Tag Archives: seasons

Late Summer

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I smell pine
And cooling air
I hear the bugs’ trilling,
Quieting down.
Summer is coming to a close.

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Snowy Night

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Snowing outside in the night,
Would that give me quite a fright?
Or would it make me think of day
By changing the sky from black to grey?

Snowing outside in the dark
Would that make my rest real hard?
Or would I snuggle up and dream
Of a blanket, white and soft like cream?

Snowing outside during wee hours
Would that give me a sense of power?
Maybe I’d feel brave and bold,
Undefeated by the cold!

I Am Grateful For My Sense of Sight Because…

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Note: For this prompt, I felt it necessary to also write what I believe I could still do if I were blind. (I, of course, have no way of knowing for sure what I could still do, but these are my guesses).  I have incorporated all of these activities except the most important two into the reasons I am grateful for sight. The two most important activities I could still do if I were blind are read, because books come in both braille and audio form, and write, since I write on my computer, and computer keys can be in braille.  (There are also devices that say what a person is typing back to her). So, without further ado, here are the reasons I am grateful for sight:

I can see little children, so beautiful, so dainty, yet so strong.

I can do art

I can collect dolls, stuffed animals, and fairy statues, and see them displayed on my shelf

I can blog

I can watch my favorite movies

I can see trees in the forest, especially their trunks and branches, which I probably wouldn’t be able to appreciate with no sight. If I were blind, I could probably still hear the leaves whispering in the wind.  Most likely the only way I could appreciate autumn leaves if I were blind is by hearing the sound of them crunching under my feet.  Other ways I could appreciate autumn, my favorite season, if I were blind, are by feeling the cool air and smelling the changing leaves.

I can see deer, squirrels, and bears when we cross paths. These animals are usually quiet, so I might not be able to notice them if I were blind.

I can see spiders and their webs. Spiders are silent, and so are their webs.  I cannot see how I could appreciate spiders, one of my favorite animals, if I were blind.

I can maybe garden someday

I could maybe someday identify birds by both their song and their appearance. Right now all I can do is identify a few birds’ songs.

I can see all the animals at zoos and the nature center. I probably wouldn’t even be able to pet animals in a petting zoo if I were blind. I could pet dogs and cats that I know, but not less tame animals like the goats at the nature center.

Review of Elsa Beskow’s “Children of the Forest”

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Being written and illustrated by a Swedish author, the illustrations in Elsa Beskow’s Children of the Forest are very different from most American illustrations. Both the illustrations and the story are fanciful, while many, if not most, American stories and illustrations for children (that are not about talking animals or ordinary people) are more whimsical than fanciful. My definition of whimsical versus fanciful illustrations and stories has to do with fanciful stories and illustrations usually involving fanciful creatures the reader already knows about, such as dragons, unicorns, fairies, or other types of Little People (like the Forest People in this book). Whimsical illustrations and stories, on the other hand, usually involve fanciful creatures no one has ever seen before. Dr. Seuss’ characters are good examples of this. Well-known fanciful creatures, however, can be whimsical if drawn differently from how people normally think of them.

Another way this book’s illustrations are different from those in many American picture books is that even when there’s activity going on in the pictures, the illustrations are usually very quiet and calm. The Forest Children playing with the squirrels, for example, is a very gentle scene despite them being active.  Harriet, the older of the two forest girls riding a bat and being watched by frogs and her siblings is another example.

Though the illustrations are different from those in most American children’s books, they are no less enjoyable. I love how on every text page, there is a small black and white illustration related to the text, with a full page color illustration next to it. I also love the very vague face on the moon in one of the night scenes. My three favorite illustrations are the two forest boys being pulled in a sledge by a hare, the owl teacher with all her animal and forest child students, and the Forest Children on a seesaw with forest fairies. The only thing I’m not sure about here is the fairies being all white. Aren’t fairies colorful?

Being a relatively simple story, and a common type of story at that, the story of Children of the Forest is much more similar to American children’s stories than the illustrations. Like many other stories around the world, this story is all about a normal year in the life of its characters. Sometimes that’s all a story needs in order to be interesting, and I really like stories like that. An American children’s book like that is Charlotte Zolotow’s Over and Over. That’s a wonderful book that I hope to eventually review on this blog. Children of the Forest, though, is an excellent example of using this type of story to introduce a fantasy world and its inhabitants.

The only thing I don’t like about this story is the part where the Forest Children’s father kills the snake. Sure, the story later says to never harm a creature of the forest unless it means you harm, but I think this book should have emphasized getting away from predatory animals, only trying to kill them when you know there is no escape. By teaching their children to kill predatory animals every time they see them, I can’t help worrying that the Forest Parents are teaching both their children and the readers that the world would be a better place without certain animals. That is hardly ever the case. In fact, a book like this should try to teach children the importance of every creature in an ecosystem, including the ones that don’t seem friendly. Like I said in my The Night Fairy review, animals eating other animals is not an evil deed, and I don’t like it when authors treat it like it is.

Spring Colors

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This is a response to an exercise that can be found at http://www.build-creative-writing-ideas.com/free-creative-writing-prompts-spring.html.  It is Bryan Cohen’s Spring exercise #5.

In a meadow with green everywhere and occasional splashes of brightly colored flowers, I close my eyes and breathe in.  Rebirth goes through my mind.  Renewal goes through my mind.  New beginnings go through my mind.  Purification goes through my mind.Pale green is the color I see most with my eyes open.  It is the color of Spring; the color of rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings.  As I said, all the other colors come in splashes.  Splashes of clear, purifying rainwater; rainwater that cleans away all the messes left behind by the last three seasons, rainwater that sometimes leaves a rainbow in the sky, adding more splashes of color.  Spring is not the season, however, where there is a rainbow all the time.  That would be autumn.  Spring is pale green, with splashes of clear water and rainbows made by the rain, the sunlight, and of course the flowers.