What do you do with a girl like Maria? And what do you do when you cannot write a 250-word review on a book? Well, I do not know about Maria, but I know that you can combine three books into one review.
First, we start with Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. This book was certainly a book of the time. The obvious is, of course, the illustrations. The ladies in dresses, gentlemen in slacks, boys in overalls and girls with “proper” hair styles. The theme seemed a bit mature but not necessarily over kids’ heads. Here is another point towards being of the late 1940’s. In many ways, children’s books were not children’s books but a book; age not an issue. I assume that Burton must have been a bit before her time. She talks about how progress happens, how our Mike and his steam shovel do the best they can, but it is time to move on. Yet, Burton shows that you might not be able to do what you have always done, yet there is always a place for you.
Second, while many are not looking forward to actual snow, you can enjoy the act of partaking in snowy events inside with the book Snow by Sam Usher. Curl up with your hot chocolate and read this cute story about getting out there and into some good old-fashioned snow! A grandchild and granddad might not be the first in the snow or in time to head off to the playground with their friends, but they will get there. And Usher’s images are a treat to watch as you and narrator wait. And they will toss snowballs, play with the zoo animals and grandpa will show them younger ones how things get done. Delightful illustrations and a classic feel make this book, part of Usher’s seasons/element books a book that will be great fun to read before and after a long hard day of snowing around!
Finally, we can have one last gasp of Autumn before we head into the actual snow filled days with Froggy Picks a Pumpkin by Jonathan London. This is a typical Froggy story. This time he and his class are off to the pumpkin patch and one wild pumpkin picking contest. Froggy is Froggy, hopping ahead of himself; one exasperated teacher; lots of friends and a special prize just for our special Froggy. London’s illustrations are as colorful and busy as Froggy themselves are. You read the illustrations as the text weaves its way around the pages. Froggy is modern and great for your own mis-adventure prone child.