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Ethel Pochocki

Forfatter af Once upon a Time Saints

37 Works 1,105 Members 7 Reviews

Om forfatteren

Ethel Pochocki is the author of many books of stories, including The Mistletoe Girl and The Wind Harp. Having raised eight children, she now lives with eight cats in the village of Brooks, Maine, where she continues to write and garden

Værker af Ethel Pochocki

Once upon a Time Saints (1977) 249 eksemplarer
More Once Upon a Time Saints (1980) 183 eksemplarer
The Blessing of Beasts (2007) 76 eksemplarer
A Penny for a Hundred (1993) 69 eksemplarer
The Mushroom Man (1993) 52 eksemplarer
The Attic Mice (1990) 43 eksemplarer
Rosebud and Red Flannel (1991) 43 eksemplarer
Saints of the Seasons for Children (1989) 40 eksemplarer
Saints and Heroes for Kids (1992) 33 eksemplarer
Saints & Heroes (2012) 25 eksemplarer
Wildflower Tea (1993) 24 eksemplarer
Maine Marmalade (2004) 13 eksemplarer
Cabbage Moth and the Shamrock (1978) 13 eksemplarer

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A quiet, gentle story of magical realism, for adults as well as children with lush illustrations and a sweetly unusual friendship that speaks to all friendships. Moser's introduction "The Mushroom Man and the Bean-Picker: Thoughts for the 30th Anniversary Edition contains fascinating insights into Ethel's character and his friendship with her. "...she once referred to herself as "Ethel Strazzlecherry, the Bean-Picker of Brooks, Maine." She fascinates me with her monastic ways: "Like her favorite saint, Francis, she took in decrepit, rundown creatures she found in her garden or on her doorstep and gave them first-aid and food. I, too, did this as a child, taking in injured birds and other small animals. My mother, a Registered Nurse, was my compatriot in these endeavors. Moser also writes: "The people who interested her most were monks, hermits, and abbesses who lived in solitude and delighted in nature and animals. Yet those monks, hermits, and abbeses were imperfect, "Like all human beings who scramble around searching for what's really important. Like goodness, and kindness, and sparkles of wonder and joy...all the good stuff that keeps us going." Similarly, I have been reading about monks, hermits and abbesses and finding much wisdom, peace, and quiet joy in their words and compassionate philosophies. Ethel infuses her monastic beliefs into The Mushroom Man. Like monastics, the Mushroom Man is often solitary, though he seeks community; "he was blessed with a cheerful disposition" like Saint Francis. Finding friends is also common among monastics, as that of St. Kevin of Glendalough and St. Ciaran of Clonmacnoise in Ireland.

One particular event in the story reminds me of my childhood as I, too, ate "peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches" and have heard anyone else speak of write of them since then. My favorite illustrations are the cover one of the mole digging up truffles beneath an oak tree for the mushroom man and the final one of the friends resplendent in their Christmas gifts; the first for its aura of mystery, darkness and night, the last for its joy.

Moser also wrote an afterword: "Designing and Illustrating the Mushroom Man" I like his exposition on imperfection, beginning with quotes. From Eudora Welty, "Nothing's perfick." From Mark Twain, "Take the story from where it is to where it ain't" as the job of designer and illustrator.

The Mushroom Man was originally published in 1993. In that year, I had moved to a new state, so that is probably why I missed this book. I am so glad to have discovered the story and Ethel Pochocki's philosophy and interests. I have always loved Barry Moser's illustrative style and this is no exception. The expressions on the faces of the jeering children are repulsive, making the point of the meanness of bullying. In contrast, the meeting between man and mole is endearing with the pink nose of the man matching the pink snout of the mole and the curiousity of both figures. The wild mushroom drawings on the back cover are scientifically accurate and beautiful; I believe them to be a meadow mushroom and a bolete (though I could be wrong!).
… (mere)
bookwren | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jan 2, 2024 |
Awhile ago, I attended the blessing of the beasts at the St. John the Divine cathedral in New York City. This is held on St. Francis of Assisi day of blessing animals. Beginning with a large glass jar of alge and ending with the majestic elephant who slowly walks down the aisle after the very large doors are open to allow the entrance.

As the animals are processing, the beautiful music of Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) by (Paul Winter) playing as soaring notes of a soprano sax float throughout.

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This book is beautifully illustrated and tells a story of the lowest of the animals, a group of cockroaches who fear they will not be welcomed at the blessing.

And, as St. Francis of Assisi celebrated all animals, in this story, the cockroaches travel from lower Manhattan up to the cathedral where they were indeed blessed.… (mere)
Whisper1 | 1 anden anmeldelse | Aug 20, 2022 |
A nice story, with beautiful Barry Moser illustrations.
boxofdelights | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jul 2, 2019 |
The ten angel stories in this book will delight people of any age who love a good story, who seek creative insight into the often puzzling and mysterious workings of the human spirit, who have ever felt drawn to the world that lies just beyond our senses. Like fairy tales and parables, these angel tales offer a message with a light touch, a gentle tug and a whisper of wings.
StFrancisofAssisi | Apr 27, 2019 |


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Associated Authors

Normand Chartier Illustrator
Barry Moser Illustrator
Michael Hague Illustrator


½ 4.3

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