A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Wintergirls), Elizabeth Cody Kimmel (Balto and the Great Race, Glamsters), Alexandra Finn (Beastley), and Lydia Dabcovich (The Polar Bear Son).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Marjorie Flack (1897-1958) The Story About Ping.
- In 2001, Apple releases the first iPod. Hence, it is iPod Day!
- Itâ€™s Mole Day! Not in honor of the four-footed mammal, but the basic unit of measuring in chemistry known as Avogadroâ€™s number (6.02 x 10^23). But you might still want to read Mole Music by David McPhail, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems, and the Mouse and Mole series by Wong Herbert Lee.
For years I have admired Anne Rockwellâ€™s ability to render the complex simple in her picture books for the very young. Rockwell was one of the pioneers in the area of books for very young readers, ages birth to three. She studied art at Pratt Institute and began to write and illustrate picture books after her children were born; her first published in 1964. In the seventies Anne created a series of groundbreaking books in collaboration with her husband Harlowâ€”The Toolbox, My Doctor, My Dentistâ€”that explained these topics to preliterate children.
Rockwellâ€™s touch has always been light, never preaching, never overexplaining. More than twenty years ago she began working with her daughter Lizzy to extend the range of her nonfiction picture books. Our book of the day, Apples and Pumpkins, explores two of Octoberâ€™s most visible foods. A young child tells the story of the annual fall visit to Comstock Farm to pick apples and pumpkins. Barnyard animals accompany everyone around the orchard. When the family has picked enough apples, they go in search of the best pumpkin. Then the story continues at home where the pumpkin is carved and the apples given out for Halloween.
Often our children have no idea where their food comes from. In Apples and Pumpkins Anne Rockwell takes them out to the farm and captures the activities of a perfect fall day. Clear and clean drawings spell out exactly what is described in the text. In this one book young readers learn about farms, food cycles, and a major holiday. Quite remarkable for a mere thirty-two pages, but that is what Anne Rockwell has always been able to accomplish in her work.
Iâ€™m now heading out to a local farm where I can get my own supply of apples and pumpkins. In New England they are two of the reasons why fall is a special time of year. Iâ€™m just grateful that we have writers like Anne Rockwell and artists like Lizzy Rockwell who can explain them so well to very young readers.
Here’s a page from Apples and Pumpkins:
Originally posted October 23, 2011. Updated for .