Dear readers, do you ever just feel worn out after a long week? That was a rhetorical question. Of course you do. Naturally, when I am feeling physically or emotionally or spiritually, I often turn to books. But not just any books. I need books that give my soul rest. So on Fridays, I shall try to share five books that simply bring me delight. And I hope you may find some comfort and rest in these books or other books today and everyday.
Ish by Peter Reynolds. Voltaire is credited with saying “The best is the enemy of the good.” Reynolds turns this sentiment into a storybook with his signature whimsical artwork. Drawing always made Ramon happy until a thoughtless remark from his brother sends him down the slippery slope of perfectionism. With help from his little sister, Ramon discovers joy in imperfect art. I love Peter Reynolds work. Pretty much all of it. And Ish is one of my favorites. Perfect for a day when you need reminding that art (and life) need not be flawless to be blissful.
The Missing Bookshop by Kristy Clapham. I bought this book when a friend was having an Usbourne books party and I am so glad I did. It’s the tale of Milly’s love for her neighborhood bookshop and its iconic bookseller, Mrs. Minty. When unforeseen circumstances threaten the bookshop, Milly knows she has to do something to save the place that has meant so much to her and discover what has happened to her beloved Mrs. Minty. This ode to bookshops and the people who shape our lives through their book suggestions is just lovely. Aimed at the early reader crowd, the illustrations are vibrant and bring the story to life. The place of honor that Matilda by Roald Dahl occupies in the story is the icing on my reading cake.
Corduroy by Don Freeman. This was our breakfast read today and there is nothing like a small bear in green overalls to help you feel good about your day. When I worked at the library, my love for Corduroy was quite legendary and I think I have successfully transmitted my affection to my kiddos. I will never get tired of reading about the bear who just wants to find his button, sleep in a bed, have a home and find a friend. May all of us be so easy to satisfy.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. Middle grade novels haven’t made much of an appearance on this blog yet, which is a bit surprising since this book category may very well be my favorite. There is just something special about books written for the eight to twelve year old crowd in my eyes. I’m sure I’ll have much more to say about it at a later time, but The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a fine first foray into recommendations of this type. Calpurnia is eleven years old at the turn of the century. Her mother wants to see her turn into a well behaved lady, but Calpurnia (don’t you just love that name?) is far more interested in nature, animals and science. I adore books with an old-fashioned feel to them and this one certainly gets the tone right. Calpurnia is spunky and relatable and all together delightful. This strikes me as a modern classic.
Stella’s Starliner by Rosemary Wells. Stella has everything she needs in her small camper home. She shares her home with her mother and her father, who comes home from work on the weekends.. Stella’s life is full. She helps make cobbler, go to the market in a wagon, fishes with her father and memorizes books borrowed from the bookmobile. All manner of things are well until a band of weasels hurt Stella’s heart by making fun of her beloved home. When this family of foxes relocates their camper, Stella is worried her potential new friends won’t appreciate her home either. Simply delightful and worth reading many, many times.
Congratulations on making it through another week, my friends and may your weekend be filled with love, connection and stories! Let me know what you’re reading in the comments.