It was terrific reading everyone's posts yesterday for PB10for10, and I managed to find over 20 books I wanted at the library. They're on the way!
|I finally remembered to share this. I don't think I've shared |
it with all you readers. It's at the library at Texas Tech,
& I saw it when I visited my son and family in June.
This first book meets the challenge for reading more books by or about the Latino experience. Thanks to Cindy Rodriguez for hosting the challenge at her blog, found here.
Papá and Me – written by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
The book title grabbed me because my son-in-law likes to be called Papa, so I read every picture book I can when I see it’s about a Papa! It’s a story about a boy’s day with his Papa, filled with swirling illustrations that are filled with excitement and high adventure. No matter what they do, it’s full of love in their relationship, ending with a visit to the grandparents.
Here is a poignant story of the ways people struggle, doing the best they can with who they are. Rose (rows), a 5th grader with OCD and high-functioning autism, lives with only her father, who works part-time as a mechanic in a local garage, had a tough childhood with abusive parents, then living in numerous foster homes. Rose’s uncle fills in the gaps, like taking her to school and back when she’s kicked off the bus, but also the loving gaps, understanding her needs better than her father. Classmates tease, not understanding Rose’s love of homonyms, and Rose ends up with an aide that helps her stop shouting out about people breaking rules. The arrival of Rain (reign), a stray dog her father brings home one rainy night brings a loving relationship for Rose, but also a frightening time when the edges of a hurricane hit the community and Rain disappears. Rose can’t understand why her father let Rain out to go pee during the storm. Sadly that is when the dog disappears, and Rose struggles with the fact her father broke the rule of not putting Rain’s collar on when letting him out. Rose’s father struggles with her constant asking “why”. And Rose’s uncle struggles with helping his brother understand how to be a good parent. The story leaves us with some satisfaction of growth in each character, and also the concept that doing what is right is the hardest journey of all. I enjoyed it very much.
The Underneath – written by Kathi Appelt
This Newbery honor and National Book Award finalist offers a magical connecting of three different groups, most immediately wrapping around the story of a family one would ordinarily think as odd, a mother cat abandoned before she gave birth to two kittens, and a chained up hound dog, all living deep in the swamps of east Texas and Louisiana. It’s the dark, wet swamp setting that also mesmerizes in this story by the author of The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp, another animal story I still need to read. Appelt’s style is dreamy, causing not skepticism, but belief that this story that reaches back a thousand years has to be true. There is the loving hound, Ranger, chained for years, in disbelief that a cat could walk right up to him and offer kisses. That cat, abandoned, soon gave birth to Puck and Sabine, soon to become the adventurers around which the rest of the story happens. There is Grandmother Moccassin, trapped in a jar, plotting revenge for her only daughter, Nightsong, who abandoned her for human love. That human pairing becomes Nightsong and Hawk Man, a twosome who live in the Caddo tribe hundreds of years ago. The shocking antagonist, Gar Face, is given little with which to sympathize, yet there is something about his tragic life that saddens. Sometimes I thought that the short chapters were too repetitive, but when gathered together I found I couldn’t stop reading. I began to care about the story and its outcome. I’m very glad I read to the end. It’s poetic, magical and spiritual, leaves one with a need for other stories about spirits and the hidden life they lead.
The Wonderful Book – written and illustrated by Leonid Gore
What is it that makes us delight in bears as characters in picture books, or stories, too? They are well loved, and this book is a good example of it. A book is left in the woods, and different animals discover it, but believe it’s a “wonderful” thing for their own uses, like a table for mice, a cover for a weary fox, and a hat (as you can see on the cover) for a silly bear. I know there will be giggles when this book is read aloud. It’s for young children!
A Library Book for Bear – written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
It’s a new bear book, and a funny story about Bear’s trip to the library with Mouse. Bear thinks he has all the books he will ever need, especially about pickles. At the library, he continues to reject the books Mouse offers, like one about outer space. He even finds another about pickles, but it’s about dancing pickles, and is rejected with a huff! At the same time, story hour is happening around the corner, and Bear hears the words, “So the Very Brave Bear began to inch his way toward the treasure chest…” And the rest you’ll need to read the book to discover. It’s a delight, and I know it will have kids screaming for what’s next. The illustrations are lovely, showing such emotion in Bear and in the library. Much is also included about being quiet in the library, which Bear struggles with.
The Letter Home – written and illustrated by Timothy Decker
This is a serious telling about World War I in a letter from a father to his son. With black and white drawings, the war is shown in its stark realities, the barren war zone, the loneliness of the front line trenches. It begins and ends with the journey over the ocean, to war and back again. I believe it might be useful to help students examine how much about war they learn by examining this simple story and the illustrations, which actually tell more than the words.
NEXT: I have several ideas, but am not sure. Time for another YA book I think.