Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Celebration Book for Independence Day

  Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From Alyson and others, you will discover terrific non-fiction books!

       I've been saving this book for next week, then realized that next Wednesday is AFTER Independence Day. I hope you enjoy it as a preparation for celebrating America, continuing to believe that we are a country for all people.

       I know some of you have seen this, but if not, you must. It's a tribute to America with a few lovely words by Sarvender Naberhaus, sumptuously illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The double pages pair with each other, sometimes with the same words, sometimes with clever wordplay. For example, it begins with the title words, "blue sky white stars" with an illustration on the left of the Statue of Liberty shown against an evening sky, and a close up of blue sky, white stars in folded fabric with the same words. "White rows", also repeated shows covered wagons in a row, with the white rows of the flag on the opposite page. My favorite page, "sea waves" is a lovely ocean, but the companion page is of the flag waving, illustrating the words, "see waves".  From Civil Rights' Marchers to a raised flag, from a flying eagle to the moon landing, the words and images bring forth the best of patriotic feelings, and for younger readers, topic sparks for more questions. It's a wonderful new book. Included are author and illustrator notes, plus another that added information can be found on the author's website, although in a search, I could not find her site. Here is a short blog post she's written showing some other of the book's pages, and you can see more pages on Google.

        Enjoy your Independence Day!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Monday Reading - All Good!

a few of the found books
              Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!                                      
                      tweet #IMWAYR

           I tried hard to finish Zusak's I Am The Messenger, but just ran out of time. It's hard to believe I waited so long. I am loving it very much. I am going slowly with Nance's Hillbilly Elegy, and it is interesting!

          I went to the Denver Public Library's big summer sale last Wednesday and wrote about one poetry book discovery here! I came home with two bags full, my limit! There were so many lovely books, but had to stop!

Here's the few I read this week:

        This is a beautiful but also strange story of an island where one small yellow warbler is a people-watcher. Just as humans watched and named birds, it watched and named humans, like a “swift red-capped pitcher” (a baseball player). One day a fog appeared, became thicker until no one could see anything. Others noticed, but only the warbler talked about it. Others soon forgot that it had been different in earlier days. The warbler asked around and watched for humans. It could see no one, until one day a young girl appeared. What they do to lift the fog seems to be a comment on collaboration, getting people to realize something is wrong and acknowledge it. Kenard Pak’s illustrations are magical and wispy, finally opening up into sunlight happiness. This is a story for older children that may bring interesting discussions of its meaning. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Poetry Friday Treasure Hunting

         Thanks to Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe for hosting our Poetry Friday. She's welcoming us with a poem by her Diamond Miners today. So it's serendipitous that I'm writing about treasure hunting this week.

         On Wednesday, no, not in the mountain's wild places, but I went hunting in Denver's main library for the semi-annual book sale. My goal was two bags full, all I can manage to carry to the car, and no, I didn't return though I could have. I have way too many books, but this day is hard to resist. 
        Among the hundreds of trade books, of which I found terrific ones old and new, I also discovered some poetry books new to me. This one, poems by Margaret Wise Brown re-shared with a forward by Leonard Marcus and illustrated by Teri L. Weidner, caught my eye because of the title: Give Yourself To The Rain Poems for The Very Young. Because we have so little rain, each time the drops appear, they become another treasure. 

        It is special when one finds poems to read to young children. Those in this book collected for the first time fit well. They're about important things like being high on a hill, boats out at sea, squirrels, and apples. They sing for children! 

Here is the middle of a favorite poem. The illustrations fill the pages with creative images that fit Margaret Wise Brown's own unique ideas of her topics.

                                                  Green Grass & Dandelions

                                                    Bright yellow
                                                    Brave little lions
                                                    Suns in the grass

And the beginning of Sun Came Out on a Summer's Day
             The sun came out on a summer's day
              And chased three little white clouds away
              And shone on three trees near a deep blue pond
              Where three little ducks were swimming around

         There's more about a frog and a horse and hay!
           I cannot find a link to share with the poems, but hope you can find the book and enjoy it! I wrote in response to this delightful book, too.

                          poetry hangs in the wind
                          sweeping dust 
                          my new shower
                          Linda Baie © all rights reserved

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Picture Books Can Spark New Research

  Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  From Alyson and others, you will discover terrific non-fiction books!
      These four books all can become jumping off points for further research and learning. Some are appropriate for young learners; some seem better for older middle-grade students. I enjoyed each one.

         I'm first celebrating that my "hold" at the library was rather short to get this wonderful new book by Melissa Sweet and Steve Jenkins. Learning about all the sounds numerous different animals make - bark, grunt, squeal, roar, whine, bellow, growl, and laugh - creates a fun connection especially for young readers. They can make all those sounds, too! The end page asks that question of the reader, "Can you?" The format repeats as in "Can an aardvark bark? No, but it can grunt?" The next double-page spread shows other animals who grunt, too, like river otters and, a surprise, an oyster toadfish! While each part shows familiar animals, the unfamiliar is interesting too. As a collection, we're taught that these sounds are used for various reasons, warnings of danger, invitations to mate, while fighting and/or greeting. Jenkin's collages show the animals realistically, but habitat is not considered except in some text. It's a stepping off point for further study.

        There is additional backmatter that explains the geologic background of the forming of an island, but I'm unsure if this is really non-fiction. It's cleverly rhymed, showing the beginning uprising of lava from an undersea volcano, all through the evolutionary aspects of an island over thousands of years. The beginning: "Deep, deep/beneath the sea . . . / Stone breaks/Water quakes/Magma glows/Volcano blows."
       It too can be a stepping off into a study of geology and evolution. The illustrations are collages, become even more detailed as the island begins to be inhabited. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Life By The Numbers

   Join us on Tuesdays with the Two Writing Teachers and others who post. 
  1. One thing checked off the list, applied for TSA pre-check. It was fun to be at the airport without hurrying. I had my favorite iced chai, browsed at the bookstore, looked at some of the galleries all before my appointment.
  2. Two days from now begins the Denver Public Library Sale. There are thousands of books to browse, but I usually stick to kids' books and poetry, sometimes biography/memoir.                                                                                                                                Two weeks from today is Independence Day. I have a new book that I imagine everyone loving. It's Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. I haven't reviewed it yet, but it is gorgeous, a tribute to the American flag.  
  3. Three poems have been written these recent three days! Now to return to them to see what can be better.
  4.      Four days after Independence Day, I'll be on my way to the beach. Yep, I'm counting down!
  5. The number of books I bought last week when I visited my favorite Indie bookstore, The Tattered Cover. Yes, I held it to five, but sat and read at least another five picture books while I was there.
  6. Guessing, but I think I've worked about six hours in the garden since Saturday, cutting back plants that shouldn't be where they've moved, deadheading and of course, looking for bindweed! It truly is like the Energizer Bunny, just keeps going (growing)!
  7. I have seven things I must do on Tuesday because Wednesday is the sale and a dinner party and Thursday is the bookstore: renew two things, pay two bills, grocery shop, pick up a dress from the alterations shop, write one poem, work on another piece I'm writing, dust. Notice that dusting is at the end!   
     An Aristotle quote:  "All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion and desire." Did I make the connections in number seven?