And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews.
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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 andillustrated 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!