Sunday, February 22, 2009

Shout About Us!

You know how much you love Alphabet Soup – tell the world about it! Add your review to one of the following sites, and let us know if you see any others out there!

Judy’s Book

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Publisher Spotlight: Purple House Press

I discovered Purple House Press after a friend asked me about one of her childhood favorites, “Miss Twiggley’s Tree.” I had never heard of it. I figured she hadn’t tried an online search, so I looked it up. I was surprised to see that one of the listings had a publication date of 2002. I checked the publisher, and it was Purple House Press. I looked up their website, and was amazed to re-discover one of my own childhood favorites, “Miss Suzy” by Miriam Young! I immediately ordered one and started carrying the entire line of Purple House Press books. When I got my copy of “Miss Suzy,” reading it again was like breathing in familiar scents that brought me right back to my favorite childhood reading nook. It was one of the many books that touched my soul.
For Jill Morgan, who started Purple House Press with her husband Ray Sanders in 2000, it was “Mr. Pine’s Purple House.” She specialized in finding rare used children’s books, and when prices of her beloved childhood favorite, “Mr. Pine’s Purple House” rose to $300, she decided it was time to start republishing the book so that its message would not be lost to future generations.

Nowadays, the publishing house, based in Cynthiana, Kentucky, publishes more than 32 books, all brought back from the obscurity of being out-of-print, hard-to-find, and very expensive. The titles include classic picture books for young readers, well-loved by all ages, and literature for young adults. See if they have republished one of your favorites!

Purple House Press Book List:

Ann Likes Red
Another Celebrated Dancing Bear
The Big Chunk of Ice
The Big Kerplop!
Big Susan
The Blueberry Pie Elf
The Brothers Lionheart
David and the Phoenix
The Duchess Bakes a Cake
The Finest Horse in Town
The Flying Hockey Stick
The Mad Scientists' Club
The Marvelous Inventions of Alvin Fernald
Mio, My Son
Miss Suzy
Miss Twiggley's Tree
Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat
Mr. Pine's Mixed Up Signs
Mr. Pine's Purple House
Mrs. Pine Takes a Trip
The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists Club
Night of the Moonjellies
A Pair of Red Clogs
Pickle Chiffon Pie
The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek
The Space Child's Mother Goose
The Surprise Doll
TAL, His Marvelous Adventures with Noom-Zor-Noom
Three Little Horses
Time at the Top
A Tree for Peter
The Winter of Enchantment

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Vintage Collection Selection: The Crows of Pearblossom

A wonderful story, illustrated by Barbara Cooney, this is the only children's book written by Aldous Huxley, the famous English novelist, essayist and critic. He wrote it for his niece, Olivia de Haulleville, during the Christmas holiday of 1944. Olivia spent long periods of time with him and his wife Maria in their desert home in Llano in Antelope Valley, Mojave Desert, California. They took walks together, and Aldous and Maria would delight in telling stories to the little five-year-old girl. When Olivia and her family moved to Pearblossom, four miles from Llano, the Huxleys spent Christmas with the family and continued to make excursions into the desert they loved. Olivia's and her brother Siggy's neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Yost, are featured in the story, which was almost lost forever! A fire destroyed the Huxley home a few years later. Huxley's death in 1963 also left the story nearly in oblivion for many years. Fortunately the Yosts had kept a copy of the story, after the original manuscript had been returned to Aldous with the request that he illustrate it. The book was finally published in 1967 by Random House, and is now out of print.