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Picture Books (just discovered) on a rainy evening

October 11th, 2023

St. John’s Wort, Willamette Valley (Photo by Rawley/use with permission only, please)

Good afternoon, dear ones. That’s St. John’s Wort, a very useful plant that grows wildly in my front yard. I barely noticed it this summer. It was hot and dry, and I watered daily, but didn’t get as much water on some of the plants as I would have liked. That pic is from Independence Day, 2022, and it bloomed maybe half as much this year. We will see about next year.

I need some wildcrafters to come by and help harvest it next time it blooms, because I have no idea what to do with the stuff. It helps with all kinds of conditions.

OK, what’s up with y’all this week? It’s raining here. There? Everywhere? As always, praying for peace. Send love out there into the universe, would you, please?

Picture books today, an interesting set:

“Beulah Has a Hunch! Inside the Colorful Mind of Beulah Louise Henry” is a new biography written and illustrated by the incomparable Katie Mazeika. It is scheduled for release Oct. 17, 2023. (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster, 2023, all ages, $18.99.) This great nonfiction picture book introduces readers to Beulah Louise Henry (1887-1973). First time I had heard about this cool inventor, who had both hyperphantasia (when you see things in your mind in extreme detail)and synesthesia (where you brain routes things through two or more senses simultaneously, like being able to “taste” words, or linking color with numbers).

This one looks fun. “Zilot & Other Important Rhymes,” written by one of my favorite actors, Bob Odenkirk, with illustrations by his talented and lovely daughter Erin Odenkirk (Little, Brown, 2023, $18.99). Whimsy and cheer for all ages.

“The Seasons Within Me” is a fantastic book about dealing with moods, brought to us by the skilled artist/author Bianca Pozzi. (Rise x Penguin Workshop, 2023, all ages, $18.99.) A little girl feels alone, in the rain and cold, until a dog comes long and changes life for both of them.

“Mouse & Giraffe” is another thoughtful picture book about friendship, and misunderstandings. Kelly DiPucchio wrote this one, with illustrations by Jen Corace that remind me of a longtime favorite, Richard Scarry. (Viking/Penguin Random House, 2023, $18.99.)

I’ll start this next review with a warning, listed in the back of the new science book “Fungi Grow”: “Warning! NEVER eat mushrooms that you’ve found outside unless their identity is verified by a mycologist, an expert in mushrooms. The mushrooms could be poisonous. Many poisonous mushrooms look very similar to edible ones.” (Quote used with permission.) This book — with beautiful art and so many science facts — will be released Oct. 17, 2023 (written by Maria Gianferrari, with illustrations by Diana Sudyka; Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster; 2023; all ages; $18.99).

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