It had been a couple of weeks since Elaine and I got together to read so we were both looking forward to our time together today. We read four books and part of a fifth:
With mournful moan and silken tone,
Itself alone comes one TROMBONE.
Gliding, sliding high notes go low;
ONE TROMBONE is playing SOLO.
Then we add a trumpet for a duet, French horn for a trio, clarinet for a quartet, oboe, flute, harp . . . and end up with a small orchestra. The illustrations are delightful. Elaine and I were particularly interested in the two cats and the mouse, chasing about the stage, knocking over music stands, and coming nose to nose with one musician's bulldog.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
David Catrow has illustrated these words in order to make their meaning easy to understand. Good idea, but neither Elaine nor I was overly impressed with the book, the illustrations being a little murky.
Jon-Jon and Annette (1994) by Elzbieta. Meh. Neither of us was much interested in this one, either. It's an anti-war story. Jon-Jon and Annette play every day until one morning war is declared and barbed wire is put up between their yards. Jon-Jon's father goes off to war. Jon-Jon is sad but his mother assures him children are not to blame for war. We spent more time talking about the silent E at the end of Annette (and not incidentally at the end of Elaine) than we did about the book. The illustrations, as you can see from the cover, are weak.
Town Mouse, Country Mouse (1994) by Jan Brett. The illustrations make the book, of course. The city mice encounter (and escape from) an owl and think it's a cat with wings. Jan Brett may be my favorite children's author. My favorites are The Mitten, Home for Christmas, and Mossy. The last, about a turtle who has moss and a garden growing on her shell, is brilliant and one of Elaine's favorites as well. Jan Brett has a new book out that would make a splendid Christmas present for somebody, Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella.
Monster Goose (2001) by Judy Sierra. We didn't finish reading this as Elaine didn't much like it. I LOVED it. "Mary had a little bat, it's teeth were . . ." I don't remember the rest, but she takes the bat to school, scares the kids, and gets the school closed down for a week, which is what Mary wanted all along. He-he. And then there's poor Humpty Dumpty who wears sunscreen with too low an SPF and gets hard boiled. Apparently this isn't for the sensitive six-year-old. Elaine, who refuses to accept an unhappy ending and closes the book so she can finish the story the way she likes, didn't care for Little Jack Horner, the cannibal, who bit off his thumb . . . I thought it was hilarious.