Friday, December 9, 2022

A new series…

 A number of years ago, when the family was younger, we enjoyed watching “All Creatures Great and Small” on PBS.  We became quite interested in following the story of a Yorkshire (UK) veterinarian, James Herriot.  A side note…we’re enjoying the current version that is shown on our local PBS station during the early part of the year for several weeks…not nearly long enough!

We enjoyed reading the books from which the series was based.  Some years later, I was very excited to discover this children’s book…

The story of Mrs. Pickering was made quite interesting by the presence of her three Basset hounds and Debbie, a stray cat who came to visit a few times a week.

Ruth Brown is the illustrator, and she has drawn some lovely pictures of the English countryside.
Even the snow-covered town is especially appealing.
It seems that Mr. Herriot needed to make a call at Mrs. Pickering’s home on Christmas Day.  Debbie was there with a tiny kitten beside her.  It was apparent that Debbie wasn’t well, and she didn’t linger long.
Mrs. Pickering named the kitten Buster, and the book tells of the energy he brought to the household with his efforts to involve those Bassets in his games.  Buster was quite the gift for Christmas!

Speaking of which…as I compose this post, there are sixteen more days left before Christmas Day!  Be merry!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Finding friends…

 This is the third book by Jan Brett that I have featured on the blog.

As we left the book on the last blog post, the Gingerbread Baby was snug inside the gingerbread house that Mattie had fashioned for him.  However, Mattie wasn’t one to stay in his room all the time to be company to the Gingerbread Baby.  

Mattie liked to spend time with his friends, and the Gingerbread Baby became lonely.  

So…he slipped out of the house while Mattie was busy working on something.  He was serious about searching for friends.
He came upon some swans, but they weren’t moving at all.
After encountering other creatures that weren’t especially friendly, he decided he needed to head home.  There were townspeople chasing after him, but he managed to arrive safely.

Well, these pictures transferred out of order.  Mattie had been busy with a recipe, baking friends for the Gingerbread Baby!  Jan Brett designed clever, fold out pages in the back of the book that show the new playmates!  Whee!  They were ready for fun!

Once again, Jan Brett’s illustrations extend to the margins of the pages, these give ingredients for Mattie’s gingerbread creations!  You may be able to see some of that in an above picture.  

Perhaps it’s time for me to bake some gingerbread people!  Magic happens when flour, sugar, eggs, spices, and butter are combined!  

Children’s books have a special spot in my heart, and Jan Brett is one of my favorite authors!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Turning to gingerbread…

 You have heard the story about the Gingerbread Boy, haven’t you?  How he jumped off of the tray in the oven and went running out the door, leading everyone on a merry chase.  Gullible as he was, he believed he would be safe on top of the fox’s head, according to one version.

Jan Brett gives this story a different twist.  In Gingerbread Baby, Matti and his mother worked together in the warm kitchen on a cold day, with the goal of baking a gingerbread boy.

This is the first page of the book…
This is the cover of the book…
The Gingerbread Baby is poised to lead everyone on a merry chase…
Residents of the village all join in the parade running after the Gingerbread Baby…
It is quite a parade!
The Gingerbread Baby knows a good hiding place when he sees it!
He has outsmarted them all!

Jan Brett once again has created a book with wonderful illustrations!  I have one more that I will share with you in the next post, then I’ll move on to another author.  

Nineteen days until Christmas Day!  

Monday, December 5, 2022

Books for the season…

 Jan Brett has long been a favorite author of mine.  She writes - and illustrates - books for children.  One of my favorite books for the season is one by her…The Wild Christmas Reindeer. 

The plot of the story is about Teeka who had been asked by Santa to prepare the reindeer for flying on Christmas Eve.
I fall in love with the illustrations the author creates for all her books.  These are especially beautiful.
Sure enough, Teeka was successful, though it was a challenging task to be sure all the reindeer understood their mission.
Not only does the author illustrate the main story she is writing, she also includes additional illustrations in the margins of the pages.  They tell another story.  In this book, it’s all about the elves busy in the workshop.

Everything is prepared by Christmas Eve, and Teeka is able to have a good night of slumber!

Only twenty more days until Christmas morning!

Thursday, December 1, 2022


 If my memory serves me correctly, it was on December 1, 2011 that I began this blog with my first post.  For several years, I posted regularly.  Then, my interest and time took another direction, and the blog was much neglected.  

In honor of that beginning eleven years ago, it’s appropriate that I have an entry for today. 

We are in the midst of a kitchen project, and work will probably continue for several weeks.  We have, however, been able to set some spaces aside for the season.

While it may be awhile before we have guests in the dining room, the table is ready!  
A corner on the kitchen counter is ready with favorite flavors of the season…orange and peppermint!
The table is ready in the kitchen, too!  The place mats were a gift from a student in December 1967, and the Santa napkin rings were a Secret Santa gift from a co-worker over 30 years ago!  Those green glasses? They’ve been with us for as long as we’ve been married!

Are you counting down the days?  Only 24 more days until Christmas!

Stay safe, stay well, and be of good cheer!