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.
Be sure to go here to Mark's post at Jackett Writes for line number twenty-five of her own creation, the April Progressive Poem.
Beautiful new poetry!
Reverso Poetry, invented by Marilyn Singer, the author of her third book-above-of reverso poems, has managed to tell some well-known myths in these poems. They are clever, of course, and will be a new way to introduce myths to children, or a new form of poetry to try with students. Once reading these brief looks at the stories, everyone will want to know more. They are full of tragedy and triumph, drawn in bold colors by Josee Masse, who creates her own reverse paintings to illustrate the myths.
I thoroughly enjoyed a bit of a Downton Abbey tale, an entire soap opera season, and a clever story of a wealthy family whose secrets were finally revealed after seventy plus years of mystery. Some secrets I could figure out, some surprised. The characters are fully developed and pleasing, even the naughty ones. Kate Morton moved the scenes back and forth in time across decades which at first was somewhat confusing, or frustrating only because I didn't want to let go of the part I was reading at the time. It's a page turner, some predictable, but that made it safe too. It was good to be able to depend on certain things.
I read a few pages one evening, then started to read a few more the next morning. I didn't get up until I finished. There are a number of people I've known that have died of cancer, and each in his or her own way have tried hard to survive, the illness and the treatments. At the end, they are simply tired, of being sick, of watching loved ones try hard not to cry, and cry quietly anyway. In this book, a young boy, Mark, has done treatments with cancer returning since he was five. He's now twelve, and tired. His cancer has returned, and he wants to die. Because his grandfather, who has also passed, was a climber and promised Mark that someday they would climb Mt. Rainier together, Mark plans carefully, and decides to run away to climb, and to die. His friendship with a girl, Jessie, and the strong bond with his dog Beau who goes along on this amazing journey are both huge parts of the story. Mark and Jessie also write haiku, with and for each other. We see Mark's writing through the book, and Jessie's need to keep a secret. Friendship, loyalty, and perseverance keep Mark safe as he meets more obstacles than it seems he might overcome. I'm sorry I've missed this book so long. It is a treasure of a story. The thoughts of Mark throughout are important for everyone to read, as are Jessie's because they do seem to be "the honest truth".
It was time to introduce my old typewriter to my granddaughter when we read this book together. We even practiced writing a few words, and wondered what would happen if we typed "dinosaur" or "wind". In the book, three children find an interesting carousel with a bee carrying a box, and in it--a typewriter. Only nine words are typed, but they take these kids on quite an adventure, including a giant crab. Magical and colorful illustrations fill the pages. Of course we had to read it more than once!
This is a sweet story of giving and kindness. Children in a village visit Babba Zarrah to sit on her huge story blanket and listen to her stories. She notices more than one need among her neighbors, like socks, a warm scarf, etc. and suddenly the blanket has become smaller, and smaller still! The villagers return the favor with their own kindness. It's a parable of course, filled with happiness and illustrations that make you smile.
My granddaughter, Imi, chose this book at the library, a cute story about Pippi and Burt who are tired of the crowded mayhem of their own home (nest). They fly off to find what they believe will be a better choice, but soon find their nest is much less scary and hazardous. Surprises happen on the pages through a bit of camouflage, and Burt and Pippi find themselves on top of a turtle, a running cheetah, and more! Home Tweet Home seemed never better. The line illustrations help tell the tale well through the cutest expressions, as you can see by the cover.
Sweetness in this family are nicknames shared by a little girl, like "Homemade Love". The gorgeous illustrations by Shane Evans help tell the story of "Girlpie", what her Mama calls her. And when she makes a mistake, her parents let her pick up the pieces and start again. When a child is upset through an accident of some sort, this may be a book that helps tell it's okay, that love is still there. The ending at bedtime will make it a bedtime story too.
The loveliest line in this book is from Mama Bear: "May I stay with you tonight? I am so frightened of the storm!" And of course, this little bear, on a stormy evening, welcomes his Mama, and later his Papa too, speaking about how loud the storm is. For those who have children who are scared of storms, this book is perfect. Bright colors fill the pages of a loving family taking care of each other. The ending is perfect.
Now Reading: Booked by Kwame Alexander and At Day's Close: Night In Times' Past by A. Roger Ekirch, a long and densely researched history of the night before the industrial revolution. It will take a while to read, but it is fascinating. Some of the stories still touch us, but imagine what night was like long ago with only candles or lanterns to show the way, unpaved streets, uneven roads, fairies and haints, thieves and murderers, etc.