Now There Are Two: Meet the Bunnies

Once upon a time there were four little rabbits. –Beatrix Potter, opening [half] line of The Tale of Peter Rabbit

We have bunny house guests! I’m not sure how long they’re going to stay, but we are loving our furry, very active little visitors.

As I write this, I’m watching them run to and fro in their temporary home, the dance they perform to let us know they are hungry. They are always hungry. They’re also nosy…uh…curious little things.


The bunnies have been with us for almost a month. My husband received a message from my son’s school that three recently orphaned bunnies needed a home, so my son and I picked them up at the end of the school day and eagerly took them home.

“Photo Bomb”

The poor babies witnessed the horrific demise of their mother at the hands of a hungry and determined coyote. I imagine she sacrificed her own life to protect her little ones. Can you imagine the terror those bunnies experienced? I know nature is nature and coyotes have to eat too, but still…”bad, bad coyote!”

These are not “keeper bunnies,” so we haven’t given them names or handled them as we would pets. Because they will be released back “into the wild” eventually, we don’t want them to lose their survival instincts.

Sadly, one of the triplets died not long after we brought them home. We’re not sure why, but we’re pleased the other two are happily thriving.

For just a little more bunny love, click over to Beverly Dyer’s Art Prescription; her “Soft Bunny” watercolor provides an extra dose of cuteness. Then, hop over to Holly’s ThreeSixFiveArt and swoon over “Bunny” drawn by a five-year-old Ellis. I drew a bunny this week, and I tell you, her art skills way surpass mine!

Wishing you a weekend of sweetness and warmth…and to all the fathers…

Happy Father’s Day!

Children’s Book Illustration Postcards: From NZ to the USA

Since today begins Black History Month in the United States and since I’d planned to blog about children’s book illustration postcards today, I was curious about whether I have any children’s books postcards featuring the work of African American illustrators. I went through every postcard in my collection and, as suspected, I do not have any illustrations by African American artists. Then, I “googled” and found nothing.

Considering the high number of popular African American children’s authors and illustrators, I find this odd.  [Insert appropriate emoji here].

I’ll keep looking…

For now, let’s enjoy the eight children’s book illustration postcards I received for Children’s Book Illustration Postcards swaps 17-20.

From Pikkis in Finland, I received an illustration from the Finnish fairy tale Goldfish, written by Raul Roine and illustrated by Rudulph Koivu.

Swap 17: From “Goldfish” by Raul Roine. Illustrated by Rudolf Koivu

I’m not familiar with this tale; that might be because, as Pikkis points out, the fairy tale hasn’t been translated in English.

The postcard below came all the way from New Zealand.

BLC Swap 17: The Honour of the House by E.M. Channon

CindyST sent an “old fashion” book cover because she loves retro covers and illustrated books.

Lihior, of Israel, sent another postcard from the fairy tale collection that gave me The Frog King postcard featured in the previous Children’s Book Illustrations blog post

Swap 18: Hansel and Gretel. Illustrated by Aurélie Blanz

I was pleased that I could see the name of the illustrator, Aurélie Blanz, on this card.  It was nice to “discover” and explore Blanz’s brilliant work. I found another artist to love.

BLC Swap 18: Illustrator Fiep Westendorp

The postcard above, from Sammoning in the Netherlands, features an illustration by Fiep Westendorp, known for Jip en Janneke, Pluk van de Pettenflat and others.  Every year, “kids go door-to-door to sell card sets and [matching] stamps” for Kinderpostzegels–to support educational and children’s charities.

It’s always nice when a bear shows up in my mailbox.

Swap 19: Little Polar Bear by Hans de Beer

Lars, the “little polar bear” came from Sissi, also in the Netherlands.

BLC Swap 19: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

The postcard above, from HelenGB in Canada, features the cover of the first Frederick Warne edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902.

Alice in Wonderland postcards are a special treat because I love all the different artistic interpretations of the story [I won’t mention that I have a whole box of Alice postcards that I have trouble sharing].

Inger sent this one from Sarpsborg, which is in the south-east part of Norway.

Swap 20: “The cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked goodnatured, she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth.” Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Illustrated by Sir John Tenneil

Her postcard also featured children’s book illustration postage:

And finally, Marinda in the United States sent an illustration from one of the sweetest tales I read to my little one when he was a baby, Guess How Much I Love You.

BLC Swap 20: Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, Illustrator Anita Jeram

As always, an eclectic selection, but a feast for the eyes and warm fuzzies for the heart!

Children’s Book Illustration Postcards: Cute Animals and Naughty Children

As I was writing postcards for Children’s Book Illustration Postcards swaps yesterday, I realized I hadn’t posted about the swaps in 11 months!

When I began the second series of the swaps, I’d planned to post about the cards received every two to four weeks. Today, I’m sending off swap #31, but the last time I shared was swap #12. I have a lot of catching up to do!

I hosts two children’s book illustration swaps on swap-bot every two weeks–a public swap that any swapper can join and a swap for members in the Book Lovers Congregate group. Needless to say, I have a nice stack of images to share. But instead of overwhelming you with images, I’ll try to share 2-10 postcards once or twice per week until I get caught up.

Today’s post features an eclectic collection of postcards sent from Germany, Israel, Sweden, and the Netherlands, but they share a bit of commonality–mischievous children and/or cute animals.

The first pair of cards, sent for swaps #13 (the group and public swaps), came from Lihior of Israel. You are probably familiar with Beatrix Potter and her series of children’s books, but if not, click an image for a closer look and details about the card.

Roosje of the Netherlands and Sissi of Germany sent postcards for swaps #14.  I’ve loved the “naughty toddlers” Jip and Janneke [Roosje] since a Postcrosser introduced them to me many years ago.

Jip and Janneke. Written by Annie M.G. Schmidt. Illustrated Fiep Westendorp

Pettson and the cute cat Findus [Sissi] are quickly finding a place in my heart.

Pettson and Findus. Author/Illustrator, Sven Nordqvist

For swaps #15, Stargazer008 of Germany sent another Pettson and Findus (same card as above),  and Lihior sent “The Frog King.”

“The Frog King”

Finally, for swaps #16, Lihior sent a postcard from the World of Eric Carle postcard collection. (Poor Lihior, she couldn’t shake me for a few weeks).

Eric Carle, Draw Me a Star, 1992

And Pei04, from Sweden, sent a Pippi Longstocking illustration.  This one brought back fond memories of the Saturday afternoons I spent absorbed in the Pippi books when I was a little girl.

Pippi Langstrump by Astrid Lindgren. Illustrated by Ingrid Vang Nyman

The illustrated postage stamps on the back of a couple of Lihior’s postcards rivaled the postcards for attention.

Postage from Israel: (L) “The Fox in the Vineyard.” “R) “The Reed and the Cedar.”

Postage from Israel

Don’t you love how each panel tells a story?

That’s it for today. Look for more children’s book illustration postcards next week. Enjoy!

Children’s Book Illustration Postcards: Cute Kids, a Dog, a Cat, and a Tea-Drinking Rat

Every two weeks I host two children’s book illustration postcard swaps on swap-bot.  One “public,” which means any swapper can participate and the other for members of the Book Lovers Congregate group.  I posted the first 10 swaps in the second series of swaps that began last year: here and here.

The 125+ postcards of the first series of swaps can be found by clicking the links that follow: part i, part ii, part iii, part iv, and part v.

To avoid posting dozens of children’s book illustration postcards in one post, I’m making an effort to share the postcards as the swaps complete.  This way, we can spend a little more time on information related to the postcard.

Swap #11 (Public) came from Israel, from Lihior, who remarks that she loves these swaps, and I’m happy to have seen her in every swap so far!ch-bk-illustration-received-11-1

The postcard Lihior sent (above) is from The World of Peter Rabbit, a collection of postcards that features the illustrations of Beatrix Potter, the beloved English writer who penned and illustrated more than 20 children’s books in her lifetime. This particular postcard is from the book The Sly Old Cat, 1907.

According to the information provided on the back of the postcard,  “the book was the third in the series of concertina-bound books that started with The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit and The Story of Miss Moppet, but was canceled when the format proved too fragile for bookshops.”

The series of books was written for younger children and was designed to introduce the children to the world of Peter Rabbit.

The Sly Old Cat was finally published in 1971. It tells the story of a cat who invites a rat to a tea party with the intention of eating him.  No worries.  The mouse outwits the cat and escapes.  He even gets a yummy muffin for his trouble.

The postcard for the Book Lovers Congregate Swap #11 came from Xira in the Netherlands.  She posted a picture of the postcard on Instagram with some other outgoing mail.  I “liked” the photo and “exclaimed” over Jip and Janneke, but I had no idea it was headed my way.  Imagine my surprise!

If you’ve read any of my other children’s book illustration posts, you know that I love the pair of friends from the Dutch preschool children’s books, Jip and Janneke.  The books are written by Annie M.G. Schmidt and illustrated by Fiep Westendorp. The two have been writing and illustrating the children’s books together for more than 30 years.  They feature the best friends living as preschoolers–lives filled with play, mischief, interpersonal conflicts, and loads of fun.  The children and their pets are always in black and white as you see them here.

This particular image is from a 1993 illustration.  The postcard features Jip (pronounced “Yip”) and the Janneke (pronounced “Yan-nic-a” with the stress on the first syllable) and Weenie and Sippy, Jip’s dog and Janneke’s cat.  The postcard back does not indicate from which book the illustration comes.

A few years ago one of my first-year students, after engaging in lengthy conversations with me about the duo, gave me a collection of Jip and Janneke stories on CD.  In Dutch.  One day, I’ll know enough Dutch to understand what I’m listening to. 😀

Jip and Janneke

Jip and Janneke Audio CD Cover

I have already received half of swap #12 and swap #13 is underway, so look for more children’s book illustration postcard posts soon! Until then, spend a few moments revisiting your childhood and pick up some kiddie lit!



Series Two: Children’s Book Illustration Postcards 1-5

Back in June I posted a five-part series on the children’s book illustration postcards I’d received through 122 consecutive weeks of swaps hosted by Marjan.  She ended the series in December 2015.   I really missed the swaps, so as I reviewed my blank CBI postcards “crying out” for new homes, I knew it was time to start the swaps again.  Marjan gave her blessing and the swaps began (again) in July.  I host the swap every two weeks–in the “Book Lovers Congregate” group (BLC) on swap-bot and as a public swap (which means any swap-bot member can join as long as she/he meets swap criteria).  I hope to eliminate the public swap eventually and only host in the group, but so far, the public swap participant roster is three times longer than the group’s.  For now, it’s been fun hosting in two places.  Besides, I have more than 300 blank children’s book illustration postcards to share with the world; I plan to host the swap until I run out of postcards…or steam.

We just completed the 10th swap.  Here are postcards from the first five swaps–with illustrations of books from Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA).

BLC Swap #1: From Ksenia (Israel)--

BLC PC #1: From Ksenia (Israel)–“What’s the Story?” Ksenia found this postcard at an illustration exhibition. There was no story attached, but it feels like a children’s book illustration, so it counts. 😉

Public PC #1: From Marloucat (Netherlands)--De Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Avel Scheffler.

Public PC #1: From Marloucat (Netherlands)–De Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Avel Scheffler.

BLC PC #2: From Owlsinathens (Vienna)--Findus flyttar ut (Findus Moves Out), by Sven Nordqvist.

BLC PC #2: From Owlsinathens (Vienna)–Findus flyttar ut (Findus Moves Out), by Sven Nordqvist.

Public #2: From Pikkis (Finland)--From Nu skall har bli andra bullar by Gunilla Hansson.

Public PC #2: From Pikkis (Finland)–From Nu skall har bli andra bullar by Gunilla Hansson.

BLC PC #3 From PeggyO (USA)--From The Children's Own Readers. Book One, 1929. Illustration by Marguerite Davis.

BLC PC #3 From PeggyO (USA)–From The Children’s Own Readers. Book One, 1929. Illustration by Marguerite Davis.

Public #3: From Jeepermom (USA)--From the Tale of Benjamin Bunny, 1904. Peter drops the onions he has gathered.

Public PC #3: From Jeepermom (USA)–From The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, 1904. Peter drops the onions he has gathered. “Presently Peter let the picket-handkerchief go again.” Illustration by Beatrix Potter. The World of Peter Rabbit.

BLC PC #4: From DebR (United Kingdom)--Cinderella, 1964. Series 606-D-Well Loved Tales. By Vera Southgate, Illustrated by Eric Winter

BLC PC #4: From DebR (United Kingdom)–Cinderella, 1964. Series 606-D-“Well Loved Tales.” By Vera Southgate. Illustration by Eric Winter

Public #4b: From Karen07 (USA)--Something to Do, 1968. Cover Illustration by Shirley Hughes. Puffin.

Public PC #4: From Karen07 (USA)–Something to Do, 1968. Cover illustration by Shirley Hughes. Puffin.

Public #4: From Karen07 (USA)--The BFG by Roald Dahl, 2007. Cover Illustration by Quentin Blake. Puffin.

Public PC #4b: From Karen07 (USA)–The BFG by Roald Dahl, 2007. Cover illustration by Quentin Blake. Puffin.

BLC PC #5: From Jeepermom (USA)--From the Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902. Mrs. Rabbit in the woods.

BLC PC #5: From Jeepermom (USA)–From The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902. Mrs. Rabbit in the woods. “Old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and when through the wood to the baker’s.” Illustration by Beatrix Potter. The World of Peter Rabbit.

Public #5: From Karen07 (USA)--Street Fair by Marjorie Fischer, 1949. Cover Illustration by S. Dyson. Puffin.

Public PC #5: From Karen07 (USA)–Street Fair by Marjorie Fischer, 1949. Cover illustration by S. Dyson. Puffin.

Public #5b: From Karen07 (USA)--Avalanche, 1959. Cover illustration by Alice Evers.

Public PC #5b: From Karen07 (USA)–Avalanche, 1959. Cover illustration by Alice Evers.

That’s it for now.  Tune in tomorrow for swaps six to ten.


Children’s Book Illustration Postcards: Part IV

What? You haven’t had your fill of children’s book illustration postcards? No worries. We have more! In the set below you’ll find some of the same illustrators you’ve seen in parts one, two, and three, but you’ll also find some that aren’t featured in the other posts, Helen Oxenbury and  Selma Lagerlof, for example.  You’ll even find two Cornelis Jetses, Winnie-the-Pooh (yay!), and Wizard of Oz postcards.

Click an image for a closer look at postcards received weeks 76-100.  Have a happy day!

[Note: This is post four of five of children’s book illustration (CBI) postcards I received through 122 weeks of CBI postcard swaps on swap-bot].

Children’s Book Illustration Postcards: Part III

Happy First Day of Summer!

I’m back with Part III of 122 weeks of children’s book illustration postcards. Here are the postcards from weeks 51-75.  Week 68 never arrived. 😦 I’m sure it’s floating around in mail space and will eventually land in my mailbox.  It happens.

If you missed them, be sure to check out Part I and Part II and be sure to look for Part IV and Part V later in the week.

Enjoy! [Click an image for a closer look]


Children’s Book Illustration Postcards: Part II

[Note: This is post two of five of children’s book illustration (CBI) postcards I received through 122 weeks of CBI postcard swaps on swap-bot].

If you enjoyed viewing the postcards shared in “Children’s Book Illustration Postcards: Part I,” you’ll have just as much fun with Part II (Weeks 26-50).  You’ll find more Jip and Janneke, Alice in Wonderland, Miffy, and Moomin, but you’ll also find some illustrators that were not featured in Part I.  There’s even a Winnie-the-Pooh illustration! ❤  Click an image for a closer look.

Children’s Book Illustration Postcards: Part I

For more than two years–122 weeks to be exact–I participated in a weekly children’s book illustration (CBI) swap hosted by Marjan, a dedicated swapper from the Netherlands.  Yes–Marjan hosted the swap every week for more than two years! That is quite a commitment, but, as expected,  Marjan eventually ended the swaps.  Her last CBI swap was hosted December 2015 and with her “blessing,” I’ve decided to continue the swaps.  Before I begin the next season of the swaps, I thought I’d share with my blog audience the 125+ cards I received from June 16, 2013- January 4, 2016.

Since I can’t blog each postcard individually, I’m sharing the postcards in five parts in the order the postcards were received. The illustrators are from various parts of the world, including the Netherlands, Finland, Austria, England, and the United States.  Hopefully, you’ll find some favorites from  your childhood.  For a closer look or for a little information on each card, click its image. Enjoy the sweetness!

Bookish Matters: Children’s Literature Postcards

I returned to work today for Faculty and Staff Colloquium, two days of energizing panels and discussions to start the academic year “right.”  I’ve had a restful summer, and even though I wouldn’t scoff at an extra week or two, I’m looking forward to a new school year.  I love my job. I love my students.  I love my colleagues.  Most of the time.  Since I’m sure life will be insane over the next few weeks before classes begin, I thought I’d better share some of my mail goodies now.

I enjoyed a steady stream of “bookish” postcards throughout July, but today I’ll focus only on those related to children’s literature.

Alice in Wonderland, Mary Evans Picture Library

Alice in Wonderland, Mary Evans Picture Library

I sent and received four Alice in Wonderland postcards within the last month.  There are so many AiW images out there and it’s been a treat to examine the various artistic interpretations of the characters. This one was sent by Hannah in England.  It came from the British Film Institute in London. Hannah recently finished her degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and she’s on her way to a Master’s in English Literature (congrats!)–obviously a literature lover, like me! You can check out Hannah’s blog here:  Just Another WordPress.Com Site.  If you’re interested in two of the other AiW postcards, see my previous post, The Happy, Happy Mail Month.

Warwick Goble (1962-1943).  "Are you not sometimes called Rumpelstilzchen?" for The Fairy Tale Book by Dinah Mulock Craik, 1913. from Goble's Fairy Paintings: 24 Art Cards

Warwick Goble (1962-1943). “Are you not sometimes called Rumpelstilzchen?” for The Fairy Tale Book by Dinah Mulock Craik, 1913. from Goble’s Fairy Paintings: 24 Art Cards

Charles Robinson, "The Remarkable Rocket," The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wild, 1913.  From Once Upon a Time.

Charles Robinson, “The Remarkable Rocket,” The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wild, 1913. From Once Upon a Time

Jenny, who also sent two children’s literature postcards last month, sent “Rumpelstilzchen and “The Remarkable Rocket.”  I love adding these wonderful images to my collection of literary postcards!  I actually sent these very images to others, so it’s nice to “get them back”–stamped and written on! : -)

From Frog by Max Velthuijs

From Frog by Max Velthuijs

Marjan, from the Netherlands, sent this one.  She has been coordinating  a series of Children’s Book Illustration swaps, driven by her love for art designed to appeal to children.   I missed one of the swaps, so she was kind enough to send me “Frog.”  I wished I’d encountered the Frog books earlier.  My little one will think of them as a “baby books” now (He snubbed many of the books on the summer reading list his school sent for this very reason). He is partial to frogs, so we’ll see.

Here are the children’s literature postcards I sent this month:

Four of these postcards (Burd, Kay, Hallock) came from American Women Children’s Illustrators, a collection of 30 amazing oversized postcards.

I sent one more–

Toy Story 2, Storyboard by Jill Culton

Toy Story 2, Storyboard by Jill Culton, from The Art of Pixar: 100 Postcards Collectible Postcards, published by Chronicle Books

Toy Story 2 isn’t a book, but the film was designed for children and this is one of my favorite images.  AND–we had to include a quote from a book written for children. Since my send-to partner is an AiW fan, I chose a bit of  the March Hare’s “wisdom”: “Ah, that’s just it.  If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.”  Enough said.

I love the enchanted stories and stunning, fanciful images.  My little one provides many opportunities for me to revisit well-loved tales and fall in love with new ones.  We thoroughly enjoy reading classic children’s stories, cultural myths and tales and studying the illustrations, but his latest thrills are the Diaries of a Wimpy KidDiaries of a Sixth Grade Ninja and The Diaries of a Superhero Kid. (He’s a little miffed that Superhero Kid 4 hasn’t come out yet).  The Diaries are pretty hilarious–even though the characters usually engage in awful behavior and use “bad” grammar!  It warms my heart to hear his hearty laughter while he’s reading.   He also reads comic books voraciously, so I’m grateful for the public libraries that provide a steady supply of kid-friendly comics.

That’s it for now.  Tune in next time for more “bookish” postcards…Maybe.