Sunday, December 11, 2016

Monday Reading - More to Love

         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.  
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          I'm taking a couple of weeks off after this week to enjoy my family and the holidays. Whatever part of this season of light you celebrate, I wish you peace and kindness along the way. This first book includes numerous holidays that celebrate light during this winter time. I hope you can find and enjoy its beauty.

          Anna Grossnickle Hines not only wrote the poems and illustrated them but created the quilts that became part of the beautiful pages. In the backmatter, she writes about the importance of light in the deep winter months, including the holidays that are celebrated with some kind of light and ending with the light we all share, the moon. And she gives detailed instructions for creating the quilts. The quilts are exceptionally gorgeous, glowing brightly in a sea of dark, just like the candles of Chanukah and Kwanza, or the lights on the Christmas tree. There are poems for each special time and they glow too, like the one about farolitos, lines of paper bag lanterns symbolically lighting the way for Mary and Joseph. The book will delight everyone in this season where light is needed and celebrated and might inspire quilters too.



          It's a nice, easy story to read, full of book and character references with quirky characters that remind me of Anne Tyler's stories. There's more here than about a bookstore, and it reminds me of the small towns I have traveled through. Now I wonder what might happen to them if a young woman from Sweden showed up and made a difference?

           What if you were a middle-school boy who loved space, and wished that your father wasn't always wanting you to play football? What kind of journey can you make this year with an old friend who supports you through and through and a new friend who says: "Choose the name you answer to. No one can do that but you." It's a huge journey for Garvey. Nikki Grimes writes it all down in Garvey's words, in tankas, a short poetry form. The beauty of it is that she manages to show joy and sorrow in these brief poems, and beautifully create the thread of Garvey growing into who he wants to be. I read and nod "yes", that must be how kids feel who have found a passion, in this case, Garvey sings, yet rarely find they've pleased a parent. Garvey's courage to keep on with his own goals may help another child find strength. too. After that friend's advice, Garvey says: "I carry his words/in the pocket of my mind./A few times a day, they remind me to ignore/the kids who don't know my name." There are numerous sweet moments and some harsh ones. I enjoyed the story of Garvey's Choice very much.
           This book was published in Australia a couple of years ago. I placed this in middle grade too because it would make such a wonderful mentor text for illustrating poetry or a short story. The title itself must have been an inspiration for this author who also illustrated this magical city. With spare text, the detail in pen and ink is mesmerizing. You can look and look and still miss some small delight in each spread. Two children wander this city with their mother, riding buses that are fish and driven by bears.
If I had any "regret" after reading this book about Nanette's first trip to the bakery for the family's baguette, it would be that it was over all too soon, which made me "fret". Mo Willems has created another laugh-out-loud book that all readers must "get". Well, you see how the story will go, with Willem's rhyming telling the story of Nanette eating the baguette just a bite at a time until it's gone! Yes, she does "fret", but you need to get the book so you can discover what happens when she arrives home. It's funny and sweet and clever. I hope you won't forget to meet this darling Nanette!
          Every year, I read this book, sometimes to my grandchildren, often just to me. 

         It is one of my favorite stories to read at Christmas, magical and surprising. It's time to count our blessings!



             Here is one more book that I want to thank Candlewick Press for. It is fabulous!
       What serendipity that I just discovered Norman Messenger's Imagine last week, and now this new book by him is a trip of imagination through the alphabet. Each letter, upper and lower case, is created with gorgeous renderings of nature's animals and plants and man-made, curious structures. One of my favorites, my own name's initial L is a capital letter quite tall boot, and a package of laces for that boot for the lower case. On these pages are serpents and trees, tools and chains, and quite tall rabbit ears. It's an alphabet of dreams, will be a marvelous gift and mentor text for art projects.

Now Reading: Still more Cybil's poetry nominees and Ghost by Jason Reynolds.
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18 comments:

  1. Holy cow, you are getting a lot of reading done, even at this crazy busy time of year! I'm plowing ahead with the CYBILS and that's about all I am getting done right now. WINTER LIGHTS was a favorite of mine for years, now I wonder where it went. I enjoyed GARVEY'S CHOICE, especially that line you chose. I want to get some of our middle school kiddos to read it. And NANETTE made me laugh out loud! I don't know these others, looking forward to getting time to read post-CYBILS.

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    1. Some I've read only late evening, Cybil's is for earlier. It's a lot & I don't know how you all who are working full time are managing. I hope you'll let me know how the students like Garvey's Choice! Thanks, Carol.

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  2. You are really going with the reading! I haven't read any of these books, but I'm off to Goodreads!

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    1. Terrific, enjoy each one for very different reasons! Thanks!

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  3. I'm definitely looking into Garvey's choice. It sounds really interesting. Thanks for your post!

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  4. I gobbled down Garvey's Choice in one sitting. Beautiful words.
    I own The Readers of Broken Wheel, but haven't had time to get to it. I've wondered how it was, thanks for reviewing it!

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  5. Garvey's Choice sounds amazing. I definitely need to add that to the top of my TBR pile. I had to do a double take of the cover because it looks so much like Rebecca Stead's Liar and Spy.

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  6. Have a wonderful Christmas! Enjoy your family time!

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  7. You had me at quilt illustrations!

    I also really enjoyed Garvey's Choice - trying to get my writeup done for next week.

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  8. Garvey's Choice sounds so superb! I just added it to my TBR!
    Nanette may just be under our Christmas tree :D
    Happy reading this week!

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  9. Imagine a City is in my stack of picture books I just picked up at the library yesterday! I can't wait to read it. Nanette's Baguette made me soooooo hungry for bread! Have a great week!

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  10. I really enjoyed Garvey's Choice. The Messenger book looks good. I smiled through most of Nanette's Baguette. :) Imagine a City looks like a beautiful book.

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  11. Thanks everyone! I've been out for most of the day, and then with my granddaughter Imogene this evening. I hope you all enjoy your holidays, and that you find and read Garvey's Choice if you haven't already.

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  12. I am very much looking forward to Garvey's Choice--I just requested that my library purchase it. I am excited to see this new book by Messenger. I read and loved the alphabet book last week (and am seriously coveting it! Really want my very own copy--and maybe frame some of those images!)

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    1. Enjoy Garvey's Choice, Elisabeth, and I remember that you loved The Artist's Alphabet. Now, I do, too!

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  13. So many gorgeous books here today Linda. I want them all! Harvey's Choice might make next years Must Read list. I adore the cover of The Artist's Alpabet and Imagine A City.

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    1. Thanks, Cheriee. Enjoy those you find, and happy reading!

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  14. I am so looking forward to receiving my copy of An Artist's Alphabet very very soon. My cover looks different though! Great books as always, dearest Linda. Enjoy your vacation!!

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