Friday, April 01, 2016

A Was Once An Apple Pie #atozchallenge

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Welcome to the A to Z Challenge for April, 2016! I'd thought I would write a nice introductory post for yesterday, but April snuck up on me and I forgot. I'm working on a series about books, and may have to tweak the titles to get all the letters covered. I may share authors, specific books or series, or themes. You'll just have to come back and find out!

The title of this post is a bit misleading. It's really a sneaky way to get to talk about Edward Lear. I love Edward Lear! He was a British artist, author, illustrator and musician, who lived from 1812-1888. He knew Tennyson, and actually published twelve musical settings of Tennyson's poetry. He was one of twenty-one children. I can't even imagine, can you?

I remember checking out this book from the library when I was in elementary school, and it was an old book back then:

I am a big fan of nonsense. I love to laugh, and I love silly books, so Edward Lear became one of my favorites. I was thrilled to find the book pictured above at a used book store a few years ago. Don't you love it when you meet an old friend?

When I had children of my own, naturally, I started looking for for fun ABC books. I came across "A Was Once An Apple Pie," a lovely little book using one of Lear's nonsense alphabets, with new illustrations. I happen to love Lear's illustrations, but I can see how these new, colorful ones are appealing to young children. Here's the one I found. It's out of print, apparently, but the used prices are reasonable:

The alphabet rhymes are fun to say. "A" in this alphabet says:

The one for "I" is probably my favorite, though:

He also wrote fun limericks:

And I remember LOVING his nonsense botanies. This was one of my favorites:

I would guess that Mr, Lear's most famous poem is "The Owl and the Pussycat." Did you know, though, that he also did some amazing bird illustrations?  Check out this beautiful drawing of a parakeet. I also learned, while poking around for this post, that he did some landscape drawings, as well. Take a look at this one.

If you're interested in getting a book by Edward Lear, I have a few recommendations.

The Book of Nonsense - Free Kindle version, if you just want to see more of what his nonsense was about.

The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear - This is a nice paperback, not terribly expensive, if you prefer holding a real book (I do).

A Book of Nonsense (Children's Classics) - Nice hardcover, not too expensive, and part of the Everyman's Library children's books, which look really nice on a shelf.

The Owl and the Pussycat - Board book version of this fun poem for very small people

Poetry for Young People: Edward Lear - I love this series of books, and if you're looking for a small selection of his work to share with your children, this is a good choice. We've used several of this series in our homeschool poetry studies.

Edward Lear's Birds - in case you're interested in looking at Lear's beautiful bird drawings

All righty! I know that's a lot of links. I do get excited about books. I'm looking forward to chatting with you about some of my favorites this month!

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