Little Free Library in the Snow

December 19, 2012

I am still so excited about our Little Free Library.┬áIt’s been over four months, and I still sigh contentedly whenever I see it. Plus it’s looking extra festively adorable right now.

Little Free Library in the snow | World of Julie

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CATEGORIES: books

Children’s Book of the Week: Yesterday’s Snowman

March 9, 2009

Yesterday’s Snowman by Gail Mack, illustrated by Erik Blegvad

This book gives me hope at the end of winter, of a time when you might build a snowman and then it would melt away to nothing by the next morning, and you would see brown grass on the ground instead of snow. But this book gives me hope for other reasons, too. It gives me hope that children are smart and clever and sophisticated. Not little adults, but poetic writerly children who understand the beauty of a well-turned phrase. Not that it was written by a child, but it was written from a child’s perspective, and the boys love it, and so I love that they accept that this lovely little story might come from a child.

We have another book that it reminds me of, The White Marble by Charlotte Zolotow, that is written in the same style. It’s a kind of story poem that could totally backfire, that could be the world’s biggest snorefest, but instead it’s like it’s a story written directly from their brains. And I most certainly appreciate a book that doesn’t talk down to kids, but understands that they understand complex thought processes and abstract concepts and stories that don’t necessarily have a clear plot or a conflict but are really just something interesting that happened, once.

Yesterday’s Snowman just tells of a snowman that a boy and a girl make with their mom. The snow is so snowman-perfect that the mother stops making dinner to go out and make the snowman with them (note to Julie: maybe sometimes you should not be such a rigid stick-in-the-mud and you should do something fun and memorable like this with your children). They carve pants and shoes and a moustache into their snowman, and give him a hat and scarf, a bucket and a broom. Then they go inside for dinner and it starts to rain, and they watch their snowman melt away. There are nice messages about mutability and enjoying the pleasure of something fleeting, and of seizing the moment and living life, but thankfully the book never says any of those things and just tells the story and leaves you to figure out that bigger stuff for yourself. The watercolors are wonderful, the story is simple and not very long, and you will all be riveted. Plus you will also remember that at some point the snow will melt away after a big rain and suddenly it will be spring.

And I’m sorry for recommending a book that’s out of print. Next week’s book is out of print too. These are just books we’re loving right now. I’m sure soon we’ll love something that’s more currently available. I see The White Marble is out of print too. I worry this means that children don’t want books that speak intellectually to them, but only want High School Musical sticker books. Let’s hope not.

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Another snow day

January 21, 2009

We got dumped with another foot (more?) of snow on Sunday. It’s getting to the point where the kids can barely walk through it.

I love that Henry plays as much on the playset in the winter as he does in the summer.

And Eli can shovel all day long (which is actually really helpful).

There’s always a rush to be the first one to knock the snow off the banisters and fence.

Henry said, “Oh! Mom! I know a GREAT picture for you to take!” and then hid so well under the big pine tree that it took me a really long time to find him in the camera (I could see him, just couldn’t find him through the lens for some reason).

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CATEGORIES: Eli, Henry
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Snow. That's why we live in Maine.

January 13, 2009

We’ve had some wonderful blissful snowfalls lately. The one yesterday morning literally looked like tufts of cotton everywhere, and was just as easy to brush off the cars.

Dave took the snow this weekend and used the snowblower to make a mound in the side yard, then the boys piled as much snow as they could on top. We’ve got a pretty good hill going on there right now (made more exciting by perching the slide on top of it).

You’ll notice that I took this photo from inside, and if you have crazy eagle-sharp vision, you may notice that it was 25 degrees, which is warm enough in these here parts not to warrant wimping out and staying inside. I’ll have you know that we were doing the thing where we try to maximize adult usefulness — while Dave cleared the snow off the driveway, I cleaned up inside and waited for Zuzu to wake up from her nap, and stayed away from the chocolate drawer.

Then we went sledding. Below you see Dave and Henry about to go down the hill. Henry is in his perpetual tongue-out snow expression. You’d think we never give him water or something. I think he eats pounds of snow every day.

Of course, half the reason for sledding is to tire the kids out by making them walk back up the hill:

And here’s Henry yesterday morning, as we set out on our walk to school. I think it’s really fun to walk to school with the big fluffy movie-set flakes coming down. I seemed more into it than they did, but I think it’s because they just wanted to stay in the yard and play on the big mound of snow.

I am also excited to report that they are taking the kindergartners snowshoeing for an hour this morning. Another reason we live in Maine: snowshoeing is a legitimate school activity.

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CATEGORIES: Eli, Henry
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First snow of the season

December 9, 2008

We got our first snow on Sunday. Henry continued his habit of speaking like a British kid from 1906 by looking out the window in the morning and shouting, “Hooray! Oh, hooray! Eli! Eli! Oh, it has snowed!” (Eli, later, continued his habit of speaking like a visitor from the country of Randomland by insistently repeating, “Football is a one-person game.”)

Henry’s favorite season is Snow and so he dragged Eli and Dave outside to make snow animals. We only really got a dusting, so they were very small snow animals. A snow frog (do you like how Dave mixed water and paint to make the frog green?):

A snow penguin:

And a snow polar bear:

The boys totally picked the right parent to make snow animals, because I would have lost patience for mini animal building after about ten minutes. Dave said he did have to draw the line when they wanted snow giraffes.

Eli remembered that what he likes about Snow Season is that he can channel his inner John Henry and shovel all the live long day. And Zuzu basically wondered what on earth was happening and why was her crazy family bringing her outside when it was so cold that bits of frozen coldness were falling from the sky. She had also gotten her first tooth on Saturday (yay, Zu!) so she was probably thinking the whole world was upside down (though this is probably what being a baby is like every day).

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CATEGORIES: Eli, Henry, Zuzu
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