Sunday, March 23, 2014

24/31 It's Monday - Reading and SOLC

“I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.” 



          Happy Reading everyone! Day Twenty-Four of the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers!
           Tweet at #SOL14  

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.  Great books shared!
           Tweet! at #IMWAYR

                    Here are my reviews of two books for Non-fiction Picture Book Wed. at Alyson Beecher’s Kid Lit Frenzy, including another book about a librarian!


         The following book meets the 2014Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge – the link to find out about it is HERE or the right sidebar. Even if you don't join the challenge, there are terrific posts and connections to books you may not know about.

Tomás and The Library Lady – written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Raul Colón
           It’s not easy to keep connections when you have to move two times a year to 
follow crops, as the family in this story does. They’re in Texas in the winter, Iowa in the summer. The story is based on the true experiences of Tomás Rivera, who became a university professor, a writer and an education leader in his life. The Univ. of CA at Riverside library is now named after him. Tomás loved stories, and loved listening to his grandpa tell them. One day his grandpa told him to go to the library to read more stories so that he could come home and tell different stories to the family. Tomás did, and found a kind librarian who fed him books and books and more books. It’s another wonderful story about a librarian who makes a difference in someone’s life, showing Tomas often getting lost in the stories. These particular pages are made even more wonderful with Colón’s beautiful woodcut illustrations of this reader’s imagination as he reads. It’s a very sweet story.


 more picture books - these loaned by my book buddy
Art From Her Heart: Folk Artist Clementine Hunter Kathy Whitehead, Illustrations by

          When I read stories like this, I wonder how many other ‘hidden’ artists have been or are out there, working away in less than ideal circumstances, rarely found. Clementine Hunter was fortunate in one way, the planation for which she worked was a haven for artists, and one time a visiting artist left some supplies. Clementine asked if she could have them, and that is when one of the writers discovered her talent & helped her with supplies and later with promoting her work. Her work is famous for capturing so well the plantation life of the times right after the Civil War. The illustrations by Shane E. Evans are beautiful pictures of those times, and of some of Clementine’s work. There is one page of examples of some of her paintings and more information in the back matter. The art itself of both Evans and Clementine Hunter is beautiful to see, but the story of someone so passionate that she worked all day, then did art late into the night is inspiring and another look at how people persevere when they are passionate.

Winston of Churchill – written by Jean Davies Okimoto, & illustrated by Jeremiah Trammell.
         I saw this review last week, commented about it, and my book friend brought it to me! It’s quite wonderful, an excellent beginning to introducing global warming to younger students! Actually, it includes parts of another book, a non-fiction explanation of how global warming works: from the Let’s Read and Find Out Science Series, Why Are The Ice Caps Melting? The Dangers of Global Warming by Anne Rockwell, illustrations by Paul Meisel.  In addition, it includes history, because Winston of Churchill used more than one inspirational quote from the famous Winston Churchill. The book follows a group of bears who prepare for a demonstration to tourists who have traveled far to see them. When they don’t find them from the tour bus, they become disgruntled, but finally they discover a group of sign-toting bears who protest too much Carbon Dioxide, too much garbage, too few trees planted, etc. The resolution is uncertain, but the biggest message is clear: “We must all do our part, no matter how small.”

Myterious Thelonious – written and illustrated by Chris Raschka

        I’m not sure I can describe this book, but if you like jazz, and Thelonious Monk, you will love it! Chris Raschka has combined the 12 musical tones of the chromatic scale with the 12 color values of the color wheel to attempt a harmony between the two. The book’s words are arranged like jazz, and when reading, I found I needed to relax and go with the flow, which is unusual, yet brilliant. I could almost hear the piano in the background! You readers will have to see the book, for older students who both love music and creating outside the box, as Thelonious Monk did!

Going Places – written by Peter H. Reynolds and Paul A. Reynolds and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
              There are lots of things to love about this new book by Peter H. Reynolds and his brother, Paul A. Reynolds. One of them is the dedication, to their 10th grade social studies teacher, who dared everyone to be original! The story tells about the excitement of the Go-Kart kits each given to a class member to prepare for the coming race. Rafael is so excited, he loves following directions and building things. After finishing, he checks on his neighbor, Maya’s progress and finds that she has a few new ideas, after pausing to watch and sketch a bird. Rafael is open to new ideas, and I won’t give away the ending, but it is a good surprise, and bit ‘out of this world’! The illustrations are the usual bright and colorful ones from Peter Reynolds, filling the page with scene after scene of busy, happy kids.

And a wonderful one found at a sale! 
Rooster’s Off to see the World – written and illustrated by Eric Carle

            I found this book on a sale table, and of course snapped it up. (Eric Carle!) Saturday, my youngest granddaughter spent the day with me, and I got to read it to her. She’ll be three this summer, can already count past ten, so it was perfect. A rooster is lonely and wants to go for a walk. Along the way he meets a few animals and invites them to come along. It’s a counting book with beautiful full-of-life colorful collages (Eric Carle) and a repeat book. First there are two cats, then three frogs, then four turtles, and so on. My granddaughter caught on quickly and loved it. When we finished and said so long to every one, she wanted to start again.  Very fun book!

Next: Still reading The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch. It really is good, but just haven’t had a lot of time!
           Still waiting, Paper Boy, by Vince Vawter, and now, ta-da, Gae Polisner’s The Summer of Letting Go just arrived! It’s certainly time for spring break (next week)!

34 comments:

  1. I have always been enthralled by stories of other people's lives. I love the struggle to overcome, to achieve. It is what my old high school Principal referred to as 'stickability.' So I found myself immediately drawn to 'Art From Her Heart: Folk Artist Clementine Hunter.' I was drawn in by the words, 'The story of someone so passionate that she worked all day, then did art late into the night is inspiring and another look at how people persevere when they are passionate.'. Thanks once again Linda for alerting me to this title.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Alan. I am fascinated by those who persevere within their difficult lives to embrace their passions. This certainly is such a story. Happy you found a book that inspires!

      Delete
  2. I have never seen this title by Raschka! I grew up on Jazz - my Dad even named a cat Theo after Monk! I will have to look for it. I also want to find and read this book by the Reynolds brothers. I loved PaperBoy by Vawter. I really hope that you like it when you read it. We loved Rooster is off to see the World when my children were young!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Carrie, because of the jazz so much in your life, you will love this book about Thelonius Monk. It is so innovative, like him! The Reynolds book is new, & my friend happened to find it at her library. Can't wait to read Paperboy! Have a great reading week!

      Delete
  3. Linda, This is exactly why I avoid these posts...my wallet can't take them. There are so many books on this list that I now HAVE to HAVE! ;) First to be ordered is Going Places by the Reynolds brothers. I can't wait to read that one. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, Michelle, and understand perfectly. It's hard to read the Monday Reading posts without making a lo-ong list! Hope you like Going Places!

      Delete
  4. Enjoy summer of letting go... lovely picture books, especially those biographies...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Debbie-I know I will love Gae Polisner's book-have been looking forward to it!

      Delete
  5. I just picked up Going Places at the library! It's in my pile of PBs to read this week! I have The Summer of Letting Go as well, but I don't think it's making the Spring Break cut. So many books to read! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terrific, hope you enjoy the new collaboration by the Reynolds! I will try to get to The Summer of Letting Go soon. My break is next week! Thanks Michele!

      Delete
  6. Linda,
    Thanks for sharing today. Will be picking up Tomas and Going Places soon. I loved the Raschka book. Have you seen "Charlie Parker Played Be Bop"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, haven't even heard of the Parker book, Tony. Thanks for the title. It's just wonderful that so many bios are out there for a variety of students' interests!

      Delete
    2. I have always loved using Tomas and the Library Lady. It is the perfect book for my school and its students.

      I like the description of the Reynolds brothers' book Going Places. It made me think of Molly Lou Mellon and her creative thinking. I will start a book hunt for Going Places.

      Delete
    3. I'm glad I found Thomas, a discovery, & here so many of you already know it. Going Places is great, will look for Molly Lou Mellon, too. Thanks Julee!

      Delete
  7. To read, to read, to be - I may not be able to read all the titles that catch my eye, but I will be happy when some of the books my friends recommend find their way to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you said this so lovingly, Terje. Thank you. I hope you find some grand reading here, at least once in a while.

      Delete
  8. Interesting that Going Places is a book. I discovered it as a video over a year ago. I'd been using it in my trainings to get teachers to think of the possibilities that are available (no one answer is the only way). I'm glad to learn it is now a book. Love whatever Peter Reynolds does! Also I love the books about people, it gives kids ideas that maybe they to can make a difference in the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elsie, the book Going Places just came out, so wonder if these two brothers decided to take it further? What a terrific idea for its use. Now I may have to find the video too!

      Delete
  9. Anything by Peter Reynolds or Eric Carle must be good, and I hadn't heard of either of those--thank you for introducing me to them. You always share such amazing books with us on Mondays. Always impressed by how much reading you get done.

    Enjoy Paperboy--it is a special MG book!

    Happy reading this week :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kellee, exciting to find some books you don't know! I'm almost ready to start Paperboy! I'm sure it will be good, like the idea of it!

      Delete
  10. A couple of these books are perfect for the nonfiction challenge I'm working on with my older son--we're trying to read 90 nonfiction picture books about African-Americans that don't focus primarily on slavery or civil rights. We love books about artists, so we'll definitely get the book about Clementine Hunter. I'm also thrilled to see a new Peter Reynolds book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elisabeth, I am always looking for those books too, about people who ___________, who just happen to be ____________, or _______________. I'll send others your way too. I hope you saw Tony's comment above that added another 'jazz' book!

      Delete
  11. What a wonderful collection, Linda - Art From the Heart and the book about Monk really intrigue me, they would be wonderful read alouds to share with my kids and have them "write long". Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tara, yes, both are good, story and visually. I hope your class likes them too!

      Delete
  12. Linda,
    Tomas and the Library Lady is probably one of my all-time favorite children's books. I love the way the language flows, and I love the message of the story. I used to own a copy, and I lent it out. It never came back to me, and your post reminded me to order another copy. Thank you! I am glad to see that you read it. It holds a special place in my heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think between it and the bookmobile book I shared on Wed., it might be fun to start a "library" collection. So glad you like Thomas too-isn't it so sweet? Thanks Ricki!

      Delete
  13. I'm especially intrigued by Winston of Churchill. That looks like a great one for our younger activists. Thanks for all of the recommendations, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Melanie-it is a great book in "all" its aspects, message, visually, humor, and on. Hope you like it!

      Delete
  14. Oh, I want to read "Art from the Heart"! Looks beautiful! And I always love Chris Raschka's books - must check this jazz one out. That Winston of Churchill - wow! How cute! Thank you for so many great suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maureen, I bet you will enjoy them all, just in different ways.

      Delete
  15. Tomas and the Library Lady sounds like such a wonderful book, Linda, and I've always loved reading about the polar bears of Churchill. You'll love The Summer of Letting Go! Thanks for sharing all these terrific titles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Catherine. all great books again!

      Delete
  16. The new Chris Raschka book sounds ingenious, I think I'd have to find that one soonest. There are so many familiar and well-loved books here. Tomas and the Library Lady we've featured in our books about books theme, and truly inspiring. I've also used Art from Her Heart in my higher-degree class, that one is highly empowering too. Beautiful. I find that I am not as into Peter Reynolds as I think I should, I don't know why. Eric Carle, I love. Glad to know how much your granddaughter loved it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Myra-hope you find and love the Raschka book, so innovative! The others I finally had the pleasure of reading-glad to know you enjoy them too!

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!