Lately I’ve been giddily testing out the bounds of Harper’s storybook attention span, sort of like, oh, Madeline tight-rope-walking along the edge of the bridge and frightening poor Miss Clavell. Don’t get me wrong — she still enjoys a good round of reading of our old favorites like Karen Katz’s What Does Baby Say or even, heaven help us, Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? But thankfully for Mama’s sanity, we’ve recently been able to move on to longer books with a bit more, um, you know. Story.
Behold: The Story Blanket, by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz, illustrated by Elena Odriozola. I know, I’ve even already mentioned it this week. I grabbed it at the library, judging, ahem, by its cover. And I kind of can’t believe it, since it’s a pretty long book for an almost-2-year-old, but Harper is super into it. And so am I.
The story concerns an old-worldy snow-bound village (how topical for us!) in which an elderly woman tells the children stories. Guess where they sit? Her story blanket. But there seems to be a wool shortage this winter, so as she notices various townspeople looking chilly Babba Zarrah unravels her story blanket bit by bit in order to create and sell her colorful cozy warm things on etsy. I mean, to give to her neighbors. Once the story blanket is all gone, Harper says, “Go buy a new one!” That’s my girl. It’s a really lovely story about sharing (the biggest issue in our daily lives right now and one that perpetually baffles little H), and I love the vaguely folk-tale-y feel.
And the illustrations! So beautiful. I want to live in this whimsical wooded town and wear cute striped tights and drink tea with Babba Zarrah. Can I please? I can’t seem to find much information on illustrator Elena Odriozola, so instead I am sharing images of some of her amazing work, swiped from random places on the internet that all say something like, “I can’t seem to find much information on illustrator Elena Odriozola, so instead I am sharing images of some of her amazing work…” Seriously, just google image search her name. The prettiest page ever comes up!
PS: Excuse me, but the Barnes & Noble page for this book recommends that I check out The Tiger Who Came To Tea, another random library find that Harper’s loving this week. I swear these books have so little in common! HOW DID THEY KNOW? ARE THEY WATCHING ME RIGHT NOW??