February 10, 2011

"The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom" by Jeri Landers

Squirrel Cookies and Acorns to Celebrate Bushky's Return!
The old farmhouse Bakery and Apothecary at Corgyncombe, yesterday was whirling with activity and good smells as squirrel and acorn cookies were popping in and out of the oven. On the art stand made by Seth Tudor, above the cookie sheet, is "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom" written and illustrated by Jeri Landers.

Bushky the Squirrel goes on an unplanned journey when a very strong wind blows him away from the security of his little dwelling in the tree. Bushky then starts upon his journey to find his way back home. In seeking his home, he comes across some friendly creatures and some not so nice creatures who seem friendly but would actually prefer to eat him!

Included in the book is a CD where Jeri Landers reads "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom" with unique voices for each of the characters that she created.

Jeri's illustrations are wonderful and her story is exciting! How we enjoyed hearing Jeri tell the story on the CD. I even find myself singing the Bushybottom song when I go into stores and saying, as Bushky's sisters would say, "Bushy, come baaack!" in a voice that Sarah says sounds remarkably like Jeri's squirrel voice!

Drucilla P. Posssom, with several possom youngin's hanging on, discovers Bushky curled up sleeping in an old tree stump. Drucilla has a delightful Scottish brogue! In a nurturing fashion she assists the sleeping Bushky.

At Corgyncombe we have a lot of the same wildlife and flowers that flourish in Hopalong Hollow where Bushky Bushybottom dwells. Above, a Corgyncombe Possum.

Bushky comes across Trudy Webbytoes little family of ducklings in his search for help and home. How adorable the little ducklings are in their old fashioned clothing!
One of the squirrel cookies is standing near a cookie that has special kindred family significance to Jeri, Diane, and Sarah.

Corgyncombe Foxglove

A Duckling in Corgi Creek.

Corgyncombe Foxglove

A Frog lounging in Corgi Creek.

In the photograph above, a Bee at Corgyncombe's favorite apple tree.
In "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom" a Bee warns Bushky of impending danger!

Busky Bushybottom and his sisters. On this page you can lift the flaps to see a big fold out page that shows the Squirrel family's home in a tree. You will see a roof topped with a carved Squirrel finial sitting on an acorn.

There are many delightful and spendiferous things to see and read in "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom".
There is a lovely page with a garden with picket, wattle, and stone fences round, packaged garden seeds, vegetables, a bee skep, and many other things that us gardeners find most delightful!
In the front of the book there is a map showing the travels of Bushky Bushybottom.
In the book are 100 woodcarvings done by Hopalong Hollow woodpeckers and beavers to search for and count.
There are two pages of clever poems to go with the animal character illustrations that you will also enjoy.

You'll have to read the story to find out about all the experiences Bushky has and how he finally manages to get home. At the end of the story there is a detailed picture of the family celebration inside the Bushky Bushybottom home. Both children and adults will enjoy this story!

In the back of the book you will find the squirrels in a cozy bed covered by a pretty quilt reading a squirrel bedtime story. Incredible woodland Scherenschnitte that Jeri created surrounds this bedtime illustration with the moon smiling down upon all!

Squirrels and acorns cut out of gingerbread dough. The rolling pin is a delightful find that reminds Diane of the big old rolling pin that Samuel Whiskers and his wife Anna Maria the Rats use to roll out a Roly-Poly Pudding in Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers".

With the air of circus performers the squirrels at Corgyncombe go from tree to tree. The branches undulate as they near the smokehouse... the finial atop the smokehouse is the squirrels' target. The finial can be seen in the lower right corner of the photograph above.

A flying leap and the squirrel that reminds us of Beatrix Potter's Timmy Tiptoes and Jeri Landers' Bushky Bushybottom proudly perches looking as if he is a continuation of the finial.

But he is not finished as his object is further down.

So off of the finial and down he slides in a squirrel's version of a belly whopper.

There is a bird feeder hanging from the smokehouse where Corgyncombe Squirrels take their meals. Diane's husband said that she must be feeding the birds too much as the squirrels are getting too fat!

If you enjoy watching the squirrels as they go about their daily tasks you will enjoy reading Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes" and Jeri Landers' "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom". In Tasha Tudor illustrations and Advent Calendars the squirrel is a frequent subject. Jeri's artwork and love of animals remind us of Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor!

The squirrel box in the library at Corgyncombe.

Jeri Landers also wrote and illustrated "Hopalong Jack" which we featured in a previous post at the Corgyncombe Courant. Here is the link: "Hopalong Jack " Written and Illustrated by Jeri Landers

Here is a link to: Jeri Landers' web site with "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom"



Jeri Landers said...

I really enjoyed that!!! And what great photos to go along with the paintings. We, too. have a REAL Drucilla P.Possum (who visits our cat food dishes with regularity). Those squirrel photographs are just wonderful. Our little gray squirrels are getting fat too, on all the black walnuts that cover the ground. Yummy cookies, save me a "Starr"!
Keep singin! Cousin Jeri

PS> And I forgot to tell you about a little secret on the fox page ( the full page spread with Sir Percival) There are 5 clues, which reveal a bit of trivia about a beloved author/ illustrator. If you can't find the clues, I will give you a few hints!

The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY said...

Oh what a great tribute to "The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom"! I just recieved my copy a couple of weeks ago!(and that tune is catchy heee)!
It must have been a challange to snap those squirrel pictures! Those little guys are quick!!
I bet the cookies were yummy!
Warmth and Blessings,Linnie
PS Thanks for pointing me to the Hopalong world!! :-) :-)

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Linnie,

You must be singing the Bushybottom song, too! Yes, the squirrels are quick and they are a challenge to photograph but they do love sliding down the smokehouse roof and practically landing plop onto the bird feeder. We are so glad that you enjoyed our Bushybottom post and it was a pleasure to be able to introduce you to the Hopalong world and Jeri. Isn't she talented!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Cousin Jeri,

So glad you liked our Bushky Bushybottom post! It was fun to do! We'll have to look into the Sir Percival page as you advised. A quick look at it, we think we probably have figured it out. Hmmm, an author and artist beloved by us, too!

I love your illustration of Udder Butter! It reminds me of what my mother used to put on my chest when I had a cold before she used Vicks.

Your Cousins,
Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

P.S. In looking at some of Tasha's squirrel drawings we found quite a few in her Cupid Corgi Valentine Calendar. One of our next posts features Tasha Tudor's Cupid Corgi Valentine Calendar and some flying Corgyn!

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