Saturday, 15 March 2014

A living books author ~

Alice E. Goudey

One of the very best authors of delightful children's books was undoubtedly Alice E. Goudey.
She began her career as a school teacher in a one-room country school house until her marriage after which settled down to a domestic life. Thankfully, though, in 1945 she combined her interest in education and her experience with children once again and began to pen wonderful books just for them.

The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up, a delightful pondering at the beauty and nature of the sunand Houses from the Sea (names and shapes of shells, their indwelling creatures and how they make their intricate houses), illustrated by Adrienne Adams, were both winners of the Caldecott Honor Award in 1960 and 1962, respectively.

Her most beloved books, though, are probably her various stories about animals. These are my younger daughter's favourites and I am repeatedly amazed at how much she retains about these creatures.
Alice Goudey had a way of depicting animals in their natural surroundings, showing their lives with accurate scientific facts, yet with a deep understanding. She wove all this into stories full of suspense, into delightfully readable scientific narratives. 
Children reading these books simply absorb this scientific knowledge effortlessly and have their imaginations stored with pictures created by the words they read  - this indeed is the power of story!

From our collection:

~ Here Come the Bears!
~ Here Come the Beavers!
~ Here Come the Bees!
~ Here Come the Cottontails! 
~ Here Come the Dolphins!
~ Here Come the Deer!
~ Here Come the Elephants!
~ Here Come the Lions!
~ Here Come the Raccoons!
~ Here Come the Seals!
~ Here Come the Squirrels!
~ Here Come the Whales!
~ Here Come the Wild Dogs!

"It was the small petrels flying above the ocean who first saw the great blue whale as she thrust her head out of the water. 
An albatross, gliding through the air on outspread wings, saw her too. 
The birds saw what looked like a tall, white plume rising from her head.
Of course the birds had no way of knowing that the whale had just arrived from a long journey through the South Atlantic Ocean.
Several weeks ago she and many other whales left the icy waters of the South Polar regions, where the darkness of winter had come. The swam north toward the equator where there was warmer water.
The streamlined bodies of the powerful creatures glided through the water as fast as a good freighter could travel.
At times they swam underneath the water, staying down for perhaps as long as twenty minutes. While underneath the water they kept their two nostrils, which are on top of their heads, closed as tight as trap doors. When they came to the surface, they opened their nostrils and blew out their breath with a great whooshy-whistling sound. The warm, moist air coming from their lungs formed a cloud of vapor just as your breath does when you 'let it out' on a frosty day.
This was what the birds saw rising from the blue whale's head." 

(from Here Come the Whales)

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