Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Picture Book Bios



   
              Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy, those who link up share fabulous non-fiction picture books. I am grateful for all that I've learned through reading non-fiction picture books. 



       Now that we're seeing the importance of women in this current election, and they are stepping forward to share their opinions, it's great to read a book about two women long ago determined to make a splash to persuade the country to give women the vote. Hadley Hooper fills the pages with lots of yellow, the color that stood for Votes for Women everywhere
     In addition to the stars of this incredible trip, a yellow Saxon car is the third one. Nell Richardson and Alice Burke bought the car, packed what they thought were essentials into it, and took off on a 10,000 mile trip across the country and back. It was amusing that they they took a tiny typewriter in order to show how smart they were. When someone questioned it, they would take it out and whip up a poem! As for the sewing machine, the plan was to show that they could also continue to do traditional women's work. Nothing could stop them, not muddy roads, not a stubborn farmer driving a wagon, not a snowstorm! There is information at the back about automobiles during that time and about the struggle for women's equality, an author's note and a source list. It is a rousing story to share with children who need to know how hard some work toward accomplishing goals, for themselves and for many others!

         I loved reading this story, love all of Gershman's music. What a gift he had, and this particular one tells about his beginnings, roller skating by jazz clubs and staying to listen for hours. When the family finally purchased a piano they were astounded to see him play a sophisticated tune immediately. It's simply a story about Rhapsody In Blue, where George got his idea, and the marvelous parts added by chance. Stacy Innerst, illustrator, shares that her depictions are based on archival photographs, and they reflect that "Rhapsody", too, all in blue tones. The pages are nearly like the music, innovative page by page. The story offers just enough to spark an interest in knowing more. There are author's and illustrator's notes, a timeline, a bibliography and acknowledgments.

        Reading non-fiction books is quite a pleasure. The history is brought to life with creative story-telling and illustration. I'm so glad that children get to learn parts of history from these wonderful picture books!

6 comments:

  1. When I was growing up I had an album of classic Gershwin songs, and I was just in love with it - the music was so different from the pop songs I was used to hearing on the radio! I definitely want to get my hands on this book - it looks fantastic.

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    1. I love your connection, Jane. You will love the book.

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  2. I love thinking of art as something that has yet to be discovered. The book Myra reviewed talked about David being discovered in marble. This Gershwin book seems to be sharing how he discovered the music inside himself. I love it!

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    1. Wow, Kellee, you are right! I read Myra's post too, & it is similar to the Gershwin's discovery. There is a part in Melissa Sweet's bio of E.B. White that describes that too, about the story of Stuart Little. Thanks for your own connection!

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  3. I really enjoyed Around America and I just found out that Suzanne Slade (author of the Gershwin book) lives in the town I went to high school!

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    1. That's fun to discover that connection, Michele. Maybe there will be a chance to meet her sometime? Have a nice weekend!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!