Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Seeing as I'm currently enamoured of my children's picture books, I couldn't resist singling out this gem. "Podivanky", the name of the book, is a play on words. Because it's Czech, and Czech is a mad language, I'm not going to try explaining exactly how it is a play on words, but basically the title means "Seeings" as opposed to "Sayings". I love it. There are so many things to see. I love, in the bottom picture, the little transparent bag of fish the boy is carrying. And in the second to bottom picture, in the bottom right-hand corner, there's a crouching man dressed in green. He seems to be patting one of the fish.

Monday, November 29, 2010

peter and the wolf

I absolutely adore this book - both the illustrations and the story itself. When we were kids, we used to listen to Peter and the Wolf on the radio. In fact, I think this is the first time I have seen this book - having heard it so often and loved it so much as a child; but never having actually read it. I found this edition in a second hand shop recently. I can't believe its previous owner parted with it! I'm so happy that the illustrations capture perfectly the beauty and terror I felt while listening to the story ... 30 years ago (!).

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Our last hurrah - a visit to Wellington Zoo. Vincent & Izmae were transfixed by the lions. There were three sleepy lionesses lounging by the window and the kids didn't know whether to be afraid or amazed. In the end, I think, there were both; and stood, amazed and afraid at the window, watching.

We've been back home now for a couple of weeks and it is so good; good to be home and good to be a complete family again. The garden turned in to some kind of extraordinary, wild, blooming, vegetable extravaganza while we were away. It blows my mind, every year, how seed + earth + sun + water = masses of happy, growing, edible things. My current experiment is to grow flowers amongst the vegetables - all kinds of flowers. Today I planted a veritable city of poppies next to the corn. I want colour and life everywhere!