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Mailbox Monday – 10/30

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

Two from NetGalley this week.

Mailbox Monday – 10/30Fish-Boy by Vanita Oelschlager
Illustrator: Mike Blanc
Published by Vanita Books on May 1, 2018
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Childrens, Picture Book
Pages: 48
Format: eARC
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The Arctic region of North America is a land of long days, icy cold, hardy people and peculiar creatures. The Inuit people there have made traditional use of remarkable folk tales to find truth and explain the mysteries of an astonishing world.

In Fish-Boy, An Inuit Folk Tale, Vanita Oelschlager retells a tale passed down by a wise old Inuit. It's an origin story involving a little magic and a very odd boy with a large heart for friendship. On a journey with his new father, he must confront misfortune and the malice of cold hearted villagers. But he has a way.. and a lesson for all in the virtues of kindness and hospitality.

Mailbox Monday – 10/30No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice Published by Sounds True Publishing on May 1, 2018
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Food, Religion & Spirituality
Pages: 240
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon

“Instilling the food you prepare with your spirit and good heart is a great undertaking—one that will nourish you in the doing, in the offering, and in the eating.” With No Recipe, renowned author of The Tassajara Bread Book (Shambhala, 1970) Edward Espe Brown invites us into his home and kitchen to explore how cooking and eating can be paths to awakening and realization.

Reading Brown’s witty and engaging collection of essays is like learning to cook—and meditate—with your own personal Zen chef and teacher. Brown shares that the way to cook is not only about following a recipe, but about letting the ingredients come forward to awaken and nourish our bodies and minds. Baking, cutting, chopping, and tasting are not seen as rigid techniques, but as opportunities to find joy and satisfaction in the present moment. From soil to seed and preparation to plate, No Recipe brings us a collection of timeless teachings on cooking as spiritual practice.

Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager, illustrated by Kristin Blackwood

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Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager, illustrated by Kristin Blackwood Ivy in Bloom: The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers from the Past by Vanita Oelschlager
Illustrator: Kristin Blackwood
Published by Vanita Books on April 1, 2009
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Childrens, Poetry
Pages: 40
Format: eBook
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Ivy in Bloom captures the weariness of a young girl tired of a long winter. "I stare out the window," she says on the first spread of brown and gray, "looking for birds or flowers / or even warm showers / but I don't see any such thing." But then Spring comes when "March is out of breath snow melting to flowery waters and watery flowers spring rose from its wintry rest." And Ivy's "heart dances with daffodils." As these words also dance across each spread, Ivy's world erupts into a riot of color.
Ivy in Bloom introduces the poetry of Dickinson, Longfellow, Browning, Wordsworth, Frost and others. Excerpts from their writings, as seen through Ivy's eyes, will open up poetry as a way for children to express their own feelings about the changing of seasons. This book includes longer excerpts and brief bios of each author.

Ah, I understand how Ivy Van Allsberg feels. Winter wears long for me, too. I look forward to spring, “when the world is mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful.” And March, especially, with it’s glimpses of better weather, followed by snow, can get long.

Ivy in Bloom is really cute. The author takes excerpts of classic poetry and weaves them into Ivy’s world as winter turns to Spring.  It’s a short story and the illustrations fit the flow perfectly. In the winter, the colors are dark and gray, but as spring comes, out come the yellows and bright greens and purples and pinks. All the pictures are cute, but the spring ones are especially happy and bright. As the blurb states, at the end each piece of poetry is identified by author and work. This makes a good introduction to poetry for younger children and can lead older siblings or parents to read the originals. It’s one I would have enjoyed reading to Amber when she was younger.

It’s just a perfect one for this time of year, while winter melts away and my heart “dances with daffodils.”

About Vanita Oelschlager

Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, current caregiver and, for almost ten years, author and poet.

She was born and raised near Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as a Trustee.

Thursday’s Tale: Magic Words

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Thursday’s Tale: Magic Words Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit by Edward Field
Illustrator: Mike Blanc
Published by Vanita Books on September 1, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Folktale, Picture Book
Pages: 24
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon
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Magic Words: From the Ancient Oral Tradition of the Inuit is a modern translation (1965) of a very old Inuit creation story by nationally known poet Edward Field. As a poem it captures beautifully the intimate relationship this Arctic people have with their natural world.

Magic Words describes a world where humans and animals share bodies and languages, where the world of the imagination mixes easily with the physical. It began as a story that told how the Inuit people came to be and became a legend passed from generation to generation. In translation it grew from myth to poem. The text comes from expedition notes recorded by Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen in 1921. Edward Field got a copy from the Harvard Library and translated it into English.

I love books that expose kids to other cultures, to other ways of looking at this world. Magic Words is a good introduction to the Inuit people.

It’s a gorgeous book. I read the eBook, but wish I had the paperback. The illustrations are richly colored and imaginative and invoke the feeling of the Inuit culture. According to the book, the illustrations began as ink drawings that were retraced and softened with 6B extra soft charcoal pencil. You know, before Amber started drawing I think I was pretty sure all pencils were #2 and the directions on standardized tests to use a #2 were silly. Anyway, the finished drawings were scanned and colored digitally. They are vibrant and just gorgeous.

sample page

The poem talks of a past time when people could become animals and animals could become people and they all spoke the same language. And the words they were powerful and could have unintended consequences – a good reminder to be mindful of what you say. It’s a lovely poem and in my opinion, it could be a great jumping off place to talk about cultures, what animal you’d turn into, or that words can hurt or help situations. It also has a nice list of animals to spot through the book.

It’s a book I would have enjoyed reading to Amber when she was little and I think she would have liked it. It’s colorful and full of creatures and who hasn’t wanted to fly? But I don’t think it’s for everyone. It’s not really a story. We learn about this time, but nothing really happens. “That’s the way it was.” The end. It you’re expecting a folktale, you’ll be disappointed. It’s a wonderful book, but a gentle one that doesn’t really go anywhere.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all. Feel free to join in.

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