose. The Mom Person doesn’t like for me to have Bad Breath so she brushes my teeth pretty regularly. That’s ok by me because that chicken toothpaste stuff is really yummy! mmmmmmmm! And she says that having nice clean teeth without all the bits of goat and chicken candy will keep me healthier. Whatever.

IMG_1859Anyway, I have now completed my Quest! Yay for me! And Yay for Bruce the Bookshelf Gargoyle who initiated this Quest! You might want to go visit him on his bookshelf HERE. I don’t think he gets out much and he might like some visitors.

Stay safe and healthy – and watch your Breath!!
Your library friend with sparkling Breath
Rhythm
Copy of img311

 

The ABCs of Oliver Jeffers

A is for AWESOME
B is for BOUNTIFUL
C is for CREATIVE GENIUS

I have GREAT Admiration for Mr Oliver Jeffers, a Brilliant Picture Book Genius Extraordinaire. His Cleverly Crafted stories are Dynamically Engaging Fables Garnished with Handworked Illustrations that take the reader on Journeys Keenly Loaded with Multitudinous Novelities Offering Peeks into Quirky Realms where you must STOP and THINK Until you realize the Veritable Wonders that eXist in these Yarns from “The Jeffers Zone!” Whew!!

I present to you Mr.Jeffers latest tome -

IMG_1815Once Upon an ALPHABET
short stories for all the
Letters

by Oliver Jeffers

published by Philomel Books in 2014

suitable for ALL ages
this is a BIG book – 112 fabulous pages!

Themes – The Alphabet!!!

It begins -
If words make up stories, and letters make up words, then stories are made of letters.
In this menagerie we have stories, made of words, made FOR all the LETTERS.

A
An Astronaut

A is for an Astronaut named Edmund who is afraid of heights. Oh my.

This book is exactly what it claims. Very short, quirky stories for each of the letters of the alphabet. All of the stories can stand on their own, but they also intermingle with each other. They are all quite humorous. Some in a rather dark way. A little reminiscent of Mr Edward Gorey. Some in an “oh my!” kind of way. Some you have to stop and think about. Ponder for a bit. You can’t read this book just once! You have to go back and read it again and again. It is a Veritable Wonder!!!!!

IMG_1819I think everyone, young and old should have to write sentences using all the letters of the alphabet. And write your own stories with all the letters of the alphabet! It makes you appreciate all those letters just a little bit more!

Orange Marmalade recently did a fun review of this book if you would like to see more HERE.

Mr Colby Sharp has some 3rd graders who actually interviewed Mr Jeffers!!! Check it out HERE!

Mr. Jeffers has a website with lots of fun activities and things to do. You can visit it HERE.

Today happens to be Perfect Picture Book Friday over at Susanna Hill’s. You might want to travel over there to see her list of Perfect Picture Books and all the fun resources to go with! You can get There from HERE!

 And here is Mr Jeffers himself!

I wish you a Picture Perfect weekend
Your Library Friend who knows the Alphabet well!
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Giving Thanks

It is Thanksgiving Week. A time for giving Thanks! I have a lot to be thankful for, but right now I’d like to give a BIG THANKS to a couple of good blogging buddies.

Every now and then I receive awards for various things. I have been honored for my volunteer work, which I am honored to do. I have received certificates of appreciation from various facilities where I have visited to help patients and spread JOY. I have won some ribbons and some certificates for my grace in the Rally Obedience ring. And I have received a few awards from the blogging community.

IMG_1739I recently was blessed with The Lovely Blog Award from TWO of my blogging friends. I think this award is kind of a pat on the back. It’s nice to think that folks appreciate my attempts at beautification here in BlogLand.

0407c-onelovelyblogawardCricketmuse is a LOVELY blog devoted to books and reading and writing and sometimes other interesting musings. It’s a nice place to visit. I suggest that you do that. Visit. She would be happy to meet you. You can get to her home by clicking HERE.

The RoomMom is another LOVELY blog full of fun and helpful stuff for teachers and parents of students. She is a teacher and a parent and she is crazy busy doing all kinds of things!! Whew! You can learn a lot in her homeroom!! You can visit her HERE.

Now this award comes with some rules. I have kind of a hard time with rules. But I’ll see what I can do. I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself. Seven impossible things before breakfast, I suppose!

Well –
1. I LOVE tennis balls!!!!!

hulen mall 2-08 0022. I was once a guide dog puppy in training.
img0103. I like to roll around in smelly stuff. The Mom Person does not like this.
IMG_09564. I LOVE TENNIS BALLS!

CIMG34745. I once ate a whole chocolate cake. The Mom Person did not like this either.

IMG_56196. I can read!
IMG_47307. I am ONE LUCKY DOG! With the BEST job in the world!

IMG_4763Now I’m supposed to pass this award along to TEN other folks. And this is where I run into problems. I don’t know how to CHOSE! So if you are reading this right now, KNOW that you are a LOVELY Blogger! And I LOVE visiting your blogs. And if you would like to tell me a few things about yourself in the comment part below, or if you might want to do your very own post about some personal trivia, that would be so FANTASTICALLY LOVELY!

Thank you again Ms Cricketmuse and Ms RoomMom!
I wish you all a LOVELY Day!!
Your friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

 

 

The Perfect Thanksgiving

It seems to be Thanksgiving time. I understand that this is a holiday set aside for eating lots of turkey and pies and thinking about all the things that a person should be thankful for. I’m hearing all about turkeys and Pilgrims and Native Americans and turkeys and feasts and family time and turkeys. The kids at school are making headbands with feathers, and turkeys with their hands, and turkeys with their feet, and eating turkey for lunch. The Mom Person is going through the recipe drawer and talking on the phone a lot about who’s bringing what. And I’m walking around drooling and no one seems to notice!

Well, today isn’t Thanksgiving. Although I am thankful, because it is Perfect Picture Book Friday over at Susanna Hill’s House. And I get to share in this event! I don’t know if she’s having turkey or not. I hope so! Just in case, I am bringing turkey – for the Perfect Thanksgiving!! IMG_1731The Perfect Thanksgiving
by Eileen Spinelli
illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi
published by Henry Holt and Co. in 2003

Themes – Thanksgiving! Family!

Suitable for young and old alike! All the family!

It begins -
Abigail Archer’s family
is perfect in every way.
Never is this more obvious
than on Thanksgiving Day.

This is a hilarious look at Thanksgiving through the eyes of one little girl. It’s told in perfectly wondrous rhyme with perfectly fabulous illustrations. And features a perfectly silly hand-print turkey and a perfectly artsy turkey.

The narrator compares her friend Abigail’s family holiday with her own family’s get together. At Abigail’s house everything is PERFECT. The table settings, the turkey cooked to perfection, the well dressed, well behaved, polite family holding hands around the PERFECT table – all PERFECT! At the narrator’s house, we see PERFECT chaos! Burnt turkey and wailing smoke alarms, crying kids, gravy and milk being spilled, belching and chomping and slurping everywhere. (It all sounds very much like my house!)

IMG_1737The narrator feels that Abigail has the PERFECT mother! Abigail’s mother wears an organdy dress with pearls and fancy shoes. She has fancy whirls on her homemade pie and her Jello mold doesn’t quiver. The narrator’s Mom wears jeans and fuzzy slippers. (Looks eerily like my Mom Person!) She serves store bought pie with no whipped topping and her Jello mold quivers!!

There is more, and more, and more about how different the two families are – But it turns out that the families have one very important element that is common to both — the LOVE that radiates from both!! And that’s something to be Thankful for!!

This book goes PERFECTLY with all the Thanksgiving activities that have been going on at school the last couple of weeks. Making turkeys and talking about Pilgrims and Native Americans and the Land that we all live in. And it offers a PERFECT opportunity to talk about our families traditions and how different they might be and how much alike!

I hope you have a PERFECT Thanksgiving celebration with your PERFECT family and are wrapped in the LOVE that I’m sure will be there.

Here is my pawprint Turkey -

img051And one of the many Turkey songs I have been hearing over, and over, and over –

And now you might want to visit Ms Hill’s blog and see if she’s serving some turkey over there! I’m sure that she will have some other fine Perfect Picture Books for you to check out!

IMG_1733I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
From MY PERFECT family to yours!!
Your friends
Walker, Electra, and St. Rhythm!
Copy of img311

A Bit of Magic

My Mom Person has a boy who as a little boy was fascinated with a magician and escape artist named Harry Houdini. This little Houdini wannabe was often to be found tied up somewhere trying to escape his bonds. Once he was even discovered in the swimming pool with some chains! Crazy boy!! Luckily the Mom Person was well aware of his propensity for getting himself in a fix and kept a sharp eye on him!

Well, we recently discovered a GREAT book by Mr Brian Selznick about the GREAT Houdini. The Mom Person happens to be crazy about Mr Selznick so she scooped it right up and brought it home for a good read. And a good read it is!! That Mr Selznick is magic! Now, here’s some more serendipitous magic — The very next day, we received in the mail a movie to watch. The movie was Hugo! This is a movie based on another of Mr Selznick’s books – The Invention of Hugo Cabret! The week turned into a celebration of Mr Brian Selznick!

And I’m here to share the celebration with you!! You might notice that I locked Electra in THE CAGE to see how clever she might be. My Mom Person was pleased to find that she is no Houdini.

IMG_1694and ABRACADABRA!!!!!!
The Houdini Box
by Brian Selznick
published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers in 1991

A CURIOUS STORY
OF MAGIC
AND
ESCAPOLOGY
as performed by
Harry Houdini and a
little boy named Victor,
with special appearances
by Victor’s Mother, Aunt
Harriet, and the lovely
Mrs. Houdini.

The story begins with a bit of history about Mr Houdini, a magician extraordinaire who was famous for his daring escapes from all sorts of unbelievable situations. Then we meet Victor, who is ten years old and wants to be a magician, too. He tries to escape from locked trunks and walk through walls and perform magic tricks just like his hero. With no success. Then! One day he has a chance encounter with the GREAT MAN and Mr Houdini promises to write him a letter.

IMG_1695After a long, impatient wait, a letter arrives for Victor and he is asked to come to Mr Houdini’s house. He goes there on Halloween night only to find that Mr Houdini has died just that day!!! But Mrs Houdini gives Victor a box. A small, locked box. Does this box hold all of Mr Houdini’s secrets? Will Victor now be able to become the magician he longs to be? Ahhhhh – you’ll have to read the book to find out!

At the end of the book there is a lot of back story material about Mr Houdini and about Mr Selznick’s journey in writing this book. He even includes instructions for a magic trick you can learn yourself!! And a list of resources for further reading.

IMG_1697The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a very similar book. It’s another tale about magic – and clocks and automatons and the history of the movie industry. It was published in 2007 and won the Caldecott Medal Award in 2008. It is a very BIG book. 526 pages! But many of the pages are double spread illustrations that compel you forward much like a flip book or a movie. There are nearly 300 pages of pictures! In 2011 Martin Scorsese made a movie adapted from Mr Selznick’s book. The movie is HUGO. It won 5 Academy Awards and lots of other awards. It was the book on the big screen! Absolutely incredible!! See the movie! Read the book! It will all make you want to go out and watch some silent movies!

IMG_1699Mr Selznick illustrated another Caldecott Honor book – The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins. Another incredible historical fiction book written by Barbara Kerley.

Mr Selznick writes about magic – Mr Houdini was a magician and illusionist, Georges Melies, from the Hugo Cabret book, was a magician of the cinema – creating dreams. Mr Selznick himself creates magic with pen and paper.

I will leave you with an interview with Mr Selznick discussing a musical play of The Houdini Box and also talking about the movie Hugo – enjoy!

Now go forth and find some magic in your life!
Your library friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Queen on Wednesday

Today is Wednesday. The middle of the week day. My very own special day. The day that I get to be Queen for the day and spread my JOY and magic. Wednesdays have always been set aside just for me. And maybe Walker, too, I guess. But mostly Wednesdays are all about me. On Wednesdays we go to visit our hospitals or detention centers or schools. Wednesdays are dog days.

I don’t usually do posts on Wednesdays – because I’m usually out doing my magic show, but we recently came across a most fabulous book that needed to be shared on this day!

IMG_1683Queen on Wednesday
by Gabi Swiatkowska
published by Farrar Straus Giroux in 2014

It begins -
On Wednesday, Thelma was bored.

Thelma is bored and decides that she will become a queen. On Thursday she makes the royal announcement. On Friday she chooses her royal pets. And then being a queen becomes quite complicated. She must find a suitable castle, someone to train all the pets, a maid to clean up after everyone, a cook to feed everyone. Whew!!!! Being a queen brings on a royal headache!!!! So on Tuesday she flings away her crown and stomps off. And on Wednesday — she’s bored again!!!!

IMG_1688This book is a royal romp! Ms Swiatkowska is one of my most favorite illustrators. But this is her first book all to herself. Now I want MORE!! I have talked about this talented young lady before. She illustrated Infinity and Me for Kate Hosford – Review HERE.  Also – Hannah’s Bookmobile ChristmasReview Here. Also – The Golden RuleReview Here. Yes, I really like this lady’s work!!

 A great interview with Ms Swiatkowska can be found HERE.

And here’s the REAL Queen with her grandchildren and her castle and lots of royal pets. It’s hard work being a Queen!

I hope you have a royally entertaining Wednesday!
Your friend the Queen of Wednesday
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Hats! Hats! Hats!

IMG_1664Hats are a big deal around my house. I’m not sure why. But they happen to be all over the house and often times on my head. And Walker’s. And Electra’s. It’s all old hat to me. But Electra is new to this hat wearing fetish of the Mom Person and I have to admit that she is a pretty good sport about it.

Well the hats all came out recently because of a book. I guess books are usually the cause of hats coming out. You can look at most any of my posts and see what I mean. But this particular book is all about hats. And love. And friends. And creativity.

IMG_1615Happy Birthday
Madame Chapeau
by Andrea Beaty
with pictures by David Roberts
published by Abrams Books for Young Readers in 2014

It begins -
In a three-story house with a shop down below
lived the world’s finest hatmaker, Madame Chapeau.

Madame Chapeau is a very sad, lonely lady. She makes incredibly fancy hats for incredibly fancy people, then she dines all alone. Across from her on her table are lots of pictures of a gentleman who I suppose was once her beau. A Beau for Madame Chapeau! But he seems to no longer be around. So the lady is sad.

IMG_1618But every year on her birthday, she dresses up and puts on a special heart shaped hat and goes out to dine at a fancy restaurant. On this particular birthday event, a passing crow flies off with her hat! Her VERY SPECIAL hat! Made especially for her! As she chases after the crow, lots of gentlemen offer her their hats! But their hats are made just for them – not for her! Indeed, each man’s head is shaped exactly like his hat! Funny!!!

As she dines alone without her special hat, she is soooooo sad! But wait! There comes a little girl who has been following Madame Chapeau all through the book, and the little girl has a special birthday present for the hatmaker. The little girl has knitted a hat especially for Madame Chapeau! The best present ever!!!! The best hat ever!!!! So they become best friends and live happily ever after!

The creator of Madame Chapeau, Ms Beaty, was at the recent Texas Book Festival. The Mom Person got to hear her read the book and talk about it. Ms Beaty and the illustrator, Mr Roberts, are especially good friends. Ms Beaty wrote this story just for Mr Roberts because he once was a milliner! (That’s a fancy word for a hatmaker!) So they worked together on the book and there are lots of little special things in the illustrations that nobody knows about. Little secrets between the two of them. All of the hats in the book are real hats that were made by famous milliners. Some of them are from hats that Mr Roberts designed and made himself.

This is a really lovely book. The story is jaunty and poetic. Ms Beaty is quite a fantastic rhymer! And Mr Roberts’s illustrations and hats are quite divine!

This book has been reviewed and talked about quite a lot since it came out. You might want to see what these fine folks have to say about it —-

Julie Rowan-Zochhttps://julierowanzoch.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/ppbf-happy-birthday-madame-chapeau/

Danielle at This Picture Book Lifehttp://thispicturebooklife.com/happy-birthday-madame-chapeau-hats/

Zoe at Playing by the Bookhttp://www.playingbythebook.net/2014/10/30/hat-week-happy-birthday-madame-chapeau-and-david-roberts-previous-life-as-a-milliner/

All of these ladies have provided a plethora of fun activities to go with this book – check them out!!!

And you might want to try some Hat Juggling!

IMG_1671So, Happy Hat Day to you all!
your library friend Rhythm, and my friends
Electra and Walker
Copy of img311