Monday, 12 May 2008

Book Reviews- New and Old- Don't Miss This!

Hi all,
I'm very excited to be doing a book review on Kim Chatel's new book, Rainbow Sheep and have decided to start the countdown to this review by posting my previous book reviews from a site called I'm not a professional reviewer, these books are all ones I own and love. I've chosen to review them because I wanted to share these wonderful books with others.

However, this may be the start of something new. I'm more than happy to take a look at anyone's book. I can't promise a glowing review but I will give a honest one. If you are interested, e-mail me for details.

Make sure you pop back and read more reviews in the coming days AND the upcoming review of RAINBOW SHEEP by Kim Chatel. What day will it be reviewed? That's the surprise! You will have to come back and see. RAINBOW SHEEP will also be reviewed on under the user name char.mike.

Smiles, Charlotte

The Baby's Bedtime Book by Kay Chorao

This book is a treasure! Kay Chorao has collected together poems from many great poets, such as Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson and Jane Taylor. There are many more poems with no author listed and I'm not sure if the author is unknown or if Kay Chorao has written these herself.

The illustrations are eye-catching, filled with color yet manage not to be harsh or over stimulating. They catch children in many different realistic poses and bring a smile to your face with the memories of your children in like situations.

The title of this review actually comes from one of my favorite poems in this book. This poem is called CRADLE-SONG by Sarojini Naidu and is found on page 46. Here is the first verse:

From groves of spice,
O'er fields of rice,
Athwart the lotus-stream,
I bring for you,
Aglint with dew,
A little lovely dream.

The illustration with this poem is of a mother holding her child in a wicker chair. They are on a patio looking out over a field with the sun going down, cattle grazing and poppy's blooming. It is a peaceful, tranquil scene.

Another poem that is a little more upbeat and lively is THE LAND OF NOD by Robert Louis Stevenson. (pg 41) It starts out like this:
From breakfast on all through the day
At home among my friends I stay;
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.
All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do-
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountainsides of dreams.

This poem talks about all the strange, frightening and delightful things he see while in the land of Nod, aka dreamland. Again the picture is worth looking at again and again. It shows a little one asleep at the top of the page and shows the dreams and the land of Nod as you look down the page. With frightening monsters and yummy looking berries and ice cream. Note, that while they show monsters they are cute, cuddly looking monsters, not scary at all.

Brennah's favorite poem is very simply titled STARS and there is no author listed. This is a very short poem and one of the first she memorized. Let me share this sweet little poem with you. (pg 10)
I'm glad the stars are over me
And not beneath my feet,
Where we should trample on them
Like cobbles on the street.
I think it is a happy thing
That they are set so far;
It's best to have to look up high
When you would see a star.

And yes, again the picture is just plain great to gaze at. It show a quaint cottage with bear walking down a path of stars. There are smaller details that Brennah loves to pick out, like the pig peeping out the cottage window.

This book is 64 pages long and that includes the table of contents and index page. It is filled with many familiar poems too. Such as TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR (pg 25) by Jane Taylor, Rock-a-bye, Baby,(pg 29), no author listed and LULLABY AND GOOD NIGHT,(pg 45), from the German. Each of these we know best as a lullaby song. I'm sure we have all sung these to our children.

There are many different types of poems, ones when read fill your head with images, you see the poem as you read it. A good example of this would be TREE SHADOWS on page 12. This poem is from the Japanese.

All hushed the trees are waiting
On tiptoe for the sight
Of moonrise shedding splender
Across the dusk of night.

Can you see the trees waiting with branches spread for the moon to rise?

Ah, now the moon is risen
And lo, without a sound
The trees all write their welcome
Far along the ground!

The moon is filling the night sky and the trees shadows are the moons welcome. Close your eyes, can you see this? Isn't this a lovely picture?

Another type is music in poetry and a good example of this would be SWEET AND LOW by Alfred, Lord Tennyson on page 52. As you read this poem it is almost like making music. Here is the first verse.

Sweet and low, sweet and low,
Wind of the western sea,
Low, low breathe and blow,
Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go
Come from the dying moon and blow,
Blow him again to me
While my little one,
while my pretty one Sleeps.

You can feel the music of the wind and the sea in this poem and the longing of a mother for her child's father. Close your eyes and softly say this poem, you almost want to whisper the words, feel the rise and fall of the sea, when you say, Sweet and low, sweet and low. Then feel the rushing of the wind when you say, Over the rolling waters go, come from the dying moon and blow. Can you feel the music? I hope you can, this poem is truly beautiful.

As you can tell, I love poetry and I'm happy to say my youngest one does too. We have read this book soooo many times, the binding is coming loose and the pages are worn. Yet, we still enjoy it, even with knowing most of the poems by heart.

The pictures are still delightful to look on as the day we first set eyes on them. A few others we really like are AT NIGHT on page 16, My Bed is a Boat, page 21, How They Sleep, page 32, Good Night on page 38, Gaelic Lullaby, page 42 and The White Seal's Lullaby on page 48. I will leave you with one more little tidbit and hope this review has given a small insight on a wonderful book, that hopefully you will enjoy with your little one.

SLEEP, BABY, SLEEP no author listed (pg 50)
Sleep, baby, sleep
Thy father watches the sheep.
Thy mother is shaking the dreamland tree,
And down falls a little dream on thee.
Sleep, baby, sleep!

Shush now, good night!

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