Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Yes, I am going to go on as if this fun little imagination series of posts was not Rudely Interrupted by reality. So I’m sorry I’ve been gone but really; in the words of Han Solo “It’s not my fault.”

Imagination is a very powerful tool. So very powerful that it is important to remember to use it mindfully. Not carefully, imagination should be allowed to soar and swoop and go to places never before visited . . . but mindfully.

sam bangs moonshine 1

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine is the story of a fisherman’s daughter Sam (Samantha) who has a expansive imagination. She tells people her mother is a mermaid, that she owns a kangaroo and she talks to her cat (Bangs) who understands and talks back.

sam bangs moonshine 2

Sam spends her days riding in her dragon-drawn chariot and telling her friend Thomas to go to different places to search for the kangaroo (who’s always just stepped out).

sam bangs moonshine 5

Her father tells Sam all the time to “talk real” and “stop all the moonshine”. Sam doesn’t listen much, she’s too busy playing imagining games.

sam bangs moonshine 4

One day without thinking about it, she tells Thomas that the kangaroo went out to Blue Rock, which is far out in the harbor. A bad storm blows in and puts Thomas in terrible danger.

sam bangs moonshine 6

Sam feels terrible and scared and tells her Father who rushes out into the storm and saves Thomas. Sam has learned a Valuable lesson about real and not-real. From now on she knows to use imagination in a mindful manner.

sam bangs moonshine 7

The next day Sam’s father brings her a little animal he found on a banana boat while it was unloading. She says it’s a kangaroo, he says “No, it’s a gerbil.” She takes it over to Thomas who is very sick in bed and gives it to him.

This wonderful book shows us how vital it is to not lose sight of what’s around us while we are indulging in imaginative play. Don’t put yourself or others in danger, don’t forget that something is cooking on the stove, don’t forget to cage up the baby in the playpen so it can’t hurt itself, don’t ignore the baby if it needs a change or snack, and don’t sit on the dog/cat. But also do not forget to play around in your imagination, no matter how busy your everyday life gets. Make some time to play.

sam bangs moonshine 3

I really like the illustrations in this book. The choice of doing them in pen and ink with ink washes and having only one other color (an olive green) really emphasizes that it’s the mind of the reader/imaginer that is populating this world.

Gosh, this has been a really herky-jerky post. I hope you have enjoyed Sam, Bangs & Moonshine any way. If you liked it enough to want a copy you can find a copy pretty easily on ebay or the net. I got mine years ago at a library sale — don’t you just love the library sales? So many books, so little space to put them in my little house.

Imagination is so very powerful and it is a skill that requires practice and should be encouraged. Playing imagination games with simple things that would ordinarily be thrown away is one of the greatest pleasures of childhood. That is what today’s story is all about.

christina katerina Box 1

Christina Katerina & the Box is all about the fact that little children just love cardboard boxes. It begins with a new refrigerator being delivered down the street from Christina’s house. Her mother is all in awe of the new appliance but all Christina can see is the box, which she promptly gloms onto.

christina katerina Box 2

First (with some help from her Dad) she turns it into a castle . . .

christina katerina Box 3

Where she plays happily until her friend in the neighborhood comes home from vacation. Then the box becomes a clubhouse.

cristina katerina Box 4

That lasts for while, then in a disagreement over club procedures her friend sits on the roof and squashes the box.

cristina katerina Box 5

So she makes it into a race car. That lasts until the box finally collapses; but Christina still won’t let her Mother throw away the box.

cristina katerina Box 6

She colors it to make a mansion floor.

cristina katerina Box 7

Where everybody has a grand party. After the party her friend cleans up and the mansion floor gets wet and disintegrates. Raking up the box remains Christina’s Mother is glad that the box adventures are over.

But wait, Christina’s friends Mother just got a new washer and dryer . . .

cristina katerina Box 8

So off they go on an ocean voyage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I jinxed myself with the last post, all that I’m not updating until something dies.

Well, something died. J’s ipod bit the dust, and I thought no biggie I’ll just pick up a new one.

Rackham tricksy fae

Ha! Turned out to be a biggie; my old, old computer wouldn’t even talk to the new ipod. Called the support-line just in case but the problem was defo sad old computer. So we have a new computer and now I’m doing the data switch-over and also integrating “old saddie” into a network dance. Why keep “old saddie” up and running? Because he has some of my favorite software which is not compatible with “newbie shiny”.

In the immortal words of Emily Litella “It’s always something”.

 

Today I managed to upgrade the tv box. Now I look like this:

feeling grubby

and I feel like this:

tired dog on deck

and later I will be like this little girl:

Menzel girl asleep on the train

But first I have to get cleaned up and change my library books — they’re due today.

I will deal with the other technically challenged devices at a later date. Probably the day before they become totally obsolete or when they are definitely dead.

Foxwood Treasure

is a cute book in the vein of the Brambley Hedge books. The main difference between the two series is that the Foxwood books include different types of animals living in the community instead of the all mice residents of Brambley Hedge.

foxwood treasure cover

The Foxwood titles were released as small individual titles and then later as two big collections of stories. This is one of the smaller books. I picked it up because I love little anthromorphic animals, what a shocker. The illustrations are really cute and I love the style. Also all the different little animals.

foxwood treasure 1

Like these hedgehogs at the beginning of Treasure. That stone stove is incredible. Take a look at momma hedgehogs prickles sticking through her hat — how precious is that?

foxwood treasure 2

This series definitely came after the Brambley books; proof of that is clearly shown in the jars of jam that are so ubiquitous in the “mouse books”. That aside, the Foxwood books have their own charm and the stories are fun and interesting. The settings are adorable.

Foxwood Treasure starts with Willy the hedgehog being bored and going to visit his grandpa. He and his friends Rue Rabbit and Harvey Mouse are with Grandpa when they find out that the villagers are trying to raise funds to build a village hall. They decide they should do something to help raise money.

foxwood treasure 3

So they go to the library to learn how villagers have made money in the past. I love this library picture! Look at all those little drawers at the base of the shelves. Look at that post and beam construction. A big table to read books at; Wow! If I had a space like this to keep my books in I’d be in heaven.

Anyway back to our story. The kids learn that one of the most successful villagers of the past had an inn where he sold a special lemonade made from his secret recipe.

foxwood treasure 4

So off they go to find and search the (now defunct) old inn. After some adventures, they discover the location of Fox Hall (it was hidden and secret), find the recipe and give it to the village as a whole.

foxwood treasure 5

So they have a party at the newly re-opened Old Fox Inn.

So if you like little animals wearing clothes who live in their own village and are all friends and love to eat, drink and be merry; you should check out this lovely little series of stories/books about the denizens of Foxwood.

 

Susie’s New Stove

A particular passion of mine is little dishes. Children’s or doll’s dishes, pots and pans and all things kitchen. So it makes sense that I also am quite fond of little cookbooks. Like this vintage Little Golden Book:

susies-new-stove-cover

Susie’s New Stove is cute, that’s it just plain cute. My copy is a bit grungy but still cute.

susies-new-stove-1

Susie, who is cute as a button, has just gotten a brand spanky new toy stove — which in those days was a little metal electrical stove that did get very hot and really cook things. Which was a bunch of fun, I had a vintage one of these little stoves when I was little and we had bunches of fun using it. Mine looked more 1920s and stood up on curvy legs.

susies-new-stove-2

Learning to cook is a process, like learning to do anything is. First you put on your apron so that not only do you look good (so important) but so you don’t goop up your clothes.

Then you decide what to make and look up (or ask your mother) what you need to make it. This is my favorite recipe from this book:

susies-new-stove-4

susies-new-stove-5

You’ll notice it’s not so much cooking as heating up things. And that the essential last step is to turn off the stove. We don’t want to leave a hot little thing to accidentally start any fires. Or melt any of our play children.

susies-new-stove-6

This is the table of contents. It is the last page of the book, sort of ironic placement. Which is the menu for Susie’s Daddy’s birthday meal which he says is delicious. (He’s one of those great dads these storybook children always get.) Actually my Dad was pretty happy with all the little things I cooked but I remember mostly making grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup from a can. My stove was big enough to put a small real saucepan over both burners to make a whole can of soup — boo-yah!

susies-new-stove-3

This last picture is Susie and Mike getting ready to cook a real dinner on the real stove. Ha!

Reading over this post it’s pretty obvious that I’m trying fairly desperately to find a way to feel a little cheeriness/happiness in what seems like an increasing wack-a-doo world. This week I chose to think about silly little food. And cute aprons.

So though it was in a totally disjointed awkward way I hope I gave you a moments respite from the real world.

Remember, more silliness over on Pinterest.

at least I can let you know that I’m on Pinterest now. I have, oh six or eight boards ranging difference interests. The one that is linked here is called Color and Splash and it has mostly illustrations; the sort of thing I’ve been blogging about here. If you click on my user name pvlaughingmoon (it will be under any enlarged picture down by the description) it should take you to a page where you can see all my boards. You might like Weirdness in General or maybe Silly Little Things or even Food Art. Just saying: it’s there if you want to check it out.

cicely-mary-barker-girl-looking-out-window

I’m not giving up the blog and I do plan to get back to weekly posts as soon as I can — it’s been a icky-bug-suffering start to the year. When I do have a tiny bit of energy it has been consumed by the agean task of cleaning out the workroom. Hey, I can see a big patch of floor! hooray?