Thursday, December 5, 2013

The old made new.....

Quote of the Day:  "One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair.  People will insist on giving me books."  
                      ~J.K. Rowling -Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Children all around the world, and adults alike are familiar with the classic story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears."  For many, many years parents, teachers, and librarians have shared this beloved story with kids.  Now today's featured book spins this beloved tale once again but with a new, fresh perspective.  You will love what the author has done and it works beautifully.  For a debut book this is a winner and is sure to become a Christmas classic.

On Christmas Eve, Mama, Papa and Baby Bear have just completed decorating their home inside and out, made their favourite Christmas pudding, and are going out to take a walk while the pudding cools down.  What they find when they return is not what they expected to encounter at all.  The pudding is gone, the chairs are broken, and sprawled out in Baby's bed is someone that they never could have guessed would be there in a million years.  A fluffy white beard, a red coat and two black boots give this trespasser's identity guessed's Santa Clause himself.  Exhausted during his whirlwind trip around the world, he polishes off the cookies and milk but is so tempted by the yummy pudding that he scoffs it all too.  Stuffed and overtired he decides he needs a short nap before continuing his long journey, and Baby Bear's comfy bed is just what the doctor ordered.

Santa is mortified himself with his intrusion and embarrassed by being discovered in a very awkward situation indeed.  Upon his awakening he appeases the situation by doing what Santa does best... he extends gifts of reconciliation and peace to the bear family for his invasive actions in their home and promises to make everything right again.    

The illustrations are truly amazing.  The mother-daughter team, Jane and Brooke Dryer have used watercolours and gouache to make the story come alive.  The details are charming and plentiful and will have you coming back again and again to discover something new.  The fairy tale mash-up is truly brilliant and this holiday picture book will be a welcome addition to your Christmas theme book collection.

About the Author:

Maria Modugno is a lifelong lover of reading and books. A children's book editor, she was inspired to write her first story by the antics of the polar bears at the Central Park Zoo. Maria lives in New York City.

About the Illustrators:
                                               Jane Dyer is the beloved illustrator of more than fifty books for children. She has won numerous awards and has been on theNew York Times bestseller list for  books such as Time for Bedby Mem Fox; Talking Like the Rain, a poetry anthology compiled by X. J. and Dorothy Kennedy; and Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons.

While she did not always know she wanted to be an illustrator, she had a mother who read to her and her twin sister every night when she was growing up. Her favorite stories and poems came from a set of twelve volumes called My Book House, originally published thirty years before she was born, and which had illustrations that evoked another sense of time.  It was these books that gave her an early appreciation and love of pictures. 
In her work today, Jane Dyer continues to be inspired by those early childhood images, and tries to convey  the feeling she had as a child of being able to climb into the page and inhabit those worlds. Although she did not go to art school, she believes she has been a student of illustration all her life.

Jane Dyer divides her time between Northampton, Massachusetts, and her country house in Cummington, Massachusetts, where she lives  with her husband, Tom, and Tibetan Terrier, Scuppers. She feels very lucky to have raised two daughters, Cecily and Brookie, while being able to stay at home.

Brooke Dyer grew up in Northampton, Massachusetts, surrounded by books, artwork, colored pencils, paints, and paper—which led her to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she earned a joint BFA from Tufts University.
She has illustrated three books on her own: Lullaby Moons and a Silver Spoon (A Bedtime Book of Songs and Rhymes); Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson; and Sleep, Black Bear Sleep by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple. She has also illustrated three books in collaboration with her mother, Jane Dyer, including two from the Cookies series by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love and One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond, as well as There's a Train Out for Dreamland by Frederich H. Heider and Carl Kress.
Brooke now lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts, with her husband, Ayr, and two children, Clementine and Blue, plus a shar-pei named Rufus.
Hobbies, Interests, and Enthusiasms
I enjoy reading and playing with my children. I also love animals and and  riding horses. I like working with clay and in my free moments I love to knit
Tufts University / School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (BFA)

                         Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Have a super day!

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