Tag Archives: holiday picture book

my one item gift guide

9780763664886The World Belongs to You by Riccardo Bozzi, illustrated by Olimpia Zagnoli.

I found this gem browsing a store in my neighborhood. I read it. I cried. I read it to my husband that night. He cried. There was something so hopeful and true about this picture book I wanted to buy it for everyone I know.

This is a gift you could give a friend, a relative, a co-worker, or an entire family. A quick, wise read, a great design specimen, a festively-colored cover.







It’s beautifully designed and lovely to ponder. The text is super simple, but so engaging and resonant when you imagine it directed at either a child or adult. There’s an acknowledgement of pain from the very first. “You are free. Hopefully.” But that potential for pain, throughout, is balanced with growth and the potential for joy.


Some might feel this book isn’t actually for children at all, but the illustrations show me it is. A ghost, bold shapes, a bike, ice cream, a rainbow. But it’s the kind of book that can walk someone through childhood and way beyond it. Through intellectual pursuits, through heartache, through friendship, through failure, through sadness, through successes big and small.


Even the sentiment of the title, beginning, and close: you, reader, the world belongs to you. And you belong to the world. Isn’t that something we need to remember at this time of year, always? That the world is ours but that we have an obligation to the world as well. That we’re all connected. That red and green are complementary colors. Different. Related. Opposite sides of one wheel.


Thanks to Candlewick Press for the second two images! 

THE WORLD BELONGS TO YOU. Text copyright © 2013 by Ricardo Bozzi. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Olimpia Zagnoli. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.



pumpkins + jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin muffins




Pumpkins: A Story For a Field by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Barry Root.

You may know Mary Lyn Ray’s work from the marvelous book, Stars. I first fell for Pumpkins. It was published in 1996,  but new to me two or three years ago. It’s about an old man, so that’ll get me every time. And it manages to tie together the most rooted, earthy stuff with the most magical.



Here’s the story. A field next door to the old man’s house is for sale. He knows that’ll mean development. He loves the field. So he sells everything he owns to buy it. But it’s still not enough money. Here’s where the pumpkins come in: he decides to grow them and sell them to pay for the field.


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And here’s where the magic comes in: he sends the pumpkins all over the world. (The process is where imagination takes over.) People everywhere discover jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pie and the wonder of these orange gourds. This book is very like a fairy tale. A man saves something he loves by fairly impossible means. He loves a field that he can look at.



So in the spirit of pumpkin season, I give you two things.

1.) My new favorite vegan pumpkin muffin recipe. Can’t you just smell the pumpkin spice through the picture? I can. I’m drooling a little.


 I adapted these from this oatmeal pumpkin bread at Lunch Box Bunch. Delicious! You can follow the recipe over there except the batter goes in a muffin pan and cooks more like 30-40 minutes. I also made the following substitutions:

oat flour (vs. homemade)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (vs. combination)

rice milk (vs. almond)

and I opted for agave syrup as sweetener and lemon zest and skipped the topping. The results were scrumptious. So much so that think I’ll make these again this weekend.


2.) A jack-o-lantern! This year, my guy and I made one with a sugar skull design. It’s kind of a Halloween/Dia de Los Meurtos two in one. And while it may be a skull,  it has hearts for eyes! Here it is looking sweet.



And here it is looking scary-cool!

sugarskulljackolanternDo you have a favorite pumpkiny recipe? Do share!

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