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Made by Hand, Blueberry Girl, Jamberry & Blueberries for Sal

made by hand book coverPublishers recently sent me a copy of Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World.  Written by Mark Frauenfelder, founder of Make magazine, this quick read is an overview of one family's experience with making things by hand.  Organized by the various objects they attempt to create, each chapter is both a tutorial and reflection.  The themes are simple: waste not, want not; creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is fun; mistakes are how we learn; and quality beats quantity.  While some chapters seem to come to pat conclusions, I always enjoy peering into another do-it-yourself-er's life. It's berry picking season in Ohio and we have three berry favorites in heavy rotation for reading to Lillian:

First is an old story I remember my mother reading to me, Blueberries for Sal.  In it, a mother and cub bear and mother and child human both happen upon the same blueberry hill at the same time.  Robert McClosky, author of other classics such as Make Way for Ducklings, spins a tale of what happens when the two children get mixed up in a daze of gobbling berries.  A Caldecott Honor Book with indigo illustrations, Blueberries for Sal is a gentle cautionary tale, perfect for reading aloud to a young child about to pick blueberries for the first time.

Jamberry is a quick silly rhyming book about many kinds of berries, both real and fantastical.  Packed with charming illustrations of a friendly bear and child, this is a favorite read aloud at my Kids Cook classes.

Blueberry Girl is by the poet and author Neil Gaiman.  A gift from Alex and Lil to me for Mother's Day 2008, this poignant book is equally appropriate for adults and children.  It's a love poem from parent to daughter detailing the hopes and dreams held in that relationship.  Whimsical illustrations compliment Gaiman's well metered writing.  Below is a trailer of sorts with Gaiman reading.

A month or so ago I also recommended a few books.  I have an ever present stack of books from the library (you'll Keep CML Strong, right?) and regularly coming across material appropriate for Hounds in the Kitchen readers.  I would like to start a little 'recommended reads' series but am struggling to come up with a catchy title.

So, how about a little giveaway contest?  I'll mail a copy of Made by Hand and jar of my handmade jam to whomever suggests my favorite series moniker.  It has to be relatively short so I can make a little icon and include it as a category.  Something to do with the common subject matter - food - would be good too.

All you have to do is leave a comment with your suggestion(s).  I'll leave the giveaway open for a week and choose a winner next Friday, August 20 at 9 PM.

FTC disclosure: I received Made by Hand for free.  Title links are through the Amazon affiliate program.  I really hope readers will use their libraries before buying!

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays