by Robert Louis Stevenson 

The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

This poem (written for children) beautifully exhibits the impulse to treat children as humans with experiences that are universal to mankind.  The rain described here seems to be a universal binder that unites a child in a park to the more romantic idea of ships at sea.

I think this short poem displays simplicity without stumbling into triviality.  It’s a good benchmark.

Captain Blue Jay Fan Art

My wife and I are reading through Scott Nash’s fantastic book The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate.

We read a chapter a night.

This book seems completely uninformed by what I perceive to be conventional publishing wisdom.  It doesn’t feel all that contemporary.  It’s a mix between Treasure Island and Wind In the Willows.  It possesses a perfect mix of whimsy and seriousness.  You get the sense that Scott Nash is writing a book he wants to read.  He’s not trying to appeal to kids.  He’s trying to appeal to human beings and I can only imagine that kids appreciate being treated like human beings and not like narcissistic, self-interested, non-curious, rebellion-mongers.

Scott Nash’s illustrations are also a delight, and I am burning with admiration for Candlewick Press.  They steadily put out a stream of books that treasure Timelessness over Timeliness and I think that’s gutsy and profitable for children and adults alike.

I did an old-school take on a Blue Jay Brigand in admiration for this charming book.  My wife and I are only half-way through (she forbids me to read ahead, though I have glanced ahead at the pictures), still if the second half is anything like the first, this book deserves the widest possible readership.

Hero Up!

Courtesy of the World Wide Web, I have found some cards I did a few years ago.  I thought these were only supposed to be for use online, but I guess somewhere along the line they made these two into actual cards, complete with foil stamping.  Super!