A Cricket Book

Isn’t it beautiful?

It was one of my Christmas presents from my dad. He knows me too well! I adore old children’s books, especially ones with beautiful illustrations, like this one here. It’s called Tucsok Toni, which translates to Tony Cricket. It’s written by Hungarian author, Maroti Lajos and the illustration is by Gozon Lajos.

The story is written in verse and is about this cricket that plays the violin beautifully then is taken away by a fairy princess, where he becomes a different cricket. No longer his old self, he cannot play the violin as beautiful anymore and is sent away from the palace, only to be found by one of his enemies who almost kills him. He’s then found by his family and his fiancee who nurse him better and encourage him to play his music again.

It’s a lovely book.

I find pictures like these so inspiring. They just take you away to another world!

I would just love to be able to sit down one day and just paint something like this. That would be fab. But I think I need an awful lot of practice before I come even close to Gozon Lajos’s level of talent.

Still, I can’t wait to have my own little studio and start trying.


Wonders of the Library

We went to the library the other day. Both Max and Anabelle have library cards, but I think Anabelle is more interested in books than Max. Although he does like to listen to me read to him.

I love libraries. Always have. I remember when I was a child I thought there was magic about libraries. I loved the smell of the old books, actually I still do! I admit, I’m a book sniffer! There was a shelf right beside the door leading to another room full of books and on that shelf were books about Cowboys and Native Americans, Vinetu and the likes. I always wanted to sink my teeth into them, but somehow I never felt brave enough to borrow them. I still haven’t read them. But bravery is no longer the issue. I just don’t have the time. I will one day though.

So, back to the present … we were in our local lovely library. The children’s section here is just fantastic. Lots and lots of quality books, little tables with colouring pages and pencils, little chairs, a little reading snug, a big rug to lie down on, computers for the older children and it’s all colourful. We’re very lucky!

I was looking through the books to find a few for the children and picked out four. One was a toddler book for Anabelle and the other three for Max just caught my eye. It was only at the check-out that I realised that they all had something in common! By coincidence I picked out three books by the same author/illustrator!

Have you read Anthony Browne‘s books before? We have. For my uni course, one of the set books is a picture book by Anthony Browne called Voices in the Park. We read it and loved it instantly. Max loves it because there is a bit in it where a dog ‘sniffs’ another dog’s bum, and I love it because of the simple but meaningful story and the beautiful illustration which just perfectly backs the tale up.

I really really recommend it! In fact, now having read all of the books we checked out from the library, I would recommend all of them.

We wondered through the ‘loud books’ section as well and picked out Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox and Other Stories and Jill Tomlinson’s The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark. I like popping these in the cd player in the car for the children (ok ok and me) to listen to.

The interesting thing about picking these two out was that on the way home I realised that lately I’ve been thinking about designing my own little fox and my own little owl to sew. So there may have been a little subconscious going on there! Watch this space!

And lastly I picked up a book on cupcakes. We’re into cupcakes at the moment… (my hips are screaming as I write this!) and look! The title is the same as my blog entry on cupcakes! Another coinkidinky!

The book is by Susannah Blake and it has some seriously yummy looking cupcakes!! This one seems appropriate at the moment:

Remember remember the 5th of November… (quote from V for Vendetta… great movie!) Guy Fawkes day. Fireworks galore here! I’ll blog about this in my next post though I think.

Race against time

It’s always so exciting to receive a new book. I love books. I also love sewing, so sewing books are always double exciting.

Here’s what I received in the post a couple of days ago:

I have recently discovered Hillary Lang’s blog, Wee Wonderfuls and loved the dolls she makes. So, of course when I spotted her book, I had to have a copy.

Just the right timing actually, as I need to make a little something for an adorable little girl called Zoe in New Zealand. It really needs to be done yesterday, but because I was down with tonsillitis for a week then had an essay due, I only just started!! Here’s what I’ve taken pictures of:

This is some of my sources. I love it that nothing in there matches until you have a project, and then you find just the right stuff!

Here’s a sneaky peak at what I’m making. This cat is just so cute! I adore her shoes!

I think this colour combo is really nice for her. I hope that my theory will prove right!

All drawn up!

All chopped up. It’s funny to think that when I first start tracing, I start off with nice writing and spelling out, like Body, Cut 2, Body Fabric and by the end I end of the millions of cut out, I end up with B, x2, BF.

So, i really hope I will finish by Saturday. It HAS to be finished by Saturday, otherwise it will miss the big jet plane that offered to fly it all the way to Auckland! So sew hands, seeeeeeeeeeewwwwww…….

Summer reads

Oh dear… Where has the time gone?? I can’t believe I haven’t written anything for over a week…

To be fair, we have been busy. Entertaining the children, chores, running around etc etc. I have also been busy with my summer reading. Have I mentioned I’m studying for a uni degree? Well, this year I’m studying Children’s Literature. So looking forward to this one! Last year I did English Literature, which was ok but very demanding. Still, with a good tutor I did better than I expected when it came to writing our papers.

The reading material wasn’t nearly as exciting last year than it is this year though! I mean Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons vs. Alcott’s Little Women, or Shelley’s Frankenstein vs. Stevenson’s Treasure Island…. You get my point.

So far I’ve read Voices in the Park, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Swallows and Amazons, Mortal Engines and Junk. Beats me how Junk fits into the children’s literature category, but it was very well written.

How about you? Have you got a summer read?

Oh, I found a post on Posie Gets Cozy on summer reading for children. Alicia put a great little list together with a couple of librarian’s help based on her readers’ suggestions. It’s all organised by age groups on a printable list. Well worth having a look ! And while you’re at Posie Gets Cozy… check out Alicia’s new studio! oh, oh, ooooh, I want one!!!