Sunday, December 27, 2015

It's Monday-End of Year Books!

         Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link upSheila at Book Journeys began this sharing, and it's now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.
           Because this is the group where I first knew her and admired her passionate reviews, I want to share my sadness over the death of Debbie Alvarez, The Styling Librarian.  Even ill, she continued to read and share about the books she loved. I won't forget her, and loved reading about all the things she's accomplished in her too short life. She will continue to be an inspiration.

        I've tried to find and read more of the books that have been loved by others (and I've loved them, too). Here they are, plus one older one discovered at the library. 


The Firekeeper’s Son - Linda Sue Park and Julie Downing
         This book caught my eye because it was by Linda Sue Park. It's the time of year for traditions, and while this is a "needed, not a celebratory" one, tradition it is from the country of Korea. Lighting a fire on the highest peak is what Sang-hee's father does each night, proclaiming that all is well in his village by the sea. When the next mountain's fire keeper sees that fire, he lights his own, on succeeding mountains until the king sees the final fire and knows no enemy is coming to attack. Linda Sue Park has fictionalized the history by telling of a young boy who must go to his father's aid because his father fell on the way to making the fire. Full color pages make the story come to life in this story of responsibility and pride. Children might be interested in the extra back matter Park shares. She could not find the date for the beginning, but did write that the fires were still being lit in the late nineteenth century.




Two White Rabbits - Jairo Buitrago and Rafael Yockteng
          A personal story of a young girl traveling with her father to cross the border. She doesn't know where they're going, but counts animals, people, clouds along the way. It is a long journey, showing the danger of the crossing, in a boat, on top of a train, running away from soldiers. It's hard to see how Buitrago does it, but in the story, these two, even drawn among many, seem so isolated as they go. In this time of many migrants traveling to what they believe are better places, the book will make a good beginning to studying the huge issues facing the people leaving their own homes, and of those receiving them. Yockteng's illustrations show much detail of the travelers and adds a coyote on nearly every page.  (The coyote is the name given those who help people cross for large fees, but who sometimes betray their passengers).
       

Written and Drawn By Henrietta - A Toon book by Liniers
          Every primary classroom creating stories should have this wonderful book. Sweet Henrietta takes all the steps writing her story, adds "sudden" action, big surprises, and the characters change! In small boxes, Henrietta speaks to her cat Fellini, and on occasion, a stuffed bear. In the larger part of the illustrations, the story is drawn with speech balloons, looking just like children's drawings. They'll be so appealing to young children. Coupled with the book by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, One Day, The End, Short, Very Short, Shorter-Than-Ever Stories and Kate Messner's How To Read A Story, they're all one needs for writing workshop.


Boats for Papa - Jessixa Bagley
         Little Buckley, a beaver, and his mama live by the sea. Buckley loves the sea, and finds many wonderful things on the beach. He makes boats from the driftwood, and decides to send a boat with a note to Papa because he misses him so much. Softly telling this sweet story in watercolors,  Jessixa Bagley tells this story as time passes, and Buckley receives a set of paints to make his boats even better. There is a surprise at the end, and I imagine children will wonder about it, and about Papa. It's a story of love and loss both from the mother and the son.

Out of The Woods, A True Story of an Unforgettable Event - Rebecca Bond
       In lovely pen and ink and watercolor, Rebecca Bond tells a story handed down from her grandfather, who lived in Ontario deep in the woods in a hotel that his mother ran. He made friends with those who stayed at the hotel, the workers and those woodsmen and lumberjacks who worked in the woods and stayed on the top floor of the hotel. Most of all when he walked through the forest, he wished he would see the animals living there. He never did until one day, a terrible fire struck the forest, and to survive, the people waded into the lake. And then, with amazement, they watched the animals, enemies side by side, wade in too. It's a wonderful story to read, making me wish I had witnessed this phenomenon myself, but Bond's pictures help the story come to life.

       Too much company has kept me from finishing Winger by Andrew Smith so will continue to read, hopefully finish for the round-up with Carrie Gelson at There's A Book for That on Dec. 31st, our TO BE READ lists for this year.  
        I received a wonderful bookmark for Christmas. It says: Reading is just like dreaming with your eyes open. 
Happy Dreaming!

32 comments:

  1. These are all new to me. I'm glad you have found some new treasures. Here is what I read last week. Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. I hope you'll find one or more books here to enjoy.

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  2. Thanks, Linda. The only one of these I've read is Boats for Papa, which is such a sweet story.

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    1. You're welcome. All are worth reading, and yes, I thought Boats for Papa was a lovely story.

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  3. Boats for Papa is such a beautiful and heartwarming story. I loved the watercolor illustrations of the boats that the little beaver sent out to sea. Lots of great books to enjoy this week!

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    1. And this is the end of the year finding 2015 books. I'm sure there will be more I haven't seen, and new ones on their way! Thanks, Jana.

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  4. I love the line on that bookmark! I have Written and Drawn by Henrietta in our library at school, but hadn't read it. I am looking forward to reading Two White Rabbits sometime. I think I have it on order.

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    1. Enjoy them both, for very different reasons I think. Glad you liked the bookmark. I haven't seen this quote before. Thanks, Crystal.

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  5. I really love the cover of Out of the Woods, and your description makes it sound fascinating. Definitely looking for that one. Henrietta looks like a must-purchase for me. SIGH. So much for that resolution to stop buying so many books!!!

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    1. I understand. I'm trying to get more books from our library, which usually has all I ask for, but still there are some I'd like to own. Hope you enjoy Out of The Woods, a story we might all like to be a part of. Thanks, Elisabeth.

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  6. I've been seeing lots of reviews for Out of the Woods recently and I am planning on reading it now. Thanks! Have a great year ahead!

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    1. Thanks, Earl. Enjoy Out of The Woods, a magical event!

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  7. So pleased you enjoyed Out of the Woods. I fell in love reading that book. I keep thinking about the layers of sleepers in that hotel! I have requested Two White Rabbits from the library. Really want to read that one.

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    1. As I wrote above, Out of The Woods is a story that I am glad the author wrote to capture her grandfather's memory. It must have been amazing. Two White Rabbits is stark and sad, not for the little ones perhaps, but powerful too. Thanks, Carrie.

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  8. Great picture books this week, Linda. I found Two White Rabbits a really profound and important story. While immigrants are readily found in Chicago, it's not something we see a lot of in the suburbs. I think it's a story that will be very meaningful for some readers and eye opening for others. I loved the idea of coupling Henrietta with the books you mentioned. And I just got Out of the Woods from the library. Looking forward to it, you and Carrie had lovely things to say!

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    1. I don't have the connection anymore, but my school connects with some immigrants in a nearby apartment complex. I think it's been a good experience for all. I'll share this book with our librarian. Henrietta was a lovely surprise-fits primary students so beautifully. Thanks, Michele. Hope you enjoy Out of The Woods, a nice surprise of a story. Happy New Year!

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  9. Thanks for pointing me towards these new to me books, Linda - especially Two White Rabbits. We're doing a year-long social justice issues study, and this would be such a perfect selection.

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    1. The book, Two White Rabbits, may bring interesting questions and conversation for your unit, Tara. In such detailed illustrations and few words, it is powerful.

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  10. LOVED Boats for Papa. A tear-jerker for sure!

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    1. Yes, it is such a poignant story, agreed.

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  11. Hi Linda.
    Each title sounds enriching. I heard of WRITTEN AND DRAWN BY HENRIETTA, but all the others are brand new to me.
    I'm especially keen on TWO WHITE RABBITS; as I was reading WHEN I FIND JULIAN, a mighty fine 2015 MG novel about crossing from Mexico to the US, I wondered if this dangerous trek had been presented for the younger read. So glad to know it has been created & it sounds so important & good.

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    1. And thank you for the title, When I Find Julian, too, Jan. Two White Rabbits isn't for the very young, maybe 2nd grade and up, but it will bring forth good conversation when the time is right. I hope you enjoy some of the other titles too. Thanks for coming by.

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  12. I need to check out the first two on your list. I love when I find older titles that I missed and they turn out to be great reads. And I loved Written and Drawn by Henrietta.

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    1. I need to spend time at our library just browsing instead of picking up the holds. It is fun to discover older ones missed. Yes, Henrietta pleased me a lot! Thanks, Alyson.

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  13. I appreciated your sweet words about Debbie. She will be so missed.

    Thanks for sharing these books. I am particularly interested in Two White Rabbits because of its focus on immigration. I think this is a topic that requires more education!

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    1. It might be good to create a list of books that would be good for a study of immigration, for young and older children. Thanks, Ricki. I hope you'll find and enjoy it.

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  14. Happiest New Year to you dearest Linda. Glad to see you payin a tribute to Debbie Alvarez too. She will be deeply missed by the kidlitosphere community - she has contributed so tremendously.

    These books look awesome - we don't have Two White Rabbits in our library yet, so I am definitely pinning that one for future use in my multicultural course - it seems like a perfect fit!

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    1. I've been thinking of Debbie and her family often this past week, Myra. I know we will all miss her. Hoping that you'll find Two White Rabbits and some of these other good books, too. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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  15. I really loved Books for Papa, such a gentle and sweet story. It's open ended enough that I think a lot of kids in different circumstances could relate to it, and maybe find some comfort in it. Thank you for sharing this lovely list.

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    1. You're welcome, Jane, hope you enjoy some of these other books, too. Boats for Papa will reach many ages. Happy New Year!

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  16. I didn't realize that Park wrote a picture book. I love her novels, so I will have to pick this one up! Happy new year!

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    1. Thanks, Kellee, a discovery for me, too, and I enjoyed the story a lot. Happy New Year to you, too!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!