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.
|Tweet with #IMWAYR|
It's coming Friday, the #nf10for10. You can find all about it here at Cathy Mere's blog, Reflect & Refine.
Up Next: the graphic novel Show White by Matt Phelan, and Matylda, Bright & Tender by Holly M. McGhee.
This is a post filled with a few heroes and survivors and a lot of animals!
When reading begins of this new Newbery Honor book, and the stories are told, I imagined this to be an amazing pop-up book like few others, with all the glorious detail unfolding. Page by page we learn the tales of Jeanne, William, Jacob, and the beloved greyhound, Guiinforte. In an old French Inn in 1242, those who stay to drink and talk begin to tell the adventures. Emotions are high when tragedy strikes, and higher still when cheering for one or the other’s flight to freedom. I’ve studied some French history in the past and recognized a few characters and stories but had to do a bit of research to confirm my thoughts about the background. This is not necessary for readers to do, yet it made it more enjoyable to me. In an author’s note, Adam Gidwitz describes his own long journey in making this book. He began with the learning of one heinous act of long ago, the burning of thousands of Jewish books by King Louis IX, and created paths, which his characters walked, finally gathering together in the ending. It’s quite a feat to write such a tale, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The creation of each chapter being “owned” by one storyteller is terrific. Although there are main characters whom I grew to love, other characters are given enough of their own personality to be of interest, too. Hatem Aly ‘s illuminations do just as they should, add wonder and action to the text. The language is poetic, a story-telling dream: “William starts out slowly now, so as not to overtake the pilgrims, but soon the cool air and swooping larks whip his mood into a fine, happy froth, and he completely forgets.”
There is additional information given at the end as to the background of some of the parts, what is based on research, what is not. In those words, I liked reading this passage from Adam Gidwitz: “I hope, if nothing else, this book has convinced you that the Middle ages were not ‘dark’ (‘never’ call them the Dark Ages!), but rather an amazing, vibrant, dynamic period.”
An annotated bibliography is added at the back too, separated into books that might be good for children and those for adults.
It’s fabulous fun to read and discover exactly what this means by “dwindling” of animals. There are things to see, predictions to make, and surprises waiting on each page of the book. Some may call it a little bloodthirsty, but really it’s all “tongue-in-cheek” and meant for laughter. Illustrations are simple drawings, but don’t ignore the smallest details. Even the expressions change bit by bit.
Beautiful pictures, a “peek” through each page at one eye, then time to guess whose eye. Clearly for the young ones, but it’s very fun to read and see how the illustrator has shown those eyes.
A little girl, reminding me of Little Red Riding Hood, takes off for school from a little house set far away in the country. after saying goodbye to her sweet dog and parents, a cozy family. She travels long, and soon gets to school. That’s quickly over and on her way home, the snow thickens. She walks and walks and walks and at the same time a wolf pack has passed by, but leaves behind one pup. That already-struggling little pup is picked up by Little Red, and the story turnsl Howling begins, the landscape is bleak, and it’s time to turn the page to see what happens! Nearly wordless, it’s an entertaining tale by Matthew Cordell in a snowy and lonely landscape. I’m sure it will make a terrific readaloud.