Dormouse Dreams by Karma Wilson; illustrated by Renata Liwska. 2017. Pencil, colored digitally.
Brief summary: The dormouse is deep asleep in his tree unaware of winter slowly turning to spring. The snow melts and animals come out of hibernation all around him while he continues to sleep and dream. A friend knocks on his door and wakes him. They get married and then are seen in the tree dreaming together.
Comments: This is an adorable book about that time when winter starts to slowing disappear and the hibernating animals are coming out to greet spring. This is not a narrative nonfiction book as several of the forest creatures are playing with darts, skiing and engaging in other outdoor games while the little dormouse is asleep in a tree above them.
I looked up dormouse, because I did not remember ever hearing about these type of mice when I was growing up. I found out why. First, they are not mice but are related more to squirrels. Also, they are not found in the United States but are in Europe, Africa, and Asia. They do hibernate for a long time– six months or more.
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The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation by Gilbert Ford; illustrated by Gilbert Ford; photography by Greg Endries. 2016. “Drawn and colored digitally with found objects into dioramas, and photographed.”
Brief summary: Richard James worked as an engineer of the U.S. Navy in 1943 trying to invent an object that would keep ship equipment from vibrating when on the rough seas. A torsion spring fell onto his desk and bounced in an interesting way. He took it home where his son dropped it on the stairs and was amused how it appeared to walk down the steps. His wife came up with the name slinky which means “graceful and curvy in movement.” Mr. James had four hundred made and took them to several toy stores until one allowed him to demonstrate how it worked selling all 400 in ninety minutes. The couple created more with its instant popularity and built a small factory.
Comments: Mrs. James took over at this point, as her husband left to do missionary work in Bolivia. She advertised the slinky on television, which I found one of the commercials on youtube along with the famous song from my own childhood days. Betty James was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. Narrative nonfiction/biography. Author’s notes. I found the illustrations to be unique and interesting.