A Look At A Book 13

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail de Marcken.

This charming colorful book tells a fable for our times and celebrates the joy of giving and sharing.

A generous quilt maker, with magic in her fingers, sews the most beautiful quilts in the world. But she does not sell them. She only gives them to the poor and those who need them.

A greedy king, with every treasure he can stuff into his storehouse, remains sad and lonely. He yearns for the one gift that will make him happy.

Could that gift be a quilt?

Will the quiltmaker sew a quilt for the king?

Can the quilt maker teach the king to be happy?

What will the king do with all his splendid treasures?

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Look for clues to the story in the quilts–all 250 of them!!!

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Mother’s Cookbook

Does this book look at all familiar? It sure does to me! It is my mother’s cookbook! She bought it in 1968, the year it was published. I grew up with this wonderful fount of recipes in her kitchen daily.

It was used on the stove, on the counter, on the table and in her hands. Sometimes I held the book while she read the directions and cooked the dish. This pretty red and white number has withstood many a spill, spoon and steam over. It has been dropped, slammed, cut, burned and soaked. But it has survived to be cherished by a second generation, a third and now a fourth.

One of the great things about this cookbook is the basic information it has on the inside covers. I can’t tell you how many times I have used these substitutions in my cooking. Do you see all the rub and wear marks on the page? How many times has this cover been opened and closed over the last 50 years? I cannot even imagine!

The  Chapter I remember the best is the one on Pastry and Pies. Mother was the best baker I knew and made the best pies ever. I think about her most often during the Holidays when I am making my pies. While rolling out the dough made with her recipe, I have conversations in my head with her. I tell her all about the happenings of the year, what the kids have been up to, the good, the bad, everything really. I trully believe she hears me up there in Heaven, where she is making angelic pies for the saints.

I learned to cook with this cookbook. Basic things and complex things too. I started with cream sauce. This exact recipe seen here was my first dish. I added a can of tuna and poured it over saltine crackers. I loved having pictures to follow. It was mistake proof at the time.

Years later I made this for my family. The kids loved it! My daughter still talks about it being one of her favorite dishes from her childhood. Who would have guessed?

For many years the magazine Better Homes and Gardens printed recipes that were to be used in the cookbook. This recipe was printed in 1972 and was to be filed under Meats. My cookbook is jam-packed with dozens of these stuffed under their proper headings. Most of them are award winning recipes, but very few of them are low calorie.

Most of them are wrinkled and torn but that just adds to the charm for me.

What cookbook nowadays has a chapter on Table Settings and Entertaining? Well this one does! Look at all the headings. Is that wonderful or what?! What a great gift for a new wife!

Take a look at these suggested menus! I’m very interested in Crab-artichoke Bake, but who does Hot Fruit Compote anymore? And isn’t that stain at the bottom of the page as sweet as can be? Is that broth or soup or tea? Could it be meat drippings or vegetable stock? What memories are in that little discolored spot on that page in that old book.Have a gander at their idea of the ideal kitchen. I have to say I love all the blue! But where are all the windows! It is way too dark for me. And who needs a rotisserie anymore, really.

Mother’s cookbook symbolizes so many things for me. It is a great repository of recipes, memories, nostalgia, good times. It continues to teach me lessons about cooking, life, sharing, relationships, old math principles and good housekeeping.

My daughter saw me cook with it and now my grandson Mac is getting to use it. Fifty years it has been our family, teaching its many lessons to four generations of cooks.

It is a tough little book with tender ways. No matter how many mistakes we make, it continues to forgive and forget.

It sits patiently on the shelf until needed. It always has the answer to any question asked of it. It never makes demands and only has suggestions for success. It never wears out and seems only to get better with age.

Mother’s cookbook. Ready for another fifty years of devoted service.

 

A Look At A Book 12

Not So Tall For Six written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer is a wonderfull book about being brave and smart and big at heart.

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Meet Kylie Bell, the not-so-tallest one in the first grade. She might be small but she never lets size get her down. Nope. Kylie Bell is brave.

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When that bully-boy Rusty Jacks slithers around her like a half-starved rattlesnake, what is Kylie Bell to do? Can she keep hold of her courage, not to mention her good manners

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Take a fresh and funny look at bravery in this heartwarming book

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As a child author Dianna Hutts Aston was afraid of clowns, ducks and oral reports. Since then she has learned that no one is born with courage. As Kylie Bell finds out, courage takes practice.

Illustrator Frank W. Dormer says he is not afraid of anything. Well, maybe he’s afraid of rickets. And scurvy. He overcomes his fears by sitting in the sun with a tall glass of orange juice.

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What are you afraid of and how do you overcome your fears?

The Grandparent Book

G BookGrandparents’ Day is coming soon. September 11 to be exact. Want to get a great gift for yourself or any other grandparent in your life? I have a wonderful suggestion: The Grandparent Book by Amy Brouse Rosenthal.

This is not a book about grandparenting skills. It is not a humorous book about funny interactions between grandparents and their almost always funny grandchildren. It is not a book about famous grandparents.

It is however, a place to record those precious family memories and special traditions you would like to pass along to the next generations.

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It is most definitely a platform for sharing the lifetime of wisdom you have surely accumulated and that your family needs you to share.

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It is absolutely a keepsake in the making. Your own personal legacy of memories, thoughts, cares, wisdom and learning, all stored in one easily transferrable book.

The book starts out with the basic statistics of who you are and where you come from. Then comes page after page of leading questions to be answered. . . . . or not. It’s a free country! There are plenty of spaces for photos and souvenirs to be added to the written words.

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Some of the great topics are: The Inside Scoop On My Siblings, Life At The Family Dinner Table, What Drew Me To My Future Spouse. There’s even space for family members to write special notes and comments.

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When filled in, this book becomes a treasure trove of memories, thoughts, feelings, traditions and unique family moments to be gifted and shared with those you love the most.

First it is a gift for the grandparent and then it becomes an incredible inheritance for the grandchild.  What other book could do more than that?

A Look At A Book 11

Cowboy Slim by Julie Dannenberg and Margot Apple

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Cowboy Slim always wanted to be a cowboy, but he is a poet who can’t rope, whip, or ride. Who ever heard of such a thing?

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But Slim knows he could be a real cowboy – if only the ranch hands would give him a chance.

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Slim saves the herd from a stampede with his wonderful poetry.

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This book is perfect for cowboys and cowgirls who long to ride at the head of the herd.

A Look At A Book 10

IF“Not So Tall For Six” by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer.

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Meet Kylie Bell, the not-so-tallest one in the first grade. Kylie Bell may be small, but she never lets size get her down. Nope. Kylie Bell is brave.

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But when that bully-boy Rusty Jacks slithers around her like a half-starved rattlesnake, what is Kylie Bell to do? Can she keep hold of her courage, not to mention her good manners?

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The author Dianna Hutts Aston states that as a child she was afraid of clowns, ducks, and oral reports. Since then she has learned that no one is born with courage. As Kylie Bell finds out, courage takes practice.

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Take a fresh and funny look at bravery in this heartwarming story.

A Look At A Book 9

IMG_0878All the Huffles are fast asleep, except for poor Jack.

He heard a noise that rocked the floor.

He heard a noise that shook the door

Jack heard . . . a SNORE!

IMG_0879Just who is making such a racket? Unable to sleep, Jack and his dog go searching. It must be Mama Gwyn, whose huffs and puffs set her curlers spinning, but when Jack wakes her up . . . the snore ROARS on!

IMG_0881And so it goes with Baby Sue, the twins, Papa Ben, even the farm animals. At last the Huffles follow their ears toward a surprising culprit.

IMG_0882This fun-loving rhyming tale of a sleepless night will cause many giggles, as well as rousing kids to chime in at the refrains. An amusing must-have book for every family, because, well, everyone snores. (Yes, even you!)

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