Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Monday, December 13, 2021

News about Through The Looking Glass and a review of Hush Hush, Forest.

A block print from Hush Hush, Forest

 Dear Friends,

A big change is coming to Through the Looking Glass Book Reviews. For twenty years I've been posting first twelve, and then six, issues of the journal every year. Then I got Covid in March of 2021 and was laid very low indeed. As I lay on my sofa, under a pile of dachshunds,  I often though about TTLG and how I might like to change it so that I can have more flexibility in my work life. Publishing the journal was a lot of work and I was feeling a little weary of the process. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to do things differently. From now on I will no longer be publishing issues of the journal. Instead, the website is now the library of all the reviews I have written, all nine thousand nine hundred and nineteen of them, and it is also where all the book topic features, author and illustrator bios, resource lists, and more will be housed.
   This blog is where new reviews, features, articles, interviews, giveaways, biographies, and contest information will be found. All the reviews, biographies, and features that are posted here will be put in the library of the TTLG website as well. 
    I am really looking forward to this new chapter in my life. It will be exciting to spend more time reading and writing and less time filling in backstage data forms! 
   We had a rather warm and dry October and November, and though the leaves on the trees changed color, autumn seemed to be decidedly uninterested in performing as it should. In the last few days
we have had blessed rain, and the mountains are dusted with snow. I love seeing one season shift into another, and I can now feel that winter is just around the corner. 

   Today's book describes this change beautifully. This is a picture book for young children but, as is the case with so many of the picture books that I review, adults will also enjoy exploring the luscious artwork and the lyrical text. 
   Nick Wroblewski created the stunning artwork in this book. He is an artist and printmaker specializing in handmade woodcut blockprints; his art is in private collections and galleries throughout the country. He has also illustrated Mary Casanova's book Wake Up, Island and lives in Duluth, Minnesota, with his wife and two children.  
   Mary Casanova is the author of more than thirty books for young readers, ranging from picture books such as One-Dog Canoe and Wake Up, Island to the novels Moose Tracks and Frozen . Her books have earned the American Library Association Notable Award, Aesop Accolades from the American Folklore Society, Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and Booklist Editors’ Choice, as well as two Minnesota Book Awards. She and her husband live in northern Minnesota near the Canadian border. 


Hush Hush, Forest
Mary Casanova
Illustrated by Nick Wroblewski
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
University of Minnesota Press, 2018, 978-0-8166-9425-9
As two children snuggle under blankets to read a book, golden leaves drift down from the trees that stand outside, fluttering past their windows. The days shorten and soon we see the wild animals of the woods preparing for the cold that is coming.
   The loons sing their last song and then take to the sky. The beavers gnaw through tree trunks until aspens fall down; they will be used to build a lodge. Raccoons get busy eating as much as they grow fat and their “pelt grows thick.”
   Like “wisps of fire” the northern lights flicker across the sky. Dancing ribbons in blue, green, yellow, and pink dazzle those who see them.
   With evocative and lyrical word pictures, and beautiful woodcuts, the creators of this book bring readers a spectacular picture of the changing seasons as they are unfold in the north woods in North America. We hear voices and the swish and hum of wings. We can almost smell the snow falling. This book is a treat for all the senses.

You can view my review of Wake Up, Island on the TTLG website. 

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