May is the loveliest month, with the grass greening, the trees and gardens in full bloom, the sunlight stretching a little longer, and a general buzz of revival. A couple of weeks ago one of my trees was literally abuzz with a hundred bees in the blossoms. But May Day left me a little grumpy, because it snowed. Again. It's melted now, and I'm going to the Tulip Festival today, so I'm just going to pretend that today is May Day, and I invite you to join my delusion.
|From here, which has a nice pictured history of Vappu, May Day in Finland|
My favorite children's story about May Day is "The May Queen" by Alison L. Randall. Eleven-year-old Hetty, in England, is excited for her school's May Day festival, but her emotions get complicated as she worries about her plainness. That's a ridiculously vague review, because I want you to read it. It's so short, I can't review it without spoiling it. I got to see/read it before it was published while I was an editorial intern at the Friend. You can see it in the May 2009 issue here, and then (on the right side of the page) click Download > PDF. That will show you how it is laid out in the magazine with the adorable illustrations.
All stories in the Friend are based on people's real-life experiences, and there is a variety of material produced each month for children ages 3-11. Even though Baby A is only going on one, I think I'll order it soon and read parts of it to her (and all of it to myself). Plus, their web site is so fun! You can play games, print coloring pages, listen to audio or read PDFs of the magazine, and watch little video clips. Yeah, I'm a fan.
But back to May--it is National Picture Book Week! How exciting! Tell me your favorite picture books, NOW! Too strong? Please, tell me your faves?
One more picture, just for fun:
|Isn't that hauntingly beautiful? I saw it all over, but grabbed it here.|