Sunday, January 17, 2016

Monday Reading - Kind Deeds

         Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who link up.  This past week was certainly exciting. My list to books to read grew longer, although I was proud that I had read many of the award winners, and that is thanks to all of you who share the books you love. Don't stop!


In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse - Joseph Marshall III, with illustrations by Jim Yellowhawk
              All my life I’ve heard the stories of Crazy Horse and especially the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and usually it was from a sorrowful perspective of the loss of General Custer and his men. This time, Joseph Marshall has written a wonderful book for middle grade readers from the perspective of Native Americans, particularly Tasunke Witko, known as Crazy Horse. Jimmy McClean, a Lakota boy, although his name does not show it, is being teased at school because his name doesn’t seem to mean he’s Native Lakota, and because he has light hair. His thoughtful grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, takes him on a summer trip to learn about Crazy Horse, and the heritage Jimmy can be proud of. Marshall uses oral stories from the Lakotas to tell this story as Jimmy and his grandfather visit important parts of Crazy Horse’s life all the way to the heart-breaking surrender. Jimmy gains perspective about the sadness of loss on both sides, but pride in the way Crazy Horse led his people, in his courage in war and in thinking of his people. Each chapter’s heading is a lovely painting by Jim Yellowhawk, and there is a glossary and bibliography. A map at the beginning of the story helps the reader trace the paths of Crazy Horse. Children reading this will enjoy the journey, and learn that history should be approached from all points of view. 

          I’m catching up on books that came out last year that others loved and I never read, and also managed to read one more from 2016, Saline Yoon’s terrific Be A Friend, newly arrived, and one that could be paired beautifully with Stick and Stone. And, I just realized that a theme of each of these picture books is kindness, doing the right thing, even when it's hard.




Mango, Abuela, and Me - Meg Medina, with illustrations by Angela Dominguez
          Mia’s abuela is coming to live with her family, and share her room! She lives too far away and needs to move from a home that’s just too much to care for. Mia’s shy, and the biggest challenge is that she doesn’t speak enough Spanish, and her grandmother doesn’t speak enough English for them to communicate well. However, as the days go by, and each learn new words, they get to share more. They walk to feed the birds, also “feeding words” to each other, and the same happens when they cook together. When Mia and her Mami have to go into town to purchase food for Mia’s hamster, they see a parrot in the window of a pet store, and Mango comes home to Abuela. Teaching Mango both Spanish and English makes a happy ending for everyone. Mia and her Abuela can talk and read together, and going to sleep means “Good Night” from Abuela and “Hasta Mañana” from Mia. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text as Mia learns as much as her abuela. The brilliantly colored illustrations show the story’s warmth so well. 

Be A Friend - Salina Yoon
          Sometimes when one is happy with who they are, but then find they’re also lonely, it’s a problem.  This little boy, Dennis has such a problem. He loves being a mime, feels comfortable with who he is, but others seem to play “around” him, ignore him, until he meets Joy, someone who understands, and becomes his friend. When someone shows that friendship can happen, the way is led for others to become part of that friendship, too. There are fun end papers that show Dennis in many of his “mime” poses. The illustrations show Salina Yoon's ability to keep it simple, but show so much with a few actions and characters. 

The Sock Thief - Ana Crespo with pictures by Nana Gonzalez
        Felipe walks a long way to school, all the time taking socks from clothes lines or window sills, but leaving a mango as payment. It’s a surprise when he begins curling them inside each other to make a ball! Happy colorful pictures by Nana Conzalez, and lots of soccer play at school makes this a delightful story; Felipe’s soccer ball works wonderfully. Add to that the fun of learning Portuguese words included in the story, and the ending when Felipe, smiling, returns the socks with a note of thanks. I enjoyed the book very much. There is a letter from the author at the back telling about many children doing this because soccer balls were too expensive. She shares that Pele, the famous soccer player, also started with a “sock” soccer ball.

Stick and Stone - Beth Ferry and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
          This rhyming picture book is a simple tale of two different creatures, Stick and Stone who find each other as good friends, defend each other, from a pinecone bully, and “stick” to each other through thick and thin. They indeed are best friends forever. Even Pinecone comes around to become a little nicer. The illustrations are so full of emotion that one can imagine a stick and a stone talking and exploring, all together. And the text cleverly keeps the rhythm going of a tale that’s both funny and poignant.

Next: I'm starting Quiet by Susan Cain for next month's book club, just finishing all the Cybils' finalists, and will read the new BuzzBooks2016 from NetGalley, to see what new book I might want to read.   

Have a wonderful reading week!


36 comments:

  1. I have In the Foodsteps of Crazy Horse waiting for me. I've read mixed reviews but I'm still looking forward to it.

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    1. It wasn't an exciting plot, but told a story that isn't often told in the mainstream of children's books, Cheriee.

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  2. Isn't Mango Abuela and Me beautiful? While we are not supposed to write in too much detail what our thoughts are about the seven finalists, I am just happy that two grandparent-themed books made it to the final seven in CYBILS this year. I am excited to find Be A Friend - but I am anticipating it will take awhile for our libraries here in Singapore to acquire it. :)

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    1. Yes, I really enjoyed Mango, Abuela and Me, Myra, & understand about the finalists for you. They all are wonderful. I was pleasantly surprised to find Be A Friend at our library so soon. They do order new books often!

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  3. I really enjoyed Stick and Stone when I read it and would like to get my own copy for my classroom. I still need to read the other ones and hopefully I'll get to them before 2016 is over! Now that the nasty cold winter weather seems to have settled in, staying inside and reading is one of my favorite activities. Have a great week and stay warm!

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    1. It's a good thing to be inside and read, that's for sure. I hope you can find the others soon,Jana.

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  4. I just recently discovered Salina Yoon and really want to get my hands on Be a Friend. I need to buy In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse so I can read and book talk in my courses.

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  5. In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse sounds like a really important book for teaching important historical concepts like whose stories are left out. Enjoy Quiet--it's also an important book!

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    1. I've had Quiet for a long time, and am happy to get the nudge to finally read it from my group. Yes, In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse shares a nice story while taking the time for some basic history that many haven't studied. As I wrote, a perspective that one needs to know.

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  6. I've been wanting to read Mango, Abuela, and Me. The Sock Thief sounds great. I recently read a guided reading book with one of my groups and it talked about how the character used to have to play soccer with a ball made of paper in his previous country. My students find this interesting since they all love to play soccer. I'll have to find this one to share with them.

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    1. I loved The Sock Thief, Lisa, & it does seem that it fits your 'soccer group' beautifully. Hope you enjoy Mango, Abuela and Me, too.

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  7. I am interesting in The Footsteps of Crazy Horse. Nice to have books from a different point of view. It is so important for our Native students to hear and be able to read this story from their family view. I will check it out. Thanks

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    1. I'm glad to share it with everyone, Joanne, an important book I think for all children to read. You're welcome!

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  8. I can't wait to read Crazy Horse. I think I'll like it. Salina Yoon may stop by our store next week to sign books. I'm excited!

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    1. I hope you'll enjoy Crazy Horse, and am jealous you might get to meet Salina Yoon. I really enjoyed her new book! Thanks, Earl.

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  9. In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse sounds amazing. I love reading about different perspectives in historical events. Have a great reading week!

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    1. Thanks, Andrea, actually all these books also have to do with perspective, I think. Enjoy the Crazy Horse book!

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  10. Hello Linda- Thank you so much for including THE SOCK THIEF. I am so glad you enjoyed it. If you would like some free activities to go with THE SOCK THIEF, look for them at www.anacrespobooks.com. You will also find the recording of the Portuguese words, in case you're wondering how to pronounce them. Thanks again! Have a wonderful day! Ana Crespo

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    1. You are welcome, Ana, I enjoyed your book very much, loved the happiness of it especially. Thanks for the link, too. I looked at your web page & discovered you live in Colorado Springs. I am in Denver, so hope we'll meet some day!

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  11. In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse sounds amazing, I'm always looking for more children's books featuring a First Nations perspective. Thank you for sharing this, it was entirely new to me!

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    1. It is a sweet book because of the Grandpa/Grandson relationship, & so informative, Jane. I hope you like it.

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  12. The Crazy Horse books sounds good. It reminds me somewhat of books by Joseph Bruchac. The Sock Thief would go perfectly with the book I finished last week--Finding the Game. One chapter describes how kids made soccer balls, but they used something other than socks for a similar process.

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    1. I love hearing about that soccer book, Finding The Game that includes some of this about making the balls. Did you review it last week? I did put it on my list from someone!

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  13. In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse would be a wonderful book to share with my kids when we study the Indian Removal Act and Westward expansion, Linda - thanks for sharing this title today.

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    1. I grew up not being taught so many of these stories, unless my own family shared other perspectives, and they did. I'm thankful that my family showed me that there is always another side to look for. The book is a wonderful read, Tara.

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  14. The only picture book you featured that I've read is Stick and Stone. I've wanted to get to QUIET for a long time now! One of these days...

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    1. I know what you mean, too many books that I want to read, Holly! I hope you will find and enjoy some of these books!

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  15. I got Crazy Horse from the library, but never had time to read it. I've heard good things, thanks for your review.
    Be a Friend.... oh how I love love love that book!

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    1. It's an exciting start to the year with Be A Friend, isn't it? Thanks Michele.

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  16. I am looking forward to reading Be a Friend. It's had a lot of positive buzz. I'm glad you got to read In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse. It really does demonstrate that there is more than one side to a story and it often matters who is telling it.

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    1. Hope you find the Salina Yoon book soon, Crystal. It's very sweet. And yes, I really enjoyed In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse, hearing the other perspective, & hope that other teachers and their students will too.

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  17. I'm really looking forward to Be a Friend. I've heard such good things.

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    1. It is good, Beth. Hope you get to read it soon.

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  18. I cannot wait to read Be a Friend! I am such a Yoon fan! :)
    I love that literature exists that tells all sides of stories and experiences and allows kids to learn about so many diverse topics (I just wish there was more!).

    Happy reading this week :)

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    1. Enjoy Be A Friend when you can, Kellee. It'll be waiting! I wish more books like In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse were available too. Maybe we need to look for more? Thanks, & hope your week goes well this week.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!