Monday, June 04, 2007

Children's Book Monday

She is tiny. She is sweet. And my seventeen-month-old daughter adores her.

I found these tiny books at our library last month, and keep them safely stowed away in my bedroom. When Eliana wants to read them, she stands at the gate to the hallway and shouts... well, it's really unintelligible to you, but I know she's asking for Vera.

Marjolein Bastin, a Dutch author, wrote and illustrated these tiny, sweet books. My library only has three, but there are nine books in the series that were printed in English, and one of them is full size. (Browse through Marjolein's site - it is delightful! She is a nature lover, therefore nature infuses her drawings and writings with its beauty.)

Vera is a delight - she dons her prettiest pinafore, just for her reader, and lets us follow her throughout her day. In My Name is Vera, we learn that mice are messy creatures, and that is why she must put on six aprons while she cooks! And we also see that, even though Vera does not like to wash dishes (for it gets her little paws wet), she always ends up singing halfway through the job!

In Vera and Her Friends, some of the friends we are introduced to are: a wren, whom Vera calls Chicky; Joey, a goldfinch who brings fresh milk from his farm in a tiny bucket; Doggie, who is a ladybug that walks on a leash when not in the woods; and my favorite, cousin Blanche. She has white fur and red eyes - and insists on some sherry before bed. (Just like my favorite male character ever written!)

I think perhaps my favorite (of the three) is Vera Dresses Up. What fun! Vera empties her wardrobe to show us her favorite outfits: a flowery dress that, once donned, makes the sun shine! A dress for autumn, patterned after the toadstools that grow in the woods, and Dolly even has one just like it! And her final outfit of the day, a long flowing nightgown, as she tucks in under her warm quilt.

I love reading these books with my little girl. We wear our aprons to work in the kitchen. We play dress up, even! Yes, I love to pick out dresses for my darling to wear every day - and she does, too! And when we snuggle up to read these together, the beautiful drawings reach out and pull us in, and we enjoy life with Vera.

The rest of the books in the Vera the Mouse series are: Vera's Special Hobbies, Vera in the Kitchen, Games with Vera, Vera in the Garden, Vera in the Washtub, and A Little Dog for Vera. I hope you can find some of these at your local library!

Happy Reading!

12 fellow travelers shared:

Randi said...

I love the author's artwork, although I have never seen her kids books. Hopefully my library has some!

henryteachers said...

I was just in the middle of finding books online at my library before our visit tomorrow. Unfortunately, none are there. My daughter would have loved Vera dresses up. Too bad, the Vera books sound wonderful!

Beka said...

These books sound so sweet! I've seen other artwork by Marjolein Bastin but didn't know she had children's books.
I LOVE your music-- had to stay a while to hear the whole piece: it's one of my favorites. I love haunting, melancholy pieces like this.

Me said...

Two wonderful illustrators this week and last.

I didn't know Bastin did books - I am familiar with her artwork.

Andrea said...

I love that artist.
Sounds like really sweet books.

EEEEMommy said...

I love what I've seen of hers at Hallmark, as do my mom and grandma, but I had no idea she'd written books too! How delightful! I'll have to check out her website.
I'm enjoying the music too.

Beverly said...

I love that artist and didn't know she was an author! I am really excited now :-)

chickadee said...

so cute! i'll have to look for those.
i've always loved her cards.

Wendy WaterBirde said...

Oh this has such a sweet feeling. My favorite, "even though Vera does not like to wash dishes (for it gets her little paws wet), she always ends up singing halfway through the job!"

Hope alls well with you Elise : )



Christine said...

Those look soooo cute! Thanks for reviewing these, I'll have to check them out!

henryteachers said...

Hi again Elise! I'm a day late posting Children's Book Monday but didn't want to miss out on sharing my new favorite children's book.

kittyhox said...

Oh my goodness, those are darling little mice! I'll have to look for them when my son gets a bit older.

I just LOVE children's books. I like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I can't wait until my son is ready to read! (He's only one, so he just likes to point, flip the flaps, and turn the pages.)


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