Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Blessing of Toads by Sharon Lovejoy - giveaway!




23. A Blessing of Toads
A Gardener's Guide to Living with Nature
by Sharon Lovejoy
nonfiction, 2004
paperback, 294 pages
finished, 4/18/09




A beautiful book in every way. The subject matter, the illustrations, the feel of the paper. It is really exquisite. I first heard of Sharon Lovejoy from my long-time internet friend, Aisling, and I am so grateful. The author truly loves the creatures of this earth, and not just the pretty, sweet ones. She sings the praises of skunks and snakes, as well. They each have their own special place in the scheme of things.

The title comes from a delightful little chapter extolling the virtues of toads. In a 1915 pamphlet called Usefulness of the American Toad, A.H. Kirkland wrote:

Of the toads' total food, 62 percent was made up of harmful insects. Should ants be included as injurious, as many housekeepers would think proper, this figure would be increased to 81 percent. Toads fill their stomachs to capacity up to four times in a single night, accounting for as many as fifty-five army worms, thirty-seven tent caterpillars, sixty-seven gypsy moths caterpillars, or seventy-seven thousand-legged worms.


Because of the superior job they do, Sharon Lovejoy says "a knot of toads" just isn't good enough, and feels "a blessing of toads" is the apt phrase.

The chapters include information on how to attract various creatures to one's garden, including houses and even some food recipes. The author's enthusiasm and love for her fellow creatures is contagious, and the reader comes away from the book with a new awareness and understanding of the birds and beasts and bugs of our planet home. I want to pass along this delightful book, and will offer a drawing. If you would like the book, please leave a comment from now through Sunday April 26. I'll do the drawing on Monday April 27. I will send the book anywhere.

48 comments:

  1. I'd love to win this. It sounds lovely. :D

    loony_balooga_91(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a delightful review! I'm sure you'll receive many, many comments for this one and I'm going to jump right in there and throw my name in the pot.

    I keep forgetting to tell you, Nan...I love this little button-nosed squirrel!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This book has been on my Chapters wishlist for a long while...I think if I don't win I will have to buy it now! Thanks for posting about it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This sounds delightful, Nan. Please count me in.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've got all your names down. Thanks for reading and entering.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a beautiful book! Thanks for introducing me to this author. I would love to be included in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. aww,! The book sounds fantastic. I've always been a huge fan of toads :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. One woman, JoAnn, Jenn - your names are in the draw.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was thrilled to see this book on your blog. I've read it, loved it, and don't need to be entered in the giveaway. Thank you, however, for sharing such a special book w/ others. You might enjoy two of her other books - Sunflower Houses and Hollyhock Days. These focus more on sharing gardening w/ children. I never quite followed through w/ her creative ideas when the kids were small but will keep the books handy when grandkids eventually arrive.

    Thanks too for the great E.B. White piece. Unfortunately that day out here in sunny California was more of a A.A. Milne "blustery day."

    ReplyDelete
  10. I adore Sharon Lovejoy's books. I've read a library copy of this and would be thrilled to have my own copy.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I always love books that champion so-called "creepy crawlies" and toads are some of my favourites. Couldn't agree with the author on the "blessing of toads" more! I'd love to be entered in your draw. Thanks for putting this book on my radar!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for another intriguing suggestion!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a beautiful book!
    Margaretha

    ReplyDelete
  15. I knew you would love her gentle writing style and sweet illustrations. Your review captures it all just perfectly. I hope you will move on to read some of her others. To me, they are "comfort food" books that I browse through again and again to rejuvenate my spirit.

    hugs,
    Aisling

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ah, a gardening book. Right up my alley. I need to find a way to keep my toads safe from foraging chickens. In particular, Flora, the Toad Ravager!! I can't tell you how many times I've seen her running from the garden, toad in her mouth head first with arms and legs splayed out in all directions. Ack! It's disgusting! Not to mention that we cannot eat her eggs for a week afterwards because they are all, well you really don't want to know.
    If I had to place a bet, it would be that all the hoppy toads in our area have deemed my yard a hazardous site! Sad, sad, sad. I guess I will just have to read about them. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am so pleased with all your notes about the book. It was great fun for me because it isn't a 'how-to' book but more of a why-to. Why we need these creatures, and how they make our gardens and lives better. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The book sounds wonderful! Love the illustrations!Count me in...and thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love a beautifully made book and this seems to be just that. I would dearly like a book that makes my relationship with snakes better, so may I enter the draw please?
    Carole.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have read exerps of this book in a gardening magazine that she used to write for. It would be a great read I am sure. I would love to read it sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love Sharon Lovejoy's work! How generous and thoughtful of you to do this.

    Sue Sirgany
    yapdogs@charter.net

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sounds wonderful!

    I know I've heard of her before, most probably another of her gardening books.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sue and Brenda, your names are in.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Please throw my name into the drawing hat! Thanks!

    Lesley
    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Nan,

    I just had "Trowel and Error" home from the library last week! "Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots" is one of my favorite books for garden ideas with the kids. Thanks for holding the drawing!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Lesley and Alison, your names are in the draw.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Please enter me for this draw. I love the cover of this book.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's just warming up in Maine, and we've had two solid days of rain to kick off the warming trend, so gardens are happily on my mind! Hope I'm a "winnah!" Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Jennifer and Leamonteach, your names are in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Looks like a wonderful book. Please enter me in your competition.

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a lovely book to win. We have lots of creatures in our garden including toads. I get such a start when they jump out at me. We have snakes and they are even more startling. One our very young grandson noticed snake eggs in a pile of compost that had been sitting untouched all summer.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'd love to read this, Nan! It would be right up my alley.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I always learn something new when I visit your blog. I'm all in favor of toads and snakes, but would be interested in what Sharon Lovejoy has to say about skunks. Chances are I won't win the book, but I can see if the library has it.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Pat, Joyce, and Donna, I've put your names in the draw.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am going to have to buy this book - it will go perfect with my renewed interest in my own backyard and the planting and growing/gardening I have been sharing with my 7 year old twins - we will read this book together since they very much love frogs/toads/lizards etc.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!!

    BlessedwithFour - new to blogging

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks so much for writing, Blessed With Four - Sharon's books are perfect, perfect for gardening with children. Her other titles are listed on her blog:
    http://sharonlovejoy.blogspot.com/

    Welcome to the blogging world, and I'll be over to visit!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow Nan, thank you for giving away my book "A Blessing of Toads," which, like all my books was a true labor of love.

    I am working on the finish of my new book for Grandmothers. Unplug the television, unplug the computer, and play in the mud or cook!

    All blessings to you,

    Sharon Lovejoy -author of Blessing of Toads

    ReplyDelete
  38. Oh, Sharon, thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Did you see how many people entered the drawing? You are much loved.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I ordered the book yesterday from Amazon and now am waiting (impatiently - :o) LOL) for it to arrive in the mail. I am very excited about the new knowledge that will be gained from reading this book and passing this on to the wee ones. Oh --- and I just love your Blog, Nan!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you, Blessed with Four - wait till you see the quality of the paper and the wonderful illustrations. It is a perfect book in all ways!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Dear Nan,

    I am currently reading this book and it is very informative - she is such a great author and I thank you for mentioning the book on your blog, it has been a great one!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Blessed with four, I am so, so pleased you like it! If you click on her name on this post, it will take you to her blog. (it is also on the sidebar)

    http://sharonlovejoy.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

Now that I am a grandmother, it seems that I am often late in replying to your most-appreciated comments. But I read them as soon as they come in, and I will write as soon as I can. Please do come back and check. I love these blogging conversations. A little addendum - I've just spent quite a long time catching up with dear notes you left me months ago!! I do hope you can get back to read them. And I'm trying to be much more prompt now!

Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.