November is Picture Book Month!

I did not know that picture books had a month, but I’m glad they do! I LOVE picture books – I love reading them, I love writing them.

My favourite picture book as a child was Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. I never owned it as a child, but friends of my parents owned a whole set of Dr. Seuss books. I was so jealous. Whenever we visited them, rather than play outisde with their daughter who was a year or two older than me, I would say I had to go to the bathroom and sneak into the living room (the parents always sat around the kitchen table visiting) and curl up by the book case that had the Dr. Seuss books on it and read. Until I’d get found out and kicked back outside. 🙂

My current favourite picture (by someone other than me) is Mr. Zinger’s Hat by Cary Fagan. Love love love it! It should be required reading for every writer. Get thee to a library and check it out! Or buy it for your very own so you can read it over and over and over…

I SURE WOULD LIKE A COPY FOR CHRISTMAS! Bill? Greg? Troy? (What do you think – too subtle?)

So what was your favourite picture book as a child? Do you have a current favourite?


Saskatoon Symphony Book & Music Sale

My favourite sale of the year is the used book and music sale put on by the Saskatoon Symphony. I always find amazing, quirky things and for cheap! Here are the treasures I scored today:

  • For my husband, a 1970 yearbook from Mount Royal (the highschool he graduated from in 1965) for $2. He had fun looking through it and finding friends and acquaintances.

All the rest were for me:

  • sso001The Scottish Students’ Song Book ($8)- couldn’t find a publication date, but the Editor’s Preface was written in 1897, and the inscription handwritten in the front of the book is dated 1919. By “student” they mean university students, as there is a section for Songs of the Gown and another for Songs of the Universities. I haven’t had a close look at it yet, but I did find one song that makes fun of Darwin’s theory!
  • sso002Deadlier Than the Male: Dangerously Witty Quotations by Women about Men ($2.50)- How could I resist with a title like that! I’m sure some of these will show up in my Wednesday quotes, but here’s a good one to start with:

Naked from the back, Ellen decided, Jack Conroy was more exciting than naked from the front. He was hairy. This man was not born, she thought. He was knitted by his grandmother on a cold day.

Isla Dewar, 20th-century Scottish writer from Women Talking Dirty

  • sso003A Walk Though the Heavens: A Guide to Stars and Constellations and their Legends ($1)- I’m a sucker for Constellation Legends.
  • sso004Old-Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland ($1)- This little gem, which I believe was published in about 1966, includes “I’se the By” but also “Anti-Confederation Song,” the final verse of which goes like this:

Would you barter the right that your fathers have won,

Your freedom transmitted from father to son?

For a few thousand dollars of Canadian gold,

Don’t let it be said that your birthright was sold,

  • sso005Creative Bird Photography: Essential Tips and Techniques ($2.50) – How could I pass this one up? Prepare to be amazed by my photos this year… or not. 🙂
  • sso006Cautionary Tales and other verses by Hiliare Belloc ($10) – my priciest purchase but worth it. It’s a hardcover and comes in a bright red box. Here’s a verse from the section entitled “The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts:”

The Tiger

The Tiger on the other hand, is kittenish and mild,

He makes a pretty playfellow for any little child;

And mothers of large families (who claim to common sense)

Will find a tiger well repay the trouble and expense.

That was all the books. I bought one DVD set:


  • The Bonanza Collection ($5) – Five bucks for 20 episodes with Ben, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe – that’s 25 cents an episode! Who could resist that, right?… Right?

And I bought a few 78 rpm records for $1 each:

  • sso008Prokofieff’s Cinderella: A Musical Play in 4 Acts – I was THRILLED to find this one! We had this when I was growing up and I loved listening to it. I’m looking forward to hearing it again.
  • Danny Boy / I’ll be Home for Christmas (Bing Crosby) – for a buck? A no-brainer.
  • Lullaby Yodel / The Land of my Boyhood Dreams (Jimmie Rodgers) – see comment above. 🙂

So I’d say another successful treasure hunt at the Symphony Book Sale. And it’s on until Saturday, at Ave. D and 20th Street, with the records about 4 doors down from there. Trust me, you should definitely go!

More Picture Book Gems

13156623Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslin Book of Colors (by Hena Khan, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini)

A great introduction to common Muslim items by use of what colour they are. Narrated by a child and beautifully illustrated as well.






11380885E-mergency! (by Tom Lichtenheld & Ezra Fields-Meyer)

If you love word play as much as I do, you’ll love this book. What would happen if letter E had to take some time off? Pay attention to all the chatter by the letters – lots of fun.







indexHeart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans (by Kadir Nelson)

A simply and beautifully written history told by a woman who’s grandfather was taken from Africa in 1850 as a child to America by a slaver. It covers slavery to the civil rights movement to the election of Barack Obama, by telling one family’s life experiences. It is gripping and the illustrations are amazing.







imagesFly With Poetry: An ABC of Poetry (by Avis Harley)


Here’s a fantastic yet simple introduction to over 26 different kinds of poems with an example of each type. I thought the Xcogito was the coolest.








imagesLeap Into Poetry: More ABCs of Poetry (by Avis Harley)


Another brilliant introduction to different forms of poems, this time with the twist that each poem is about some type of insect.