A Fairy Friend

A Fairy Friend by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Claire Keane.
Holt Books for Young Readers, 2016.

As soon as school lets out for summer break, I enter my goofy "all-whimsy, all-the-time" stage. I'm ready to build fairy houses (large and small), celebrate Midsummer and International Fairy Day, and indulge in fantasy movies and books and crafts. (See Pinterest, too - here and here.) I don't like the heat and humidity and mosquitos, so I have to find something sweet to get me through Kansas summers.

We're off to a sluggish start.

School let out a week ago, and late May has been a stormy wet one. Little Sis went on a weekend camping trip with her Scout troop, and came home sick. We're trying to get the girls' bedroom and playroom reorganized and cleaned up, and we're progressing at a snail's pace. We will take a break tomorrow to see Alice Through the Looking Glass with Little Sis's BFF and her mom and, weather permitting, we may have something fun planned for Saturday. I'm in rehearsal for every fairy-lover's favorite play, A Midsummer Night's Dream. (Not that I'm playing a fairy. I have firmly established myself as a weirdo clown in local Shakespeare productions.)  Mr. B has discussed plans for an awesome semi-permanent fairy playhouse, but time and weather and money need to be on our side.

But waaaaahhhh. Get over it, D.

Let's capture the mood with a book instead, shall we?

I was so excited when I saw teaser illustrations for A Fairy Friend on Claire Keane's Facebook and Instagram. My family adored her picture book debut Once Upon A Cloud. A former designer for Disney (Tangled and Frozen), her art reminds me of classic old-school animation. I think her faces look characters from a deleted scene from Fantasia.

This time, the text is by another writer. Sue Fliess has penned many picture books, including some of cuter more recent Little Golden Books. Her rhyming text is very sweet. I enjoyed her instructions for finding a fairy friend of your own. I want to start right now! (Stupid mud and rain.)

We have been stuck indoors since Monday, so we're very behind on our fairy house and garden construction. I am well-stocked on crafting supplies, though, so we just made more flower fairies for our branch tree! You can never have too many, and they're fun little props, too. For more on our little faux fairies, see last year's Fairy Day post.

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Mac & Cheese Wednesday: Spinach-Artichoke Mac AND Fantastic Daisy Artichoke


Hey, look, it's a Mac & Cheese Wednesday post! Sorry, my tummy told me I needed to slow down on the mac and cheese recipes. However, my mother tagged me on Facebook with a recipe for Spinach-Artichoke Mac and Cheese - a Buzzfeed recipe, no less - and it looked too tasty to resist! I Googled spinach-artichoke mac and cheese recipes, just to compare this one with any others that may be out there, then decided this one looked fine. Verdict?

Oh my gosh. This was delicious. So delicious that I forgot to take any pictures besides the bad phone photo you see at the top of the page.

So the recipe can be found on Buzzfeed, complete with video. For once, I was able to follow the recipe directly. (In other words, I went to the store after I decided to make it.) 

And today's book? It's Fantastic Daisy Artichoke by Quentin Blake!

Fantastic Daisy Artichoke by Quentin Blake. Red Fox, 2001.

Alas, the book has nothing to do with actual artichokes. It's just a fun little book celebrating the fabulous hippie DIY-er Daisy Artichoke. It's a rhyming story with a catch: every rhyming word rhymes with "-choke!"

I love Quentin Blake illustrations. I think Little Sis copies his style at times in her own art, which makes me giggle.  Unfortunately, this one is out-of-print (at least in the U.S.), but perhaps you can score a used copy, or do as we did and check it out from your local library.

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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Barbara Cooney)

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field, illustrated by Barbara Cooney.
Hastings House, 1964.

As I mentioned last week, I recently checked out two Barbara Cooney poetry picture books from the library. The other is the beautiful Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

This one is printed on thick textured paper. I'm betting a non-library copy in good condition must be gorgeous!

I have loved this poem ever since my brother was a baby. My mother had a Disney lullaby cassette, and the Lucy Simon musical setting was my favorite on the tape. More blog posts referencing the poem may be found here.  I also have a Pinterest board, because of course I do.

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