Happy Reading everyone!
And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews. Great books are being shared!
Tweet! at #IMWAYR
Hurrah! Cybil's winners were announced on Friday, Valentine's Day! The winners can be found here! Congratulations to everyone!
#NFPB10for10 - Remember that Wednesday, Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek are hosting this event! Don't miss it!
I read a book that met two challenges on the sidebar this week. Week by week this year, I hope I can find time to read all that are on the list in a page posted above. Go to Carrie Gelson's post here to discover what it's all about and who's participating (tweet at #MustReadin2014), or go to Gathering Books with Myra, Fats & Iphigene to see their challenge!
The Nazi Hunters: How A Team Of Spies and Survivors Captured The World's Most Notorious Nazi, by Neal Bascomb
This story chronicles the years spent by those persistent enough to find the most notorious and heinous Nazis responsible for sending millions of Jews to their deaths. It includes personal stories woven throughout, the past that continued to haunt even after Hitler’s Germany was defeated, after Israel became a free state. For example, in the village of Dobradovo, Hungary, a man named Zeev Sapir opened his door to the Hungarian police who were cooperating with the German army. He and his family, parents and five siblings, were ordered to pack, to carry no more than fifty kilos per person. The remainder of their belongings including priceless heirlooms were confiscated. Those in this small town joined a nearby larger town where 14,000 were crammed into an old brick factory. Some died along the way, others died at the factory, forced to eat only weak potato soup, with little water fro the entire community. Somehow Zeez’s family lived through rains which brought more illnesses like typhoid fever, until an “inspection” by the important Adolph Eichmann. In driving rain, they were told they were to be sent elsewhere to protect them from advancing armies. Zeev, at 20, remembered that day, the promises made.
Well, you know that Eichmann was lying; all were sent to Auschwitz. This is just one story included in this search for the man who managed the final solution to the Jewish question. It begins with a random sighting by a random person in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Years pass, but finally, the man is identified and plans are made, meticulously carried out. It’s a fascinating, serious and spine-tingling telling of heartbreaking stories and utter dedication to bringing Eichmann to trial, the only Nazi brought to trial by Israelis, in Israel. Zeev Sapir did survive although some of his family did not, and he plays an important part of the end of this amazing tale. There are numerous photos along with the bibliography and footnotes from the research Bascomb accomplished for this book.
Harlem’s Little Blackbird – reviewed here for non-fiction picture book Wednesday! #NFPB2014
Here's a book just out, perfect for the younger ones!
Peter Panda Melts Down - written by Artie Bennett, illustrated by John Nez
Obviously, Artie Bennett has a great sense of humor, even for the pre-school kids! I loved his earlier book, “Poopendous!”, as did all the kids at my school! I can’t wait to share this with my young granddaughters, and then the primary students. Teachers will love it too! This story shows dear Peter Panda having a few melt-downs, and then working his way through the day with a little help from his mama, and unfortunately “more” meltdowns. Since I have some grandchildren, I know exactly what “melt-downs” are all about, and they usually happen with their mama, too. Written in rhyme, this has some action for everyone, at the grocery and library, at dinner and bath-time! “Don’t carry on, Peter. It’s such a nice day./If you simmer down, we’ll go somewhere to play.” I love the sweet pictures, yes, “sweet”, by John Nez, of all the young animals throughout, especially at the park, and then of dear Peter. Young kids have such exciting things happening in their lives, and to stop them takes real self-control. Even mamas need a bit of it now and then. It’s a very fun read!
Book supplied by the author!
more lovely picture books
As The City Sleeps - written and illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson
Stephen Johnson earned a Caldecott honor for Alphabet City, but I just discovered this book in a colleague’s classroom. Wow, if you want to inspire interesting, and perhaps creepy, stories in your writers, use the pages in this book. Most of the work is photographs, but altered. For example, on one page shows a view of a commuter train, and clearly the people are from a different age, men and women with hats of early twentieth century. Like each page, the text is spare. One says: “Ghost Riders, last seen in 1936, they vanished without a trace.” It’s a book for the imagination!
The Invisible Boy – written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton
I’ve had several tell me to get this book, and finally I did! Please don’t wait any longer if you haven’t read it yet. It’s a poignant story of too many in classrooms who are excluded and terribly lonely. It will be a terrific read aloud to discuss more than once with a class. A young boy named Brian is left out in most of the school activities, going unnoticed by even his teacher, until his smile and a thoughtful note begins a friendship with a boy new to the class. Patrice Barton’s beautiful illustrations help tell the story in a magical way. You’ll need to find the book to discover what I mean by magical! The book’s back matter also shares guiding questions and books for both adults and children that will help continue the discussion about inclusion and exclusion.
What’s Your Favorite Animal – written by Eric Carle and Friends
There is a pleasure in looking at illustrations, why I adore picture books so much. The story in words is fascinating, and added to so beautifully by illustrators. I hope someday to visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Just to visit the museum’s web page is a delight! In this book, Eric has invited “friends” (illustrators) to share their favorite animals, in words and of course in pictures too. It is a wonderful book to read and see, filled with double-spread pages for study of a favorite, or for imagining one’s own favorite animal. Don’t forget to take a look, a long look! If I could choose a favorite page, it would be that of Stephen Kellogg, and the story behind his favorite animal, the cow!
Catching Kisses - written by Amy Gibson and illustrated by Maria Van Lieshout
This will be fun to share with a young child, all about kisses, coming your way, traveling through traffic, soft as a whisper or loud with a “smack”. Kisses are flying, and they tickle too. The story has traveling illustrations showing children watching to see where the kisses are go, and a map in the back to see if you recognized the places included. The illustrations are graphic, and include lots of silhouettes.
Next: I'm on vacation this week, so have a great stack of books from the library and almost finished with Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein-wonderful! Maybe Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell next!