Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's Monday!

          It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS, and shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.   
         And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews. 
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR

         I finished a few books this week, all great reads, and others are waiting.  I'm going to the NCTE convention this Wednesday, and while I may not finish many books, I imagine I'll add to the TBR pile!

           I reviewed this book last Friday.  
Look here for my review last Friday.

Pieces of Georgia – written by Jen Bryant
           I won this book from Jen Bryant weeks ago.  I knew Jen’s work from her wonderful picture book biography  A Splash of Red, so was excited to receive another book by her.   Published in 2006, sorry I missed it, but I enjoyed this thoroughly.  It’s a verse novel, a ‘Just” thirteen year old girl named Georgia whose mother died years ago, and who lives with her construction worker dad in a trailer parked on a ranch.  In exchange for chores around the farm, they are allowed to live there.  This book is one of the quietest books I’ve read in a long time, a marvelous story to savor.  The story is told through Georgia’s eyes, to her deceased mother, written in a journal given by a counselor at school.  Georgia is already a gifted artist and that important gift weaves itself into the story because sometimes she has to hide it!  Her mother too was an artist and it makes Georgia’s dad sad to see her drawing too.  There are so many good relationships, Georgia’s  time with the counselor, the art teacher and the school nurse, her best friend Tiffany, with the horses and her dog on the ranch, her newfound discovery of the Wyeth art at a local museum, and of course, with her dad.  Slowly, they learn to mend their grieving in good ways “together”.   


Flood – written and illustrated by Alvaro F. Vila

         Considering that here in Colorado we just had unusual torrential rains over a 3 day period that wiped out hundreds of people’s homes, this book seems prophetic.  It is a wordless picture book that takes us on a journey, looking at a family’s home in a beautiful setting by a river to watching the tv weathercast of storm coming through sandbagging, packing and leaving, the devastation, and the sorrow of returning.  There is hope at the end, showing the re-building of their beloved home.  Vila’s illustration are full color, vibrant and show well the family’s feelings and violence of the storm.  I imagine this book might be helpful to those who have lost homes to help their children talk about their own feelings.

My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks, and other funny family portraits - written and illustrated by Hanoch Piven
         I had a recent conversation about the growth needed for young primary students to learn to use figurative language, that it was a big step for them to use comparisons that can be abstract.  Here is a book that will be one answer, filled with descriptions of a young girl’s family using simple objects that both create visual portraits and tell why!  For example, the girl says her brother is as “strong as a baseball bat” and (in hide-and-seek) “as sneaky as a snake”.  Hanoch Piven then uses representations of these things to create the picture.  It would be a useful book for many ages, but particularly primary students.  The collages as illustrations are clever.  I imagine this artist has boxes of small, interesting objects to use in his work.

Clothesline Clues To Jobs People Do - written by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook and
illustrated by Andy Robert Davies
       This book is clever in that it makes a game of guessing, through clothing hanging on clotheslines, the work that the person who wears those clothes does.  It includes farmers, artists and firefighters.  There are double-page spreads of the clotheslines, then double-page spreads with the answers! Having fun guessing is one good thing about the story, but the other is that the book defies stereotyping, showing the firefighter and mail carrier as women, and so on.  Although all of the workers could be male or female, the mixture is good, and would be a great conversation starter for young children.  Illustrations are simple with details appropriate to the jobs on each page.

NEXT:  I'm madly reading Counting By 7s, wish I had the day off so I could finish.  As others have said, it's very good-can't wait to review!

14 comments:

  1. Counting By 7's is one that a lot of people are liking-- I'll be interested to see your review.

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    1. It's quite a different story, Karen. I imagine it also for specific readers, not for every student, but I am enjoying it a lot! Thank you!

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  2. Love the looks of Clothesline Clues, perfect for community discussions, thank you!

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    1. You're so welcome! It would fit beautifully!

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  3. Wow. FLOOD looks like it will be a stunning picture book. I'm putting that on my to-read list now!

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    1. It was gorgeous, Beth, also rather heartbreaking. Thanks!

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  4. Hi Linda, FLOOD seems like a picture book that would resonate with a lot of kids as well in the Philippines who lost their homes. I'm keeping tabs on "What the Heart Knows" - checking our library archives every so often. Hopefully we get it soon, I just know it would fit our current theme perfectly. :)

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    1. Yes, Flood for the younger children, shows the sadness of the disaster, but hope in the re-building too. Hope you find both these books! Thanks, Myra!

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  5. Linda, these books look wonderful. I am definitely going to look for Pieces of Georgia. It sounds like such a touching story. I also am intrigued by Flood. It would be another wonderful wordless picture book to share. Have a good week and enjoy NCTE!

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    1. Thanks Andrea. I really enjoyed Pieces of Georgia-hope you (& students) will too. Flood was an awesome wordless book!

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  6. Linda - so glad to see you are enjoying Counting by 7s - I was so impressed by these characters and how unique they are. Flood is unfortunately very timely with our recent climate catastrophes - I found it very powerful.

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    1. Writing my review now for Counting by 7s, couldn't put it down! And yes, Flood certainly fits so many of our problems here last fall. Thanks Carrie!

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  7. I am looking forward to reading Counting by 7's! My Dog is as Smelly..looks like a great resource for figurative lang. Do you think 4th grade is too high? I am also very much hoping to meet up at NCTE. Will you be at the Nerdup?

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    1. Hi-I don't know about the Nerdup, haven't made all the plans yet, but would love to make it. Hope we connect somehow, Gigi!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!