Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer is to Read

There’s a lovely little book called A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss with illustrations by Maurice Sendak. It’s subtitled, ‘A First Book of First Definitions.’ It explains the world in charming and sensible ways such as, A face is so you can make faces; Steps are to sit on; and Dogs are to kiss people. (Obviously!)

We'd like to add, Summer is to read.

Summer is for long books, chapter books, books with beautiful illustrations! Summer is for reading in the grass, or on the sand, or a long car trip, or on your front steps, or sitting very near someone you love while they read to you. Let me see, you may say to them. Or, can we please read one more chapter?

Summer is for trips to the library and a long time there looking and looking and then carrying a big stack of books up to the librarian so you can check them out. Wow, the librarian says, you’re doing a lot of reading. Yes, you say, yes I am.

Summer is to read and read and read. We hope you’re doing just that. And in case you’ve been wondering what Bird is doing with his summer, here’s a picture. You can do this too when you’ve finished reading and are ready to dream your own stories.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Learning My Colors

This is how I remember learning the names of basic colors… I was on a family trip to the Brookfield Zoo. My mother gave each of us children our own bag of M&Ms. I ate mine very slowly – I was savoring them and I was very young. My oldest brother offered to play a game with me. He removed one M&M at a time from my bag and held it up for me to see. If I identified the color correctly he would tell me I was right and give it to me. If I was wrong, he ate it. Before the bag was empty I had learned the names of all the colors.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A book to browse inside

We hope that Counting in the Studio will be a favorite of yours.
We remember and still enjoy curling up with a good book and reading and reading.

One of my favorite series of books are the Little Bear books written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Here you can see their book, A Kiss for Little Bear.

The book ends in a satisfying way and the drawings are both exciting and restful.

Tell us what your favorite children’s book is and we’ll add it to the pile by our beds.

Browse Inside this book
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poodle Post

The dog who modeled for the drawings in the book is a Standard Poodle. His full name is Blackbird. He was named for the late great Jazz Saxophonist Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker, the song ‘Blackbird’ written by Lennon and McCartney and because it’s funny to have a dog named Bird.

The Standard Poodle is classified as a Gun Dog. In Germany the breed were known as Duck Dogs for their retrieving abilities. Poodles have also worked as circus performers, guard dogs and pulled carts delivering milk door to door. They were so admired in France that they were dubbed the French Poodle.

Poodles have hair not fur so they need to have it cut or it would grow and grow like Rapunzel’s. Bird gets a simple crew-cut every few months and we leave it at that.

The Poodle who appears in Counting in the Studio loves going to the beach, sipping water from a jug, sleeping next to his boy, and working in the studio which means, sitting patiently, offering his opinion when asked, barking if the garbage truck is too noisy and just being good company.

Would you like to know more about the Standard Poodle?

Would you like to see more drawings of dogs that have visited the artist’s studio? Please follow this link.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Who is Counting and What for?

We were delighted to learn that Counting in the Studio was number 1 on Quimby’s top ten this week.

Seeing how we’re all about counting, we love any number but we have to confess that we were hugely flattered to be their number 1!

We encourage you to please visit Quimby’s and peruse their amazing collection and purchase something.

Want to know more about the numbers? We refer you to Numbers: Facts, Figures& Fiction by Richard Phillips.

Here’s a quote from the book: "The letters A, B, C, D, E, M, T, U, V, W and Y all have one line of symmetry."

On another front, we’re also very happy that Counting in the Studio has been added to the Children’s Collection at the Chicago Literary CafĂ© in the Chicago Cultural Center. Have you been? There’s lots to do, you must go!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cee Cee and Funny Madame WELCOME YOU and Explain Themselves

Counting in the Studio is a counting book that is also our attempt to show the process of creative expression to young readers. We tried to keep it real.

The delightful dog who appears on the pages of the book lives with the artist who has also depicted her own studio in the book. Inside the studio it is possible to stare out windows just like those in the book. The studio, at the back of the artist's home, is nestled on a side street in a Chicago neighborhood.

The artist and the writer met at the studio to talk about the project before and after making their own separate work. The dog was always present and lent his inestimable support even when napping on the comfy, pillow-strewn chaise lounge which is up against a wall with drawings on it, just like in the book.