I don’t need to tell anyone that the world has changed or that I can’t wait for a state of mostly-safe and relatively-normal to return so I can greet friends with a hug or hang out at the library with a stack of picture books as I search for the perfect one to share with you.
Out in the world, everything has changed.
Last week at the grocery store, a sign limited shoppers to one loaf of bread. I had arrived too late. The aisle for water also posted a one flat limit. Toilet paper? If I hadn’t been down to our last roll, I could have saved myself the drive to five stores to locate a package of this necessity which, from the state of the world, holds a value near gold. Shoppers around me grabbed anything remaining on the shelves and loaded their carts to overflowing. As I added ten cans of black beans and ten boxes of pasta to my cart, (don’t judge) I formed an image of the Grinch and his dog, Max, with their heavily ladened sleigh, making their way back home on Christmas Eve.
In my yard, nothing has changed.
The robins have returned and are, as I’m writing to you, setting their heads near the earth to listen for worms. Outside my kitchen window, the first tiny buds have emerged on the trees and shrubs. A squirrel, my daughter and I named Bob, visits our back porch each morning in search of the seeds and nuts I set out for him. And when the sun has set, millions of stars twinkle, like distant lanterns, across the sky.
Inside my home, not much has changed.
I don’t leave the house unless I absolutely must. That has changed. But…
I continue to write while my daughter works through her online classes. Our parakeet chats while the cockatiel whistles his version of Take Me Out To The Ballgame. In his big terrarium, 0ur tortoise knocks against the glass to let me know when he’s out of spinach or kale and would appreciate having his neck caressed. As the sun slowly crosses through our living room, our dog wakes long enough to change his napping location to stay in the center of the warm beam of light.
Later in the day, my daughter and I play gin rummy or browse through our books and read. Some days we watch a favorite movie or hang out in our cozy art room to paint. In the evenings when my husband comes home from work, we sit down to dinner, share our day, play a board game, and read until bedtime.
All of this tells me that home is a great place to be.
Which leads me to my Perfect Picture Book Friday selection.
Title – Home: A Journey Through America
A collection of poetry by over a dozen poets
Illustrator –Thomas Locker
Published by – Silver Whistle – 1998
Suitable for ages – 4 to 8
Topics – Poetry
Opening – Home is more than just the place we return to after being away. Home is something that becomes part of us as we live in it. For artists and writers, home can become part of how we see the world and how we shape our words or our artwork. For everyone, the place we call home becomes a part of our lives.
Amazon Review HERE. Home. In this unique volume, prominent American writers from the past and present–Willa Cather, Henry David Thoreau, Eloise Greenfield–give voice to the region of the country each calls home. Thomas Locker’s lavish oil paintings accompany each passage, transporting the reader from the crashing waves of the Pacific coast to the bluebonnet fields of the Texas prairie. Come along on a spectacular journey through our home–America.
Watch and listen to a short, but wonderful, video of Thomas Locker HERE.
Other books by Thomas Locker HERE.
Poets included in this book plus links to learn more about each one.
Joseph Bruchac HERE
Willa Cather HERE
Robert Frost HERE
Merle Good HERE
Eloise Greenfield HERE
Washington Irving HERE
Abraham Lincoln HERE
Thomas Locker HERE
Pat Mora HERE
John Muir HERE
Carl Sandburg HERE
Henry David Thoreau HERE
Jane Yolen HERE
Before I sign off for today, I found a few music videos I thought you might enjoy.
Louis Armstrong sings What a Wonderful World HERE.
Cat Stevens sings Morning Has Broken HERE.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow sung by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo ‘ole HERE.
Until next Friday.