Sunday, March 31, 2013

Picture These: Three Picture Books (and One Dog Story)

Helloooo, bloggy friends! It's sunny and spring-y, and I am so ready for it. Seriously. Just last week, it was like, "Washington. Dude. Enough with the gray already."

Thistle and Pepper are excited about the blue skies, too. Here's a picture we took of Thistle yesterday when we stopped by a bakery.

The secret to whippets is they like warm and they like soft. Thistle wanted to lie on the toasty concrete, and I could read it in his eyes. I told my husband and, thirty seconds later, he started that circular walking motion he does before he lies down ("he" being my dog, not my husband). Then he flopped onto his side (again, we're talking Thistle, not Jim). But he was uncomfortable and looked at us like we should have brought a portable doggy bed, and he kept getting up and lying down again.

I love my dogs, and while I was contemplating taking something soft for Thistle next time, I think I need to draw the line. We put our dogs in coats when it's chilly outside, we tuck them in at night, and we baby them in all sorts of other ways. But there's something weird about carrying a bed around for your dog so he doesn't have to touch "outside." It may not be in the same league of weird as putting lipstick and dresses on chimpanzees, but it is out of the normal realm in the pet-owner relationship, yes?

Moving on!

After the bakery, we stopped by the bookstore. I picked up a picture book I love and plan to give as a gift. It's WHO PUT THE COOKIES IN THE COOKIE JAR?

written by George Shannon, illustrated by Julie Paschkis
Henry Holt and Company
It's a beautiful book that shows the many hands that work together to make a cookie. The words and the illustrations are lovely, and the book has a sugar cookie recipe at the end. I would have loved to have read this to my kids when they were little, and to have followed up with a baking activity. Super fun! What makes it even more special to me is it was written by my good friend, the uber-talented George Shannon.
Local peeps ("peeps" as in people who live in the Seattle area, not the delicious marshmallow sugar-on-sugar candies): George and Julie Paschkis will be at Eagle Harbor Book Co. on April 14 at 3:00. I plan to be there. It's so cool to get a book signed by both the author and the illustrator!
I'd also like to point out two other picture books I've recently discovered...

Has anyone else read THE SUNFLOWER SWORD?

written by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Miriam Latimer
Andersen Press USA

It's such a great book! There's a fabulous message, but the book is really fun and doesn't feel preachy.

The last picture book I'll mention today is BETTY BUNNY LOVES CHOCOLATE CAKE.

written by Michael B. Kaplan, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch
This book totally cracks me up! Anyone who knows what it's like to have to be patient, who knows how hard it is to have to eat dinner before dessert, and who loves chocolate cake will adore this book. (Note: I like the Publishers Weekly interview I linked to Michael B. Kaplan's name.)
Have you read any great picture books lately? Do you think I should be carrying a blanket for bakery stops with Thistle and Pepper?


Al said...

talk about a "dog's life" :-)

Dawn Simon said...

No joke, Al. Sometimes I think our pampered dogs are smarter than we are. :)

Barb Davis-Pyles said...

Actually, I think the story of you carrying dog beds wherever you go would make a GREAT picture book! ;)

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Barb! Life is stranger than fiction, right? ;) I hope you'll be at the SCBWI WWA conference this month!

Medeia Sharif said...

I love picture books. I need to read more of them. Thanks for the recs.

Dawn Simon said...

Holy smokes, Medeia. I think you read more than anyone I've ever met! So impressive! That said... yes, read these ones! :)

Old Kitty said...

Hi lovely Dawn!! Awwww Thistle looks gorgeous!! And how could you resist his gorgeous doggie eyes asking for a bed for him and Pepper to flop on when outside?!?! :-) Go on you know it makes sense! LOL!

Now these books are so adorable!!! Take care

Dawn Simon said...

Old Kitty, did Thistle put you up to this?

Old Kitty said...

Hope Spring has truly sprung where you are!! Big wave hello to gorgeous Thistle and Pepper! Take care

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Old Kitty! How fun that you came back! With more daylight and sunshine, I feel like spring is here. We're still getting some rain and cold, but we are living in the Pacific Northwest. You take care, too! :)