The thing about living in Texas is, the second summer truly ends – it’s not really fall, it’s already Christmas.
The weather tells us so. Retail tells us so – we went from Back to School displays to Christmas trees almost over night. Halloween and Thanksgiving disbanded before we even manage to get there.
The reality of this set in as we read picture books tonight. Kiddo selected a book by Adam Rex called Tree- Ring Circus, a summery affair regarding a lot of animals and a tree losing it’s fall leaves. It’s got a deep south summery vibe, because even though the tree looks bare, it radiates warmth and feels like a warm summer day. I’m craving pop corn, ice cream, and trail mix just looking at the illustrations. The tree becomes an unlikely “hiding place” for a runaway circus clown and his friends, even though there is no hiding in a barren tree on the verge of keeling over.
Of course the animals and the tree itself seem to be lost on my five year old. She’s more interested in the rapid growth pattern of the tree that grew from the seed and the thunder storm at the beginning of the book. A tree that grew from a seed to something large enough for an elephant to perch atop in a matter of three sentences. We do so get hung up in the funniest of details sometimes around here.
For me, it’s details like the fact that my daughter LOVES Christmas books. We’d read them year round if I let her, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I limit her to one Christmas book a month in non-Christmas seasons. But as it is November, and therefore practically Christmas in Texas – we’re upping our Christmas book game. I already have one Christmas picture book review scheduled to post and now, we’re posting another…
Author: Holly Dufek
Illustrations: Paul E. Nunn
Publisher: Octane Press
We were sent a promotional copy in exchange for a review. We’ve never heard of Casey & Friends until this book, but apparently it’s a fairly established series with several previous titles.
As good old Texas girls, we were equal parts excited about the country farm aspect as well as the novelty of the snow featured in the background of all the pictures. So far, we’ve had snow one time since the kiddo was born, and it didn’t manage to stick to the ground. She’s fascinated by the stuff and is constantly asking me when we’re going to get some. I think this may be part of why she likes Christmas books so much – they’re almost fantastical when you’ve grown up in the Lower Coastal Plains Region of Texas. We have sun, rain, woods, and beaches – no snow, no mountains.
Now, that we’ve met Casey & Friends, we’re definitely going to look for the other titles: A Year on the Farm, Big Tractors, Combines, and Planters & Cultivators. (I’m not sure if this is the best idea for a little girl who already prances around singing the FarmersOnly.com jingle every chance she gets. I promise we’re not THAT country.)
“Can I have a note?” kiddo asks.
“Of course, this is technically *your* review,” I tell her.
“My favorite part is where they all say SURPRISE. Also, dear people,” I love the way she says this, like she’s addressing a letter to my blog followers, “I wonder if you would like to read this book. It’s an awesome book and it’s a great time to read this book right now. Because it’s lovely. And I would like it if you read all the other versions. I bet we could get them at the library, I always have a great time there. I wish everyone would have lovely days at the library…”
There are more glowing superlatives, but they are mostly the excited ramblings of a five year old loving to hear herself talk.