Tag Archives: Barbara Helen Berger

Grandfather Twilight


You could say that this book tells a simple story about the quiet routine of a grandfather. Or you could say that it is about cosmic matters of great significance. Either way, you’d be right.

Like When the Sun Rose, by the same author/illustrator, this book is peaceful and quiet and absolutely beautiful. And, also just like Sun Rose, the boys just aren’t that interested in it (perhaps because it dreamlike and has very few words).

Author: Barbara Helen Berger
Illustrator: Barbara Helen Berger


When the Sun Rose


When the sun rose today, a friend came to visit me.
She came in a carriage bright as the sun.
Even the stones in the road were shining.
Her lion stopped at my gate.

This story begins with an enormous, golden rose rising up into the sky (yes, the title is a visual pun); moves to a friend arriving in a carriage shaped like a golden rose and pulled by a golden lion; proceeds to a day of play and creation; and ends with a departure, a promise, and a house full of roses.

The boys are not charmed this book’s dreamy/vague plot and prominent dolls (although they are found of the lion eating blueberries with cream while the narrator and her friend enjoy honeycake and tea). I am utterly charmed by it, however. It glows.

Author: Barbara Helen Berger
Illustrator: Barbara Helen Berger


A Lot of Otters


I’ve been meaning to write about a number Christmas books this holiday season, but somehow this sweet book keeps slipping to the front of the queue.  In short, a lot of otters find a baby and a book that belong to a very unusual (and yet ultimately very relatable) mother.  But the seemingly simple story quietly addresses being lost and found, bold and safe, curious and content (often all at once).

A Lot of Otters seems to have been inspired by a legend about otters and books that Ms. Berger explored in an earlier work, Animalia (which I expect will also show up here someday).  It is calming and soft, with beautiful illustrations that are perfect for for kids who are enthralled by otters (like my youngest).  I especially recommend it for bedtime.

Author:  Barbara Helen Berger
Illustrator:  Barbara Helen Berger