Words–Their Weft & Warp Template

Words. Unusual words. Forgotten words. Foreign words. And some whose authenticity one may question, but are fun anyway. In other words, not your average grade 4 spelling list. Enjoy!

(n) fr; One who strolls around aimlessly but enjoyably, observing life and his surroundings


(n) The deep emotional bond between people, esp. those separated by distance and death.

Pictures Worth a Thousand Inspirations

Last week I posted briefly on “Which Books Started You Reading?

Today I’d like to honor the fantastic artists that helped make some of those books memorable and twigged my interest in art and drawing. Some picture books I enjoyed for the words alone. Some I ‘enjoyed’ because the drawings and paintings, so quirky or beautiful or curious, made up for a lame story.

The best children’s books, of course, are the ones where author and illustrator were paired off on equal footing.

The earliest illustrators that made me sit up and take notice were Garth Williams, Richard Scarry, Susan Perl and Robert McKlosky. These are just a few.

Robert McCloskey: McCloskey 2

His picture book drawings were sweet and his chapter books about Homer Price are barrel full of interesting , full-of-life and humour characteristics. So is his writing, and the antics the characters get up to were unlike anything I’d read up to that point.image_blueberriesforsalDoughggnuts Homer Price and the Doughnut machine that kept spewing more and more doughnuts. The “42 pounds of edible fungus in the wilderness a-growing” poem was so catchy even my parents were repeating it ad nauseum. Only it wasn’t nauseous, it was fun. And the elixir that made everything “ever-so-much-more-so.” Beauty. Pure Beauty.

Garth Williams:

charlottes-web-a-writers-tribute-21469142 BedtimeforFrances1He illustrated “Charlotte’s Web” with heart-warming images of the pig and spider we came to love as kids.

He brought to life The “Little house on the Prairie” books, showing us what a butter churn looked like and how Laura and Mary played ball with a pig’s bladder. We lived the books with Laura not just because of her word skill but because of Garth’s pictoral capture of life “back in the day.”0877910664bc80e773fda874675a5f4e75d1e0e44d

And scores of picture books are memorable because of his soft illustrations that gave us the ‘warm fuzzies.’

 Richard Scarry: Long before “Where’s Waldo” or any other “I spy” type book, there was Richard Scarry and his busy world books full of busy little animals doing busy day-to-day things like shopping, sweeping, mowing. And in the corners were little by-plays going on, like someone sipping on a banana peel and landing in an ice-cream vat.4 There were characters like Bananas Gorilla with a dozen watches on his arm, and Lowly Worm with only one “leg” and one shoe. Or the Three Hungry Beggars.scarry I poured over them when I was young. And I poured over them again when my first two children were old enough for them and given a few of the big hard cover books by their Uncle Tom. The girls dubbed them the Big Tom books and wore the spines out of them. What greater tribute could an author or illustrator attain to?richard-scarry-dough2


Authors and artists like these planted a dream inside my very core, and it’s taken me years but I’m on the path now. The dream has become a tangible goal.

Who were your childhood favorites, authors and illustrators that struck a cord?

Stay tuned next week for three more of my favourite illustrators (/authors):

Susan Perl 

Michael Marchenko

Shirley Hughes






Words–Their Weft & Warp 26

Words. Unusual words. Forgotten words. Foreign words. And some whose authenticity one may question, but are fun anyway. In other words, not your average grade 4 spelling list. Enjoy!

(n) Promoting Peace


(n) a detailed, prolonged, imaginary world created by a child, that includes humans, animals and/or aliens/fantasy beings

esprit d’escalier
(n) The witty comeback you think of after the event where you needed it

Words–Their Weft & Warp 25

Words. Unusual words. Forgotten words. Foreign words. And some whose authenticity one may question, but are fun anyway. In other words, not your average grade 4 spelling list. Enjoy!

(n) a tiny, brilliant flash or spark; a barely visible trace.

Sitzfleisch (sitz-fly.sh)
(n) literally, ‘sitting flesh’ or posterior.Metaphorically, the ability to sit through, tolerate or persist in mundane or boring events or tasks

This is something I have very little of.

(n) the desire to stay in the sun; a craving for sunlight.

And this last one, folks is me in a nutshell. :)

Which Books Started You Reading?

I’m talking about the book or books that that made you really click into the whole reading thing.

My mother read to us. Originally I enjoyed Curious George, because he was as nosy as I was. I loved Dr. Seuss because of his wacky imagination and his made up wild and weird words. Frog and Toad had me under a spell too. Then along came Amelia Bedelia and her literal interpretation of everything had me in giggles.

I got a bit older and my mother started to read us longer stories. Then one year for Christmas she bought me the first 3 Bobbsey twins mysteries. They were the precursors to the Nancy Drew and Hardy boys books, and once started, I had my click into the world of books. I didn’t put it into words then, but I loved the mystery, the light thrill of following clues with the characters through tricky situations to the eventual outcome.

After that followed Henry Huggins, Ramona the Pest, Paddington with his innocent foibles, and I was well and truly hooked.

It didn’t stop at fiction. The How & Why Wonder books, full of interesting illustrated bits of research about rocks and minerals, the sun, or evergreen trees and etc, led me to love learning. They were the  precursors to today’s childrens’ Eyewitness books.

And now I’m a writer, trying to capture the magic of those first impressions in books of my own. Wish me luck, and I’ll do the same for you.
http://cdnpix.com/show/imgs/b9bdafbb991d48ec45419c5a739c6c91.jpgWhich books clicked you into reading? Why?