Tuesday, March 14, 2017

#SOL17 - 15/31 And Non-Fiction Specials

 

SOLC #15/31 - 
      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community for Day Fifteen of Thirty-One of the Slice of Life Challenge in March.  Thank you, Stacey, Beth, Deb, Betsy, Lanny, Kathleen, Lisa, and Melanie.  

                                          HALFWAY!

              And, Thanks to Alyson Beecher's Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge at Kidlit Frenzy. Each Wednesday a group of us share non-fiction picture books we believe everyone should know about. The books inspire and teach, and help students if you're a teacher of writing see how others share non-fiction research. 

        It's amazing to me how those who find their passion continue on through physical challenges, through grief, through frustration. I'm glad for us that authors and illustrators are telling those stories in beautiful picture books. They can now be known by most all ages instead of only older readers capable of reading longer biographies.





           Finally, I received this from my library. Many holds kept it away for a long time. Growing up with a mother who knew how to restore tapestries was the beginning of Louise Bourgeois’s life, and she soon became an expert at it. The story tells that she said drawing was “like a thread in a spider’s web.” That seems to be the portent of Louise’s life as an artist because her most acclaimed work is a giant spider of bronze, steel, and marble which she named Maman. She was very close to her mother, and thought spiders fascinating, said her mother was not unlike a spider, “a repairer of broken things.”  The illustrations swirl through the pages in mostly pinks and blues, with that hint of weaving throughout. Until people started talking about this book I had never heard of Louise Bourgeois. Her life is a fascinating story.

           Here is another artist’s life story told in this new fascinating book by Carole Boston Weatherford with illustrations by Sarah Green. Dorothea had polio as a child, ended up walking with a limp, and she was teased about it, became an outcast. After her parents’ divorce, she finished school (which she didn’t like) and ended up in California with a friend. She worked in a department store, but in only a few months opened her own studio, earning money by taking portraits of rich people. The book tells bits about her life, hiding her limp, marriage and children, divorce. As she photographed many things, she began to realize that she was meant to photograph people’s lives. It was then she was asked by a writer to illustrate an article he had written. He was drawn to her street photos and soon they collaborated in capturing lives. Dorothea became “a storyteller with a camera”. The illustrations are simple in conveying the scenes written, including some of the most famous of  Dorothea’s work. There is an afterword that does show that one well-known photo of the woman in the migrant camp. For those who aren’t familiar with Dorothea Lange, it’s a good introduction.

      If you're interested in additional titles, here is a list of a few more I've read and enjoyed recently. There are so many!

Preaching To The Chickens - Jabari Asim - about the early life of John Lewis
My Name is James Madson Hemings - Jonah Winter - about one of Sally Hemings' children
Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy - Richard Michelson
Big George: How A Shy Boy Became President - Anne F. Rockwell
Around America To Win The Vote: Two suffragists, A Kittten, and 10,000 Miles - Mara Rockliff
Mountain Chef - Annette Bay Pimental - The story of a Chinese-American mountain chef who, through his actions, helped create the National Park Service

31 comments:

  1. Thank you ! I am always looking for reccomendations for books for my classroom !!!

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    1. You're welcome! Hope you find some that are just right!

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  2. You are so right. The young need these biographies. Picture books capture the stories perfectly for young readers. Thank you for these titles.

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    1. You're welcome, Julieanne. Some are so inspiring that I wish I could share them with a classroom now! Enjoy!

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  3. There are so many people who lead/led such interesting lives. I am glad theis stories are being told for all ages to enjoy and learn from.

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    1. Me, too. I love that our younger children will have these stories.

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  4. I keep checking my library for the Dorothea Lange book, but it hasn't been ordered yet! I love that we both keyed in on what makes some of these picture book biographies so fascinating!

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    1. I loved your post, too, Michele. We are lucky to have these books.

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  5. I recently read a picture book "Dorothea’s Eyes: Dorothea Lange Photographs the Truth" by Barb Rosenstock. Now I am curious to read the new picture book about her.

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    1. This is a broader look than the one you mentioned, Terje, begins with some of her early life. I've liked both.

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  6. I'm celebrating strong ladies this week, too! I've long been fascinated by Dorothea Lange - such a strong, talented woman, and a real inspiration!

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    1. Yes, she is! Will look for your post, Jane! What fun to know that you're sharing inspirational women, too.

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  7. Your post reminded me to put a hold on the Dorothea Lange book at my library! I'm honored to show up on this list. Thanks!

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    1. You're welcome, Annette. I loved your book, and all these others, too. Hope you can find this new one about Dorothea Lange.

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  8. I love the picture book biographies and especially the people that are featured. So many people to inspire us today.

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    1. Yes, they are good to have! Hope you find some of these and more!

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  9. I've read so many positive reviews of Cloth Lullaby, but haven't seen it yet. The Dorothea Lange book is new to me and sound like a must-read. Thank you for always sharing such worthy books, Linda!

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    1. You're welcome, Catherine. As you read, I had to wait a long time for Cloth Lullaby. It seems that it is well-read! The Lange book is special too!

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  10. I need to find a copy of the Dorothea Lange book, Linda - I do love Carole Boston Weatherford's books.

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    1. Yes, she does wonders with her topics, I agree. Thanks, Tara.

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  11. I love both of these titles. I collect art picture books. My favorite is Four Pictures by Emily Carr from Groundwood Books. https://houseofanansi.com/products/four-pictures-by-emily-carr

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    1. Thanks for the title, Mary Ann, I don't know it. I've read quite a few about artists too, and love the ones about Matisse, a favorite artist.

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    2. I just bookmarked your book, and found another interesting one about Carr herself: Emily Carr & Her Dogs. It looks wonderful too. Thanks again!

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  12. Carole Boston Weatherford is a wonderful writer. She taught me and my students about Fannie Lou Hamer. I want to get the Dorothea Lange book soon as we will be learning about the Dust Bowl.

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    1. There are quite a few dust bowl books that are great. For your older students may like Egan's The Worst Hard Time & then there's Hesse's Out of The Dust Bowl. It must have been so terrible. Thanks, Margaret. I'm glad to hear your connection to Weatherford.

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  13. I, too, love Carole Boston Weatherford! Once again, you have shared about books that are all new to me. Love picture books that are biographies, introducing children to real artists, scientists, thinkers, doers...when I was young, they were chapter books, but in recent years, there have been so many great picture books, bringing these stories to even younger learners.

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    1. I do agree that it's great that there are books, and with pictures. I remember those older biographies, and I did read some of them, but not when I was younger. Thanks, Maureen!

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  14. I read Cloth Lullaby this fall. It's a beautiful book. I'll request the Dorothea Lange title now. Looking at your other list, I loved Preaching to the Chickens. Requesting two more: Mountain Chef and Around America to Win the Vote. I love the book recommendations I receive from fellow slicers!

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    1. I know, my list is growing with those I regularly read for book sharing, and now others too. Be sure to see what Mary Ann recommended above in her comment.

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  15. I think I may have shared it with you but I've been proclaiming 2017 as the year of nonfiction picture books. so many great ones!

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    1. And it's only March. I agree, I've read some beautiful ones so far. Thanks, Earl.

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