Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book(s) o' the Month(s): Mr. Popper's Penguins & Images of America

All of September, Tom and I took turns reading Mr. Popper's Penguins (by Richard and Florence Atwater) to Valerie and Andrew before bed. This charming chapter book (with a number of wonderful vintage illustrations) was a Newbury Honor Book in 1939. It is utterly delightful, just right for when you want something engaging for young children (without violence, or other undesirable elements). The fanciful ending is a bit far-fetched, I think, even for 1938 (when first published), but does not detract from this darling story.

Images of America is a series of books published by Arcadia Publishing. If you browse through this list you might just find your town. You can probably pick up a copy at your local library, like I did, then immerse yourself in local history. I read mine in about a day (I live in a very small community), but found it fascinating. Each chapter contains a few paragraphs, followed by several pages of old photos with descriptive captions. Now, as I drive along the valley road, I can pick out a number of significant landmarks. Even though I am a relatively new member of the community, knowing something about it's past gives me a deeper sense of understanding about this place where I live.


  1. I'm going to have to check out the Images book....I live in Ilion, NY which is only famous for Remington Arms -- the plant takes up a good chunk of the town. I'll have to dig a little deeper and see if there's more to this place I call home (I'm only a transplant, so I can be excused from being ignorant).

  2. I'm back -- I actually found the township we live in (not the village), but that's okay. I'm thinking this would make a great Christmas present for a certain husband of mine. Thanks for the tip.

  3. I'm up to my ears in books. Christina is reading a vampire book for kids and Chrystal Is reading all the "No David!" books. Not to mention a handful of holiday books too.

    Reading together is great, but when can they read me a story and I take a nap???