Sunday, March 12, 2017

It's Monday! Plus #SOL17 - 13/31

#SOL17 It's 13/31 - a palindrome!
      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Thirteen of Thirty-One 
           

          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 #IMWAYR

        


        It really is all about viewpoint. Here are three books that might help you have a different point of view. They do fit different ages of children, too.

       "If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point." ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W. S. Merwin

       With pen swirls of color and cut-outs blended into a garden of flowers, a tree, a bird feeder, Lane Smith has published a new picture book and it is a gem.  Cat, Dog, Chickadee and Squirrel are having the “perfect day” until one more animal arrives. And then, Bear has his own perfect day. It’s all about perspective. I loved viewing each page, but think at least one favorite is the squirrel’s feelings while holding a whole cob of corn! Fun story, beautiful book.


       Have you ever known a kid who insisted on the same clothes day after day? I’ve known a few, like my cousin who wore blue jeans year round, would not wear another kind of pants. In this story, sweet and funny Jameson is in love with green pants, will not wear any other color, although his mother tries! The problem, a real prolem, is that his dear cousin has invited him to be in her wedding. That means black tuxedo pants. Jameson must make a life decision. Will he make the change, or skip the wedding? There is a happy, and compromising, ending. Thanks to Candlewick Press for this ARC!


         This book was written years ago by Antonio Skármeta, a Chilean author. Pedro, nine, is very good at soccer, has an easy life, goes to school, does his homework, wishes he had a real soccer ball rather than the cheaper one he owns. One day while playing a game, soldiers come and take his friend Daniel's father. Life isn't so fun anymore.  He notices that his parents huddle around the radio listening to something each evening. One day, the government sends a soldier to ask the students to write a composition. The winner will earn a big prize and will carry the country's flag in a parade. They are to write about what their parents do each evening.
          Pedro does not win the prize, and brings home his composition one day. The tense scene when his parents learn about this assignment, and then ask him to read what he wrote gives goosebumps. Pedro writes only about dinner and homework and watching his parents play chess all evening. His father smiles and says he guesses they'll have to get a chess set.
          It's an easy and brief book to read, holds some funny and then scary moments, a brief description of lives for many children around the world who live under a dictatorship. The word "resistance" is mentioned and "being against the dictatorship. I imagine interesting discussions and/or thoughts about moral choices and freedom after reading this story. There is a page at the end explaining dictatorships. Illustrations by AlfonsoRuano are colorful and realistic, enjoyable with the story.

Still Reading: A wonderful new middle grade book by Kevin Emerson - Last Day on Mars. It's getting exciting!


Next: Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked & Found by Martin W.Sandler. It's a new book coming next week! 

42 comments:

  1. The Composition sounds like an important book. I look forward to hearing what you think about Last Day on Mars. It sounds like science fiction which is not a genre I usually choose for myself but I'd like to read more of. Martin Sandler speaks to the reading councils in my state quite often. He'll be at our state's reading association conference in April. His newest sounds interesting.

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    1. It is science fiction, took a little while to set up this "new" world, but the challenges are starting in about the middle of the book. I looked up Martin Sandler, haven't read any of his books, but they look good! Thanks, Lisa.

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  2. The Composition sounds like a wonderful story. I will have to find it.

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    1. Yes, it is one that would be good to read aloud to older kids and discuss it. Thanks!

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  3. I am looking forward to your review of Last Day on Mars. I have genrefied my collection and I am always looking for new books for science fiction.

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    1. It's good so far, and I can imagine kids who love the intricacies of space travel & exploration will love this one, too. It is for middle grade, not as complex as The Martian.

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  4. Thanks for introducing me to all of these, Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Jane. Enjoy them!

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  5. I'll add these books to the library order list. Your recommendations have been very valuable when ordering new books for the school

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    1. Thanks, Terje. Each one is unique in its approach, but good for looking at POV as I wrote, and also for unique experiences.

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  6. The second book you mention made me think of a friend I had in high school. He would only wear red socks - no other color. I went to a catholic high school where we had to wear dress slacks, jacket, shirt and tie. His red socks always stood out.

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    1. That's a great story, Bob. Makes it easy to choose from the sock drawer, doesn't it? Thanks!

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  7. Wow, The Composition sounds like a powerful story. I definitely need to experience it myself!

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    1. Hope you can find it, Jane, it's very good.

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  8. The Composition is in my picture book basket. So that only leaves two titles to request today (and one of them won't be available yet since it's an ARC). Your book recommendations keep my holds shelf at the library full. Thanks!

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    1. Surprise! Green Pants is on order and I'm #7 in line.

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    2. Wow, guess it's becoming popular! Hope you like it!

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  9. You always have the most interesting books to write about. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks, Elsie, I find many of them on this day from others who share, too. And I get e-mails from the publishers. And, I browse at the library. Always fun to explore!

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  10. This Lane Smith title looks very different from some of his other work. I'm hoping to find a copy to read soon, since whatever he does is always worth reading. Unfortunately, The Composition is only available at my library in Spanish!

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    1. Oh, it is in Spanish at mine, too, Cheriee, but also in English! Sorry! Yes, this is a new look for Lane Smith. The illustrations were lovely. Thanks!

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  11. I recently read The Composition with my class. Very powerful. Green Pants looks kind of hilarious.

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    1. I'm glad to hear about sharing The Composition, Carrie. It was well done for the middle grade ages. Green Pants is hilarious, but there is some love thrown in, too. Thanks!

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  12. What a wonderful array of books...I bet many can relate to Green Pants and Composition gives a glimpse of oppressive states. We must not take liberty and freedom for granted.

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    1. I agree. Hope you enjoy some of these! Thanks!

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  13. Green Pants looks like a cute picture book. Kids today are too young to remember Mr. Green Jeans from the Captain Kangaroo TV show. I'll have to look for that and the other books you mentioned.

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    1. Wonder if the author remembers Mr. Green Jeans? It would be fun to know if that's where the idea came from. Thanks, Jana.

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  14. All new titles to us -- thank you for sharing. We will check them out!
    Clare and Tammy

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    1. You're welcome! Hope you find some that will please you!

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  15. I loved Green Pants. Such a fun, sweet book.

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    1. Terrific, you're the first one to say you've read it! Thanks, Beth.

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  16. I have a little bit of "green pants" in me - if I could, I would wear the same thing every day! These sound like three fabulous books. I think that last one - The Composition - sounds particularly poignant.

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    1. The Composition is rather scary, too, and hard for me to imagine. It's good. And I know what you mean about the same thing. I try to vary my outfits, but there are a couple of things I really, really like! Thanks, Maureen!

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  17. How have I not heard of "The Composition"? I need to find a copy ASAP!

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    1. I think I discovered it from Myra at Gathering Books, Tara, and was lucky it was in the library. Hope you can find it. It reminds me of James Clavell's The Children's Story. Thanks!

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  18. I love Lane Smith, and The Composition sounds so intriguing, and timely! Thanks for sharing, Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Catherine. It's lovely to find and read good books!

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  19. I generally adore Lane Smith so I will have to grab that one. Thanks for reminding me of The Composition. It's a great story.

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    1. This is a new look from Lane Smith, and it was beautiful, too, Crystal. Glad you liked The Composition, too. Yes, it's great.

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  20. there seems to be a closet full of pants books coming out this year! I need to get caught up!

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    1. I didn't know, Earl. I hope you share soon!

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  21. A new Lane Smith! Woohoo! Looking forward to finding that one. I own a copy of The Composition - so powerful. Do read it alongside The Stamp Collector. :)

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Having a conversation is a good thing!