March 22, 2011

TINY TOT TUESDAY: La, la, Lois Lenski!

Hi friends! Did you know? Did you know that when you water plants, they tend to GROW?? Why am I the last to know everything?

I took a little break from watering my orchid, for SEVERAL MONTHS, and then began watering it again, and it grew little baby orchid buds and now it looks like this:


So I thought I could get some good use of my daughter's old toddler and baby books by doing a special feature once a week on books we read when she was smaller. Actually, sometimes we end up reading the same books that we’ve had for awhile, it’s just that now she can understand them and ask questions about the meanings of words and whatnot. And I can see some of them coming in quite handy when she learns to read and needs simple text to practice.

Here is the missy when she was a Tiny Tot:

Cool photo right???? I’d like to claim that I am some kind of master photographer, but no. This was some kind of alchemistic camera moment and I have NO IDEA how I achieved this shot!

During her toddler years, Julia insisted on lugging around the book you're about to see everywhere she went.

Lois Lenski was a prolific children’s book illustrator and author who wrote primarily in the 1930’s and ‘40’s and is most known for her book, Strawberry Girl. Her art is extremely charming and old-fashioned-y, very simple and pleasing to the eye.

 The Little Family is the cutest darn thing. It was seriously my daughter's favorite book for a good long time. It is also HILARIOUSLY out of date with today’s attitudes, but hey, it was written in 1932! Lenski's work is so enduringly popular that her books are easy to find in any library or bookstore.

The story, you have to see it to believe it:

Don’t you love it?? Well, of course. Righty-o.

The whole little book continues on this way. Sally plays with her doll, Tommy plays with his ball. We happened upon this book at the library and my kid loved it so much I finally bought our own copy, which is now falling apart. SHE FREAKING LOVES THIS BOOK. I give this book a huge shout out because the art is so darling, and while you will shake your head at the story, it is so earnest that it’s hard to even take offense at the nonsensical way the females are portrayed.

My husband thinks this book should be an INSTRUCTION MANUAL. (Not really. But he did have a good laugh about it.)

Julia loved this one almost as much (and it won’t make you feel like throwing the book across the room):

Policeman Small is the man. He is very busy. He helps a farmer with his dairy cart. He helps a puppy. He directs a parade. He works his stop-go sign.

And then:

He takes a little rest! After his ice cream! OMG it’s so cute I can’t handle it.

Finally, we have this guy:

Cowboy Small is a swell dude. He eats beans. He rides a bucking bronco. His trusty horse is named Cactus. He knows how to get back in the saddle when he falls off. I want to hang out with Cowboy Small if I ever need to go rope cows.

Don’t be thrown off by the old school style and feel of these books. I think there is a reason they are still around – kids think these books are the bee’s knees!


  1. Melissa, thank you! I have my mother's copy of Cowboy's been through three generations so far! Seeing the words on the page in your blog I can still hear my grandmother's sweet voice reading to us. Cheers!

  2. Thanks so much for your kind note! I have so so many books that were mine from the time I was five. The first time I was able to read one of my own books to my daughter I almost cried!