The March Slice of Life Challenge-hosted by Ruth and Stacey, at Two Writing Teachers - #11 of 31 tweet #slice2013
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a kidlit meme hosted by Jen and Kellee at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS. Head over to find plenty to choose from! Plus, there is a terrific meme hosted by Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS that offers more reviews of all kinds of books, adult and children. Bookstores must be thrilled to see so many readers!
Don’t forget to tweet at #IMWAYR
Living Color – text and illustrations by Steve Jenkins
I found one other book I wanted to share by Steve Jenkins that is amazing. This takes colors, two page spreads each, and highlights mostly unusual animals of that color, and tells why the animal is that color, and how the color is helpful in the animal’s life. There are beautiful illustrations of animals like the stonefish (red) that is the most poisonous fish in the world. Look for the red that looks like a lumpy rock or pieces of coral if you are walking in a shallow tropical sea, and don’t step on it! There is the yellow land-dwelling crab that blends in and those most interesting and a beautiful green leafy sea dragon, which I’ve seen! It looks most like a piece of drifting seaweed. I was fascinated on every page in this book, discovering both familiar and unfamiliar animals.
From Pictures to Words - text and illustrations by Janet Stevens
This is a book I was unfamiliar with and Janet Stevens is a former parent whose child I taught. A colleague loaned it to me. It is an old book (published in 1995), but could be most useful in talking about writing stories, how to choose characters, work with a story board, find a plot, and more. The illustrations show the animals that are in the developing story, but with Janet, the author, sketched on each page “talking” about the creation and to the animals. It’s a whimsical look at how a picture book moves from the “seed” to the published book. You may know the illustrations by Stevens from other books like The Weighty Word Book. If you don’t know that book, look for it, too!
More – text by I.C. Springman, illustrations by Brian Lies
Magpies gather things in nature to take to their nest, but in this book, mice help one magpie, and the gathering starts and the magpie and mouse cannot quit. The nest soon fills up to overflowing, and calls for drastic action. The book can be looked at as a funny story about greed, a book where beginning, simple vocabulary enhances the illustrations as the arc of the story moves from collecting (MORE) to “much more” and then “a bit much”, “much too much” and “enough”. Crisis is imminent, so the words show change, from “less” to “not so much” to a question, “Enough?” The book certainly can also speak to adults who are trying hard to lessen their own accumulation of “things”. It’s a great show of “less is more”.
Knit your Bit – text by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrations by Steven Guarnaccia
Based on real events during World War I, this story tells about the need for warm hats, mufflers and socks to be knitted and sent to soldiers for winter wear in the European conflict. The author imagines a group of school children learning how to knit, although the boys resist, saying it is a girls’ activity. It tells of a coming knitting contest when the boys finally see that it’s important for everyone to contribute, whether they’re experts or not. One young boy has an interaction with a soldier that becomes a life lesson for the boy, who is missing his father (a soldier fighting ‘over there’) very much. The illustrations fit the time period exactly with scenes of constant action on every page. The inside covers show early photos of people, including school children, knitting, and the backmatter information gives several examples of organizations all over that were “knitting clubs”, including the Rocky Mountain Knitter Boys of Colorado!
The Art Box - text and illustrations by Gail Gibbons
For the younger students, this book shows what is in an art box, all the way from the basic drawing tools like colored pencils, to rulers and protractors, then paints and canvases on easels. It ends with a look at how colors work. I can see how teachers of young students could use parts of this often as a mentor text in art projects, perhaps creating their own “art box”. Illustrations are simple and large, with word labels on each tool.
Still reading Hattie Ever After, and lots of slice posts for the Two Writing Teachers March Writing Challenge. I finally have a copy of Bomb, so hope to get to that soon!