Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Once a Leopard Saw Her Spots

Once a leopard saw her spots
lots and lots and lots and lots.

The book was tattered and worn. Pages turned time and time again by small hands. As a child, I played school. Every morning in my pretend classroom, a poem was read from my Jolly Jingle book. To this day, I still remember several of the rhymes.

"Grammy, you make good rhymes," Sydney informed me. Perhaps I do because of a little book that sat in a basket next to my bed.

Our library has semi-annual book sales. The spring sale has just ended. My favorite section is the children's books. I don't follow critiques on which books are the best. I look for stories that call for me to read them to my grandchildren. I look at the illustrations wanting books that show my girls the use of color and design in the pictures. That ideas can be expressed in a variety of ways. I came home from the book sale with two more books. They are not new books, but maybe books that are still found online.

Here are a few treasures that I have found at estate sales, used bookstores and book sales in my quest for good literature for children. You might want to check them out.

On a Wintry Morning by Dori Chanconas, Illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson (a winter story about a little girl and her father)

Yes, Dear by Diana Wynne Jones, Illustrated by Graham Philpot (a grandmother listens and understands her granddaughter's discovery of a golden leaf)

Goupil by Samivel (a very old book from an estate sale all in French/illustrations are incredible)

Brer Rabbit From stories collected by Joel Chandler Harris, Illustrated by Don Daily (an old story retold for newer generations/illustrations are great)

Were You a Wild Duck, Where Would You Go? by George Mendoza, Illustrated by Jane Osborn-Smith (a story about duck searching for a home in a polluted environment/watercolor illustrations are beautiful)

The Django by Levi Pinfold (a story about a famous European jazz musician) This book I bought for me. I love the story and artistry.

Books by Jan Brett (her art is beautiful and imaginative)

Ten Little Rabbits by Virginia Grossman and Sylvia Long (A book about 10 little Indian rabbits/delightful)

Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale (an all time favorite of Gabby's/repetitious dialogue and very sweet illustrations)

These are a few of the books I have gathered over the last couple of years. Maybe I pick them up just for me. Throughout her life my mother bought children's books. Sometimes I think we forget that books are art...not only the creative writing but also in the creative ways that the illustrator captures the imagination.

As I have said, most of these books are probably out of print, but should you come across one of them, enjoy.

Once a leapard saw her spots......


  1. I love it when I'm able to share a book that I loved, or that my children loved, with my grandchildren. Do you know Girl of the Limberlost? It's for older children, but five generations of my family have enjoyed that book.

  2. Susan, I will check it out. Love my books!!!

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