My next to the last haiku for April. It's been a joy!
mild April evening,
rolling out the trash -
hawk fly by
Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved
Most Wednesdays I'm happy to link to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at her blog, Kidlit Frenzy. I love finding good non-fiction picture books available about many varied topics, for all ages, too. Here are three marvelous books with stories to savor and illustrations to pore over, again and again. They were all brought to me by my colleague, my book buddy, with whom I trade picture books as often as I can.
Drum Dream Girl, How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music -written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez.
This ‘drum dream girl’, an African-Chinese-Cuban girl broke the taboo that only boys could play drums. The story/poem is lovely, filled with those wonderful drumming sounds, at first in drum dream girl’s imagination, then finally in real places. We read “the clack of woodpecker beats” and the “comforting pat of her own heartbeat”, see her listening to “the rattling beat of towering dancers on stilts.” Finally she is given permission to drum, at last all girls in Cuba would have the chance. The illustrations are filled with color and drama. My favorite page shows drum dream girl imagining playing on the “big, round, silvery moon-bright timbales.” This time it’s the moon itself.
Whale Trails - Before and Now - written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by G. Brian Karas
This is a good introduction to the tragedy of whale history, and today’s whale watching instead. The author and the illustrations alternate pages, today’s in color is a day in the life of a tourist’s whale-watching boat and yesterday’s history in browntones. I’ve copied some of the pages so you can enjoy the creative idea of the contrast. For a picture book, so much information is included. There is less information about whales than about what people through the years do to and with them, but it’s still a book worth reading for the positive changes in history.
I loved the pages of Whale Trails so much I copied a few for you to see.
Toad Weather - written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez
According to the back matter, toads trek on the first rainy night when temperatures have reached at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Sandra Markle has written a wonderful fictional story of excitement using this event-toad migration! A mom arrives home, grabbing her young daughter and the reluctant grandmother to come see something exciting, even on the late afternoon dark rainy time when most people just want to be inside. They walk and walk, see other lovely sites, like colorful umbrellas, “cardboard boxes melting”, and “colors swirling in the water”. Thomas Gonzalez paints gorgeous illustrations to meet the poetic words. His paints seem to melt too! But the best is yet to come, a street blocked off for the ‘toad migration’. People are everywhere, carrying toads across a street to ponds. It’s exciting and delightful, and even the grandmother thinks it was worth going out into the rainy. Night. It’s a great story, with science wonder included.