I was reading the book Grandma Moses tonight to our children and was pleasantly struck by two simple paragraphs.
"One day an art collector from New York, Louis Caldor, passed through Hoosick Falls and saw Anna Mary's pictures. He liked her scenes of farm life and of days gone by. He said the cozy pictures made him feel happy and he thought other people would feel the same way."
"People liked the honest way Anna Mary painted memories of her heart. They smiled at scenes of long-ago days-quilting bees, playing in the snow, families getting together on holidays."
I have always enjoyed reading aloud to our children. Since Dominic was small, we have clocked hours upon hours of reading together. With each additional child, my elbows, shoulders, and head have grown accustomed to having children clamoring, hoping to catch a glimpse of the illustrations while they listen to me read a new or old favorite literary work.
I have such vivid childhood memories especially about the books I read as a child. I can remember most titles, but there are a handful of stories I particularly remember loving, but can't seem to recall the exact names of the book to check them out for my children. The memories of reading and visiting the library came to mind when I read these passages tonight about Grandma Moses. As the years continue to click on, I know the wonderful stories we read together will become childhood memories of days long-ago and they will look back with such fondness.
For the benefit of my children, my own records, and anyone looking for some great titles, I hope to record each day (or most) what books we read together under this heading Shop Around the Corner. I couldn't help but naming these featured posts after Meg Ryan's bookstore in You've Got Mail. Wasn't it enchanting how she loved her whimsical bookstore? Wasn't it wonderful how she decorated with twinkle lights? I remember loving the sound the lights made when each bulb tapped the one adjacent to it. I loved how she knew about each book and was able to help people through her knowledge of books.
Our Shop Around the Corner 9/28/14:
(While my primary intent is for my own record keeping, I will put an asterisk in front of the titles I personally would recommend.)
*Grandma Moses by Alexandra Wallner
Martin de Porres by Gary D. Schmidt
**Corgiville Fair by Tasha Tudor (One of my favorite authors. I could read any of her books on repeat.)
Starry Messenger Galileo Galilei by Peter Sis
*Mark Twain and the Queens of the Mississippi by Cheryl Harness
*Blockhead: The Life of Fibonacci by Joseph D'Agnese
*The Little Plant Doctor: A Story About George Washington Carver by Jean Marzollo
**The Mouse of Amherst (about Emily Dickinson) by Elizabeth Spires (The voracious vocabulary included in the book was outstanding.)
**Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy that dropped from the Sky by Margot Theis Raven.