American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne, Illustrated by Michael McCurdy

This book of American Folk tales is one of my favorites. The wood engravings by Michael McCurdy are very fitting for folk tales and also show what an excellent draughtsman he is. Folk tales are a part of literary history and Mr. McCurdy has enhanced these tales with his wonderful illustrations.

Davy Crockett

"Just as the panther was about to make chopped meat out of Davy's head, Davy gave him an upward blow under the jaw. He swung him around like a monkey and throttled him by the neck. And he threw him over one shoulder and twirled him around by his tail."

Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind  

"I can outgrin, outsnort, outrun, outlift, outsneeze, outsleep any varmint from Maine to Louisiana."

John Henry

"A man ain't nothing but a man. Before I'll be beat by that big steam drill, I'll die with my hammer in my hand."

Paul Bunyan

"When he was only two weeks old, he weighed more than a hundred pounds,and for breakfast every morning he ate five dozen eggs, ten sacks of potatoes,and a half barrel of mush made from a whole sack of cornmeal."

Michael McCurdy is an illustrator, author and wood engraver. American Tall Tales published by Alfred A Knopf in 1991, was chosen as one of School Library Journal's "Best Books". An Archive of his work covering 48 years as an author and illustrator will be housed soon in the Boston Public Library. Michael McCurdy has close to 600 Wood Engravings in addition to his scratchboard drawings.

Children's Picture Books

I guess I've always liked children's picture books. As a child I read my favorites over and over again. When my children were young I read to them and my affection for picture books was rekindled. Time passed, my children grew up and moved on to other things. But I still like picture books. My like has grown into a collection that needs another bookshelf. My collection is not very valuable in monetary terms, but visually is rich to me. My criteria in buying a picture book? I buy it because I like the art in it.

I'm not an expert on children's picture books. My intent is to share my corner of this wonderful world with other people who enjoy children's picture books too. Whether it be for inspiration, ideas, favorite illustrators or writers, nostalgia or just sitting in a comfortable chair with a good book; children's picture books offer a lot.  They can provide us with a time to bond with our children. Children's picture books allow us as adults a certain freedom and creativity and a connection to our own childhood.