Monday, July 13, 2015

Dahlov Ipcar :: Summer Author Binge

(Summertime Author Binge-ing on Dahlov Ipcar)

Do you binge on library books?  We do.  I spend a couple afternoons requesting books on-line and then we go pick 'em up and dive in.  During the school year, we often book binge by topic - like the kids will be super into cheetahs (thanks, Wild Kratts) and I'll get all the books on cheetahs.  But a few summers ago we started author binge-ing.  (aside: I feel compelled the write this word with the hyphen because to write binging reads, to me at least, as binging - the verb form of the the onomotopoeic word bing.....)

Anyway... When we find an author that we all like -- or that I want the kids to like more ;) -- I request whatever I can by that author.  We have found a lot of our favorite books this way, and we have found a lot of our favorite authors and illustrators this way.  (I tend to gravitate toward authors who also do their own illustrations) Reading a lot by one author, or viewing many illustrations by a particular author/illustrator, has helped my children start to be able to identify individual writing and art styles.  They can often glimpse an illustration from a new book and immediately know whose work they're looking at.  

One of the author/illustrators we binged on in June was Dahlov Ipcar.  I thought I'd give you a little insight into her and tell you what we liked and what we didn't like in case you're looking for some new picture book ideas :)

Dahlov Ipcar, born in 1917.  Most of her works are characterized by her unique, stylistic interpretation of animals - farm animals and wild animals.  She is heavily influenced by life in New England.  She currently resides in Maine.

We were first introduced to Ipcar when my parents traveled to Maine four years ago and brought back a copy of her book Lobsterman.  It's remained a family favorite since.  The story of a boy helping his dad in the family lobster-trapping business is sweet and actually very informative.  I highly recommend it.  

Ipcar's illustrations really are the gold in her work.  Many of her stories are well done, but I just want to hang her artwork all over my house!  Some of the other books of Ipcar's that we've enjoyed enough to buy are...

One Horse Farm - a lovely story of a boy and foal who are born on the same day on a farm.  They grow together, both doing the farm chores they're capable of.  And when it's time to replace Betty, the horse, with a modern tractor, the boy keeps her to be the one horse on the one-horse farm.

Hardscrabble Harvest - some of my favorite Ipcar illustrations are in this one!

Dahlov Ipcar's Wild Animal Alphabet - a sweet board book for babies! 

My Wonderful Christmas Tree - a Christmas counting book - look at all the animals that gather in the fir tree!  No story line, but gorgeous illustrations.

More books of hers that we've enjoyed, but do not own...

And though I'm a real Ipcar fan, I have to say there is one book of hers that I just think is awful :(  Deep Sea Farm is the story of a merman who tends his underwater farm.  I just think it's the most ridiculous story I've ever read.  (ridiculous in a bad way, not a delightfully funny way...)  But maybe you're into that sort of thing.  That's ok....  

Have you read anything by Dahlov Ipcar?  Got any favorites?

You  might also like...

Top Ten Desert Island Picture Books (the ones we can't live without)


  1. I'll have to check some of these out for my daycare kiddos. Thanks!

  2. You have some of the most fun book recommendations. I'm going to request a few of these from our library!


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