"Life returned to the old bus. Stella's fingers fluttered and her soccer players spun. Babies crawled, people laughed, kids fought, granddad's scratched dogs, meetings were planned, couples met..."
Bob Graham's new book A Bus Called Heaven is an inspiring story about turning trash to treasure, community organizing, and standing up for what you believe in! This book stars a stellar little activist named Stella and is set in a colorful, real-life neighborhood! She and her friends and family work together to turn an abandoned bus into a place where folks can take a load off, play fussball, dance, or do homework in good company!
We've been thinking a lot about community-building and grass roots efforts here at Green Bean Books! We've recently been awarded a grant through our local development commission to fund 75% of an amazing project to build an open air fort for our garden.
We have created an indiegogo campaign in hopes of funding the final 25%, which amounts to approximately $10,000. If we reach our goal, Green Bean's garden will serve as a year-round, all-weather fort for our children's programming, art advocacy, as well as a place for families and friends to read away any afternoon!
We are passionate about doing our little part to prevent the demise of independent bookstores and by exposing children to the joyful experience of touching, feeling and turning actual pages in a fun and curiosity-provoking setting. We really appreciate your help in fulfilling this mission!
Check out some of our other favorite picture books about community!
Here at Green Bean Books we wax ecstatic at the mere MENTION of a muskrat! We've paid homage to these semi-aquatic rodents with an old-fashioned muskrat vending machine after all! Imagine my delight when, during this muggy morning's re-reading of Tove Jansson's Comet in Moominland , I made the acquaintance of a PHILOSOPHER MUSKRAT!
"I am the Muskrat," said the wretched creature faintly. "A philosopher, you know. I should just like to point out that your bridge-building activities have completely ruined my house in the river bank, and although ultimately it doesn't matter what happens, I must say even a philosopher does not care for being soaked to the skin!"
Thus proceeds Muskrat's first surly soliloquy. Muskrat moves in with the Moomins and begins to conduct his vita contemplativa from a hammock among their flowering trees, deeming all endeavors save musing, the drinking of palm-tree wine, and the munching of an occasional ginger-nut "UNNECESSARY!" Muskrat remains stoic even regards the impending arrival of an EARTH-SHATTERING super comet! (Real-life muskrats are notoriously adaptable and omnivorous. (NOT PICKY EATERS!))
The only crack in the facade of his dispassion is occasioned by his sitting on Moomintroll's lemon peel and crystallized pear cake! "'Now I shall be sticky for the rest of my life, I suppose," said the Muskrat bitterly. "I only hope I can bear it like a man and a philosopher." The motley crew gobbles up the contriturated treat despite the muskiness!
Muskrat is just one scruffy sample of how Jansson's stories integrate goofiness and gravity. She's a master of both sincerity and slapstick! Big Questions and bloopers! This is true of her Moomin chapter books, her comics, and even of her grown-up books--of which I am an especially vocal enthusiast! The Summer Book is a riotous and heart-wrenching story about the life of an island-dwelling little girl and her grandmother. Read more about this prolific author, illustratress and fellow muskrat-maniac here!
Bonus muskrats in literature! From Raggedy Ann's Wishing Pebble by Johnny Gruelle ! "Everyone is invited for ice cream soda at the Muskrats' house."