Sunday, March 29, 2015

SOLC # 30 of 31 - Still Reading & Writing




            Forgive the strange formatting-ugh! I worked to make changes, just couldn't figure it out. . .

      Day Thirty of the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.   Tweet at #SOL15. There's one more day of this wonderful March slicing. What a time it has been! 

        Thanks to Tara, Dana, Anna, Betsy, Beth and Stacey for the constant inspiration. 

Also blogging with my students at Linda & Jonathan's Class Blog.


          Link up with Jen at TeachMentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders. and Sheila at Book Journeys.  Come visit, and tweet at #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting!

       The day after tomorrow is April, POETRY MONTH.  Most times I will write and share a poem, some days I'll share poems by others, but I do plan to fill the month with poetry in some way, every day! Some of us have planned to support each other in April, using the hashtag #DigiPoetry, created by Margaret Simon of Reflections on The Teche.   You'll welcome to join us if you'd like!

       I bought Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown at the reading conference in
February, and just sat down Sunday afternoon to read and listen. Yes, listen! This book is a lullaby treasure, accompanied by a cd, new poems/songs written by Margaret Wise Brown and discovered by Amy Gary, hidden in a trunk in a barn, finally revealed by Margaret's sister. Twelve illustrators whom you know and love have illustrated each song, Tom Pratt and Emily Gary have gathered together a group that composed the music for each one. The back of the book gives short biographies of the illustrators and a  note from the musicians; the front introduction by Amy Gary shares the story of this amazing discovery. It's a must read, to see the pictures by Jonathan Bean, Carin Berger, Sophie Blackall, Linda Bleck, Renata Liwska, Zachariah Ohora, Eric Puybaret, Sean Qualls, Isabel Roxas, Melissa Sweet and Dan Yaccarino. What a collaboration to celebrate! Here's one beginning of a song/poem: "When the man in the moon was a little boy,/Sing hi ho, the man in the moon./He ran away with a shooting star./Ho hum, the many in the moon."
                                                           ================

        It seems odd to be sharing two very scary books today. It makes me feel as if we're back in October, nearing Halloween. Don't forget these two if you like the hair raising at the back of your neck and please read these only in the daylight, too spooky for nighttime!

Through The Woods - Stories and illustrations by Emily Carroll
 Although I didn’t know it, evidently this graphic comic includes a popular story by Emily Carroll already published, “His Face All Red” and four other spooky tales, enhance by the black and red drawings that slash and interweave into the stories of short text that requires a vivid imagination. Only for young adolescents and up! Take a journey into the woods in this book! My students loved it! Here are some of the

favorite lines: The last thing she found. . . was a head.
. . .which sang: I married my love in the spring time, but by summer He’d locked me away. He’d murdered me dead by the autumn, & by winter I was naught but decay.  
           Later, almost in the end: “That night bell’s dreams had teeth.” 
           “They bit into her, clinging eve when she woke, keeping her from falling back to sleep.”

Hansel & Gretel - written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti
           Neil Gaiman brings this familiar story back and it is really the same story, although I wouldn't read it to anyone except middle grades and up. It's rather scary to think that there might be parents who will "lose" their children (the word used in the book). No surprises here, but the text is on double pages alternating with double page illustrations, dark ink-smeared page spreads where one can just make out the houses, or the woodcutter, or the children. One can look and look and still miss something. A favorite line from Gaiman's lovely wording: They went so deep into the old forest that the sunlight was stained green by the leaves. They pushed through brambles, and the thorns tugged at their clothes as if to say "Stay here! Stay here!"

Still Reading: The Martian by Andy Weir, but nearly done. Next is The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a coming book group.

48 comments:

  1. Thank you for reminding me about Margaret Wise Brown's new treasure! I heard about it this summer but could not purchase it at the time. I'm on it now! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Sara. It is just delightful!

      Delete
  2. Dark ink-smeared page
    spreads where one can just make out
    the houses,
    and wonder about the shadows
    living there, in wonder, alive only when
    the story is turned, page by page,
    and whose palm has smudged the page,
    splattered the ink so that the story runs?
    Turn the story upside down, peer into the windows,
    and
    see if you can find out in stealth,
    for only by discovery can you unlock
    the mystery.

    --Kevin, lifting lines to make poems as comments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kevin, the post holds interesting words from which to craft a poem. These books are the kind to stay with you.

      Delete
  3. I'm intrigued by Hansel and Gretel, and adore Margaret Wise Brown. Thanks for reminding me there was a new publication! Hansel and Gretel may become a family read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neil Gaiman crafted the story well, Kendra, & the illustrations are marvelous. The Margaret Wise Brown lullabies are very nicely presented too.

      Delete
  4. My nephew and his wife just had their first child. I can't not give a book as one gift (the teacher in me just won't allow it). Thank you for the suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I think it will be a terrific gift for your book one, a new tradition from Margaret Wise Brown's words!

      Delete
  5. The fairy tale trend came and went very quickly at my library. At least the 6th grade generally does a unit, so the books will get checked out once a year. It's funny how trends seem to last such a brief amount of time now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I will share the Hansel & Gretel with my class, if only for the wonderful illustrations. I know, the popularity comes & goes. Thanks, Karen.

      Delete
  6. I just gifted Goodnight Songs to a friend who had a baby. I loved that it had a CD attached and so many of the illustrators are favourites of mine. Yikes, the creepy factor with many of these books is high. Doll Bones is about as scary as I get. We are listening to this as an audio book as a family right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder when that creepiness became important, maybe after all the dystopian books that have been so popular, & the vampire books. My students liked the book, but not all would read it! Goodnight Songs is marvelous, so glad you think so, too, Carrie. Thanks!

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. This Hansel & Gretel is certain to please you! Thanks, Lisa.

      Delete
  8. I started Through the Woods but haven't finished. Your post reminds me that I need to get back to it. It's creepier than I expected it to be. Like Carrie, Doll Bones is about as creepy as I can manage! I would love to see the illustrations in the Margaret Wise Brown book--I wish there were more books like that with many different illustrators contributing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is rather dark, but those of my students who like that sort of thing thought it wonderful. Others wouldn't touch it! The illustrations in Goodnight Songs are special, Elisabeth. I'd love to have a print of any of them!

      Delete
  9. I see Kevin, the line lifter, is at it again! Thanks for offering the hashtag invitation on your blog today. I'm excited to see what everyone will be writing in April.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's going to be fun to look for each other, isn't it? I'm excited too.

      Delete
  10. Can't wait to read and listen to Goodnight songs. It sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I bought it, now to find a baby to sing to!

      Delete
  11. I've got babies to buy for. Goodnight Songs seems like a good choice! Especially after reading that all these other people purchased it for wee ones. Hansel and Gretel is the one fairy tale that scared the bejeezus out of me when I was a kid. It still terrifies me, so as much as I love Neil Gaiman, I think I'll skip this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why I thought I'd better say it was really for middle grades & up, Cheriee. It is a rather scary premise, isn't it? The Gaiman illustrations are awesome, however.

      Delete
  12. I almost picked up that version of Hansel and Gretel the other day. I don't love fairy tales, generally speaking, but it intrigued me. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may not want to purchase, but do look inside. The illustrations are wonderful, Melanie.

      Delete
  13. I was drawn to the Gaiman book, Linda, by his language - but it is middle school and up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is rather dark, I agree. Depends on the kids.

      Delete
  14. My high school students have been reading Through the Woods and enjoying it. I love the beauty of the book though it is scarier than I thought it would be. Goodnight Songs sounds like a perfect gift for new parents. I ordered it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Through The Woods is definitely creepy, & yes, those who love that stuff love this book. Goodnight Songs is a gem. Hope you like it too, Lee Ann!

      Delete
  15. I love all three of the books you shared! Talk about different! I sing the lullabies with my son :) Through the Woods made our state reading list for 2015-2016, which is going to surprise a lot of people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting about the award, Nicole. They are very different. I'm happy to hear from someone who is singing those "goodnight songs". Wonderful!

      Delete
  16. I hadn’t realized Through the Woods was a graphic novel! That makes it even more intriguing.
    I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, so I’d love to see his version of Hansel & Gretel.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Happy reading this week! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kellee, I assume you started back today. Hope the week is good for you, too!

      Delete
  17. Thank you for the book recommendations! I look forward to checking them out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I hope you find some that you love!

      Delete
  18. Hello, Linda! I had picked up Hansel and Gretel, but had so many books never got around to it. It did look a little creepy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is, but like all Gaiman, very good. Not for the little ones, though. Thanks, Michele!

      Delete
  19. I want the Margaret Wise Brown book to give as a baby present in a couple of weeks. It sounds wonderful. Not so sure about the scary ones!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They probably don't fit all your students, maybe the oldest Carol. But the Margaret Wise Brown is lovely. You can read before you wrap it!

      Delete
  20. I have Goodnight Songs tucked away, and I'm hoping to read Hansel & Gretel over spring break. Through the Woods looks intriguing; I'll have to look for it next time I'm at the library. Thanks for sharing, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Catherine. All good, just different.

      Delete
  21. Thank you for sharing these fairy tales. I am not sure why I never read this trend. I think I like to preserve the classic tale in my mind. I need to step beyond this barrier and get to reading them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't read many, either, Ricki, but Neil Gaiman always pleases me, so I knew I'd like to read this one. Thanks!

      Delete
  22. Goodnight Songs keeps catching my eye at the bookstore. I'm looking forward to reading it. I don't typically read scary. Hansel & Gretel is about as creepy as I get. I enjoyed Gaiman's version. Those illustrations were so cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the Hansel & Gretel is pretty scary, but it's such a pretend story I think most older kids will be fine with it. Through The Woods is different, edgy & creepy, much older only. Thanks, Crystal.

      Delete
  23. Thanks for the information about #DigiPoetry! I'm going to check that out! I'm also interested in Gaiman's take on Hansel & Gretel. Thanks for sharing these things. Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, hope you'll write with us! Enjoy the Gaiman book!

      Delete
  24. I have yet to read my copy of Hansel and Gretel which I received last Valentine's day. I also have Sleeper and the Spindle which I am excited to read as well. Definitely one to savor I know. Through the Woods is definitely one I should look for. Received a copy of Goodnight Songs from my good friend, Isabel Roxas. That was truly such a treat. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Myra for stopping by. I'll look for Sleeper and the Spindle, don't know about them! Fun. Beware of Through The Woods-very creepy! Glad you've seen Goodnight Songs.

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!