Every Monday, it's a pleasure to link up with a group that reviews books they want to share with others. Come discover some new 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 up.
It’s time for Carnival and Malaika’s mother had promised to send money for a costume. She recently has moved far away to Canada to make more money. Sadly, the money hasn’t come. Malaika is upset and her grandmother pulls out her own old costume. Malaika becomes even more upset, throws it off and runs out into the village. She settles down, and asks a tailor lady who gives her a scrap bag of wonderfully colorful and shiny cloth. The creativity begins, with Malaika and her Grandmother making a costume to love. Nadia Hohn offers a small glossary at the beginning of the book with words included like “Moko Jumbie, a stilt walker of West African origin whose height was traditionally associated with the ability to see evil.” Whether reading as a book about family and community, or for a celebration of Carnival, you’ll love the colorful collage illustrations and the beautiful facial expressions, especially Malaika’s.
From a young girl I guess is in a morning Kindergarten, this story tells nearly every part of her day, from rising with her mother, asserting some independence through telling that “This is not a kissing day”. Mommy drinks coffee and the young girl wakes Daddy, and they’re off to school. But on the way, breakfast bagels happen and greetings from people in the neighborhood. Then school, and that schedule. Finally after school, dinner and evening arrives, then bedime. The pictures are realistic, somewhat like coloring book images. Here is a family who love each othe and have a dependable (safe) routine. It will make a great mentor text for telling “bed to bed” stories, as pre-schoolers often do. I imagine the youngest ones will want to share what they do “on Wednesdays”.
Except for the final, and fun, picture book, each of these first four show the love of family.
I don’t think I’ll ever go to our zoo and observe the orangutans the same way again. Once again Eliot Schrefer has written a story that brings poignancy to the causes of primates world wide. He began with Bonobos in Endangered, following with the book Endangered about chimpanzees. This third book in the trilogy moves to Indonesia, and the loss of habitat of orangutans.
Smuggled into the U.S. for his son John, young Raja soon becomes close as a brother. And sadly, he also becomes imprisoned. John’s parents have divorced, John and his mother have moved far away, needing to leave Raja behind under the care of his father. In two years, the father has lost his lucrative job with a company that has been destroying jungle habitat in Indonesia (the habitat of orangutans) in order to plant palm trees to produce palm oil. He has lost his home. A place must be found for Raja, and the only place that agrees to take him is a roadside zoo.
John travels to say goodbye, but when he discovers the horrible conditions of that zoo, he kidnaps Raja. This book, like the others, keeps tension high, and from this time on, it becomes higher. How John with the help of a caring vet works out Raja’s plight is a story that seems a bit unbelievable. Everything works out, although including more than one harrowing moment. The overreaching theme is consideration of wild animals’ needs, and the fact that people rarely care about them when it includes profit. The book is divided into five parts, each with an appropriate quote about animal lives, and a brief introduction before the story begins again. The introduction follows an orangutan baby’s thoughts and parallels their plight even as we read the fictional story of John and Raja. It’s a thoughtful book, one that will connect with kids perhaps even more than the others because it’s set in the U.S.
For all ages of readers, but especially the young ones, this book tells all about the readers in this young child’s life, where they read, what they read, and later, all the kinds of reading that is done. It’s illustrated through intricate collage and drawings. A family settles in as you can see by the cover, but Buddy, the dog, and Toto, the goldfish don’t read. Buddy hasn’t learned yet, and Toto prefers TV. The boy shows that he can “turn pages, name pictures and sound out words.” He can read now, “like the big kids!” Grandparents and uncles also read, and Auntie reads music. Somehow as I was reading, I turned the pages quickly, enjoying this so thoroughly, but then I slowed, loving the change that began with “And books are not the only things we read. The fisherman reads the sky for coming storms.” Later, “A woman reads love poems in her boyfriend’s eyes.” And on. I guess I like it enough that I want to quote ALL of it. Time to find it and read it yourself! It’s a treasure!
In rhyme to the beat of a drum, drum, drum. . . this book is full of fun like a folk poem, a cumulative poem. A young boy with a “whirly-twirly toy” plays in a eucalyptus tree, when a large snake--a “scare in the air”-- moves down slowly and gobbles up the boy. As the boy persuades the snake to eat more, bets “that you’re still very hungry/and there’s more you can eat.” All along the way, this greedy snake eats more and more, until, “in the eucalyptus tree”, that snake has eaten too much. You’ll have to read the book to discover the end. The illustrations are mixed media, with some collage. It will be a great book to read aloud to a group of younger kids. They’ll love the anticipation.
Currently: I've started Donna Kephart's Lily and Dunkin. I know this is going to be both a character to celebrate, but a heartbreaking story, too.
Have a great week reading!