(from the bookshelf ) – the lone little bull

Oh,  how I love this story, never have I met such a good-natured bull …

The Story of Ferdinand ~ by Munro Leaf (Author), and Robert Lawson (Illustrator)

“all the other bulls who had grown up with him in the same pasture would fight each other all day.  They would butt each other and stick each other with their horns.What they wanted most of all was to be picked to fight at the bull fights in Madrid …But not Ferdinand.”


















I have read this story many times to my girl when she was young …  the book was even wrapped up nicely by my daughter and put under the Christmas tree one year when my  girl who noticed how fond I was of Ferdinand .. she thought I should certainly have a few more special presents just for me.

There is so much to be admired about a little bull who knows how to listen to his heart and happily sits among the flowers and underneath a cork tree in a little pasture in Spain …  instead of butting heads as the other little bulls do. 

 Though it is not always easy to stand alone or stand out …how important for our little folks (and ourselves) to know that we can. By the way did you notice the “cork tree”?  … Or all the boo boos and bandages the other little bulls are sporting?.  

Don’t be surprised if soon a little fellow comes to visit with a story of his own … Happy Weekend!





(from the bookshelf) – important things

 Glimpsing  the world through a child’s eyes and what makes one thing itself and not another.

 Day by day first impressions of young eyes and hands meeting their world, learning not just words but the truth of something behind the words.










How lovely The Important Book by author Margaret Wise Brown is sharing  moments inspired by the found truths of the young child  ” that a spoon is like a shovel…”, “that rain is wet, falls from the sky, and makes things shiny…” and that “the sky is always there” ..

Why would a book the speaks so simply be important?  The Important Book is not a picture book dictionary defining random objects, but the coming to know deeply essences as experienced by all our senses. Even as adults, we still are finding understanding through these same senses ….











In the little town where we once live, a river runs through the center of town.  I remember, as I had  walked to town one day with my child on her small toddler feet …  crossing a stone bridge that overlooked rushing waters,  I picked up my daughter to see the waters below. There with the wind blowing on our faces, my young child raised her little voice against the mighty loudness of the rushing water to tell me what she saw …”black and white, black and white”.

It took me a moment or so to catch on, but as toddlers often have a way of insisting you acknowledge their words with the echoing of their voice with your own voice.. “yes… black and white,” I say… the river’s dark water and foam shared its strong  message clearly as we learned what the Spring rushing waters knew…

The Important Book is a no less an important book than the better known books by author Margaret Wise Brown, Good Night Moon and My World . All these sweet books are accompanied by the lovey illustrations of Leonard Weisgard . You can read more about Margaret Wise Brown her life  and books here.

Happy reading!

(from the bookshelf) – beds, books and donuts

While under the weather, sick in bed for three weeks (that is almost the whole month of April ) … there was definitely time to read a lot in bed.

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey had it’s chance for a second time around read. This time read by my child who could mostly read this sweet book herself.

Homer Price contains a series of lovely short stories about life for a young boy from the town of Centerburg. The cast of characters includes: a pet skunk, the string savers club, sandwich advertising man, a comic book super hero, a tinkerer and a hermit inventor and the not to be missed latest, modern “time -saving” machines.

Now about those donuts ….

Having no new-fangled, modern machinery at my disposal and not wanting to fry donuts in a quart of oil …. I came across this wonderful recipe for baked donuts.

They were very tasty and an important way to end reading about “the donuts”.


“Homer pressed the button marked ‘stop’ and there was a little click, but nothing happened . The rings of batter kept right on dropping…gadgets kept right on turning them over…”


  • 7/8 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk  or yogurt


1- Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

2- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, oil and buttermilk or yogurt until foamy.
 3- Pour the liquid ingredients all at once into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.

4- Butter or grease the doughnut pan; non-stick pan spray works well here.  Note: even though the pan is non-stick, since the doughnuts are low-fat they may stick unless you grease the pan first.  

5- Fill each doughnut form half full.

6 – Bake the doughnuts in a preheated 375°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. When done, they’ll spring back when touched lightly, and will be quite brown on the top.

7-  Remove the doughnuts from the oven, remove them from the pan, and allow them to cool on rack. If desired, glaze with icing, or dust  with cinnamon-sugar or any non-melting sugar. 

This recipe is originally from the King Arthur Flour website.

(at the workbench) – the woodcutter’s story

i love a good story… even as my daughter grows tall … we love reading stack upon stack of old picture books and fairy tales…

hidden in these stories are truths so old and deep that their meanings continue to reveal themselves as we grow older. if you are not familiar with this lovely site- SurLaLune Fairy Tales–  take a look. you will find a beautiful collection of fairy tales, illustrations, annotations and similar stories found across cultures.

here are a couple of favorite stories about the brave, and honest woodcutter’s journey:
~ the golden goose 
~ the honest woodcutter

and of course there are these old folk tales:
 ~ brave Jack of “Jack and the Beanstalk”
~ little red riding hood

my sick little girl woke up early this past wednesday morning and from another room I heard:  “Wha-ching, watching, wha-ching”. there in her hands was the happy discovery of the woodcutter’s ax – a new tool I made late the night before while she slept. perhaps this may sound funny, but some how wooden toys feel honest; they are earthy and wonderful to touch and hold. Because wooden toys have this quality they become tools for the imagination.

this woodcutter’s ax – as quickly as it was finished, made it’s way to a little boy’s hands for his fifth birthday. No sooner was his present unwrapped and there he was “ka-chink, ka-chink, ka-chink”It’s always so wonderful to see a child at play!

well, I am back to the workbench to finish today’s many projects – there will certainly be a couple more wooden axes in the works. one that will have to make it’s way back to my daughter’s hands!

PS. If you or a friend are a lover of fairy tales – I would love if you could share a comment about your favorite woodcutter’s story. Thank you!

(from the bookshelf) – The Selfish Giant

It is that time of year …
in the thick of winter …still months to go till Spring … we find ourselves waiting

but even in the heart of Winter …
a memory of that far away world is still in bloom

a lovely book by Oscar Wilde… with giants visited by children, a Lady Snow and a Mr Frost playing in an enchanted garden that Spring has forgotten …

… a modern fairy tale where Winter lives eternal

while a giant’s heart is frozen cold.

Hoping you stay cozy through these long winter days warmed with thoughts of Springs return….