Sunday, April 16, 2017

It's Monday - Reading Recap + #NPM17 - 17/30

              Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!        tweet #IMWAYR

         "Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition." – Eli Khamarov

     My goal for Poetry Month: TINY THINGS. My choices may surprise you, and I'm excited to write, share, and read how everyone writes to meet their special goals for celebrating poetry month.






The Letter “A”

Writing continues day by day.
Still, “the” tires,
wondering where its missing companion “A”
is hiding.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

        This book is probably one to re-read soon. I just browsed its early pages to find a name I had forgotten, and there at the beginning lies part of the ending! Woodson moves back and forth in time in this story, so hints at the beginning don't come to fruition until the end. You're just entering the story, relaxing into something new, and those events fade. This story is told by August, a young black girl who, with her younger brother, were taken back to Brooklyn by her father, the Brooklyn that he knows. Home had been their SweetGrove land near a river in Tennessee. And August's mother isn't coming. It's a story that's wrapped in sorrow through missing their mother and home, August and her three friends growing up Girl in this part of Brooklyn, girls to recognize as such an important part of our own growing up, but that her mother had told her not to trust. It's also a story that threads other cultures' ways of death and dying and memory. There are hints of life there, life not everyone wants to know, but also survival, and one wonders why certain ones do survive, and another does not. For adults and older teens. 
          A favorite quote: "Everywhere we looked, we saw the people trying to dream themselves out. As though there was someplace other than this place. As though there was another Brooklyn."
   
        Daylight Savings Time has come again and as summer looms nearer, daylight is moving into the evenings, reminding me of that Robert Louis Stevenson poem, "Bed In Summer". Here is the final verse: 

And does it not seem hard to you, 

When all the sky is clear and blue, 
And I should like so much to play, 
To have to go to bed by day? 

               Somehow I've ended up with four new books that travel in the night, all fascinating and gorgeously illustrated. They are from 2017 except Nightlights, from 2016.




         This is a graphic novel/picture book that tells the story of Sandy's nighttime where she pulls the light bubbles (stars?) that come into her window when she's gone to bed, and during the next day, draws the images that appear to play about in her dreams as she sleeps. It is evident from the beginning that art is her love, and her mother makes her do her homework first "before" the art.  She goes to a stern Catholic girls' school evidenced by the comments said to the students by the nuns, stays by herself most of the time. When she can sneak it in class or find time at recess, she draws--amazing doodles. Lorena Alvarez' places Sandy's imagination first in most of the pages, even until it becomes a bit creepy. Another girl approaches Sandy on the playground, a pale version of a little girl and one who is only seen by Sandy. She pulls Sandy further into a make-believe world which feels scary again, but the ending appears that Sandy pulls herself back out. The time of cycling to school shows a regular town with a bakery, a fashion shop, and second-floor businesses, too. Those scenes and a few sweet words from the parents seem to steady this fascinating story that had me wondering about the ending from the beginning. Definitely for five and up.


      In dim and dark layers of woodsy scenes and animals at night, the marvelous full-page spreads by Katherine Tillotson take us deep into the night. She uses Richard Jackson spare poetry as a guide. For example, "Fox, mouse, owl, bat,/this and that/(was that a cat?)/in our deep dark woods." This is time to hold the book close, to look, and listen, long or you may miss something. The title is true: "all ears, all eyes." For anyone studying night life in the woods, this is a book to use.





This beautiful story by Katie Cotton is written in poetic couplets, showing the road home (to safety) can be filled with danger. It begins with the smallest link in the food chain of a forest, mice, and continues through seasons showing the next larger animal also facing danger on the long road home. "For safety is a precious place,/a place to call our own./This road is hard, this road is long,/this road that leads us home." There are scenes of predators watching for a meal as that animal makes its way home. It's a story that can serve as metaphor for "home" in a study of shelters from all over the world, or a study in food chains and the need of all animals for some kind of safe place. The illustrations by Sarah Jacoby fill the pages with lovely watercolors of the animals in different seasons, both in and out of their hidden homes.




In this evidently "noisy" apartment house, a first simple illustration by Brian Biggs show a baby trying to go to bed, and a bit of the upstairs scene. Mac Barnett shows the baby wondering "What is going LaLaLa above my head.?" Turn  the page to discover, "A man is singing opera above my head." Then that man asks, "What is going "ma ma ma" above my head?"  It's a cumulative tale, almost, and clever as you travel up and up, wondering what's next until the top when an old man shouts, "Go to bed!" Very funny! Everyone will love to read this aloud!





Now reading: Hurrah, Elizabeth Wein's new book coming May 2nd, The Pearl Thief from Net Galley. She wrote Code Name Verity and other great ones if you don't remember.




So Far-Tiny Things

April 1 - Two Plates - Thanksgiving
April 2 - In Each Mind's Eye - baby elephant
April 3 - Discovered April First - miniature book
April 4 - A Promise - peach seed 
April 5 -  haiku - one music note
April 6 - My Tiny List - must-do list
April 7 - Tiny Lights - window lights at dusk
April 8 - Cherita - pencil stub
April 9 - Apple Blooms - blooms/apple tree
April 10 - Walk to The Sea - salt crystals
April 11 - Sonnet Show & Tell - tiny key
April 12 - The Letter 'I
April 13 - A Tiny Change - thermometer
April 14 - Birthday Candles
April 15 - Defined - dandelion
April 16 - One Minute 

22 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed Noisy Night. I'm always surprised when I end up reading themed books without meaning to. Recently, it was all cats and then all music.

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    1. It is surprising to find the groups all of a sudden, I agree. Yes, Noisy Night will be a lot of fun to share with kids. Thanks, Earl!

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  2. The generalist THE, wishing for the specific A. Love!

    Also, LOVED The Pearl Thief!! Now I want to go to Scotland in the WORST way!!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Lee, am just getting into The Pearl Thief, so glad you liked it. I've loved all of Wein's books!

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  3. I've only read Noisy Night, but not any of the others. They all sound interesting. I've heard wonderful things about Another Brooklyn. It's been on my list.

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    1. As I say so much, there are lots of good books available, and I can't get to them all either, Lisa. Thanks!

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  4. I have Another Brooklyn on my #mustreadin2017 list. I think it comes up sometime in the summer - I planned it all out :) Looking forward to it!

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    1. I enjoyed it, Michele. Jacqueline Woodson writes beautifully of course.

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  5. I want all of these!! Nightlights and The Road to Home both look just gorgeous.

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    1. As you see, I liked them all, Jane. All lovely and slightly different.

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  6. I'm going to go back to Another Brooklyn. I read it quickly.
    The little a can be such a nice replacement to the general the. I love how you spoke to this conundrum choice in your poem.
    Noisy Night makes me think of Amy VanDerwater's poems this month about the/an apartment building.

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    1. I may wait a bit, but Another Brooklyn will be terrific on a second read I''m sure. I'm glad you liked the poem, it was a rather brainstorming moment when I was searching for something tiny that connected to literacy. I need to catch up with Amy's poems again, a little behind.

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  7. First off, I'm really enjoying reading your tiny things poetry!
    I'm going to have to find a copy of Noisy Night some time soon. thanks for the heads up about The Pearl Thief, I requested it from Netgalley. I loved her earlier books a lot!

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    1. Thanks for all, Cheriee. I'm excited to find another Wein fan. I loved all the earlier books, too, and this one is starting well! Enjoy!

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  8. Looking forward to the new book by Elizabeth Wein. I want to read Another Brooklyn. And as usual, you fill up my holds shelf at the library. I haven't read any of the picture books you reviewed. Noisy Night sounds delightful!

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    1. Noisy Night is very cute, Ramona. It won't be long that your grand boys will love it! Isn't it great we have such wonderful libraries? Glad you could find what you wanted!

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  9. Night Lights looks like one I need to try. My students love graphic novels and can never seem to get enough of them. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    1. It's quite interesting, Jana. Be sure to read it first to see if your students will like it.

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  10. I haven't read Another Brooklyn. Woodson is one of my favorite authors, so I will have to be sure to read it soon. Thanks for the recommendation, Linda!

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    1. Yes, read it, Ricki. It won't take long, but you might want a re-read too, as discussed above. You're welcome!

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  11. Nightlights has caught my eye. Noisy Night also. Another Brooklyn was one of my favorites last year. For poetry month I have been trying to make a spine poem each day (inspired by Kelly Jenson from Book Riot on her instagram account). It's been very fun.

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    1. I thought I might do some book spine poems from the bookstore, but haven't yet. That's wonderful, Crystal. You know and have so many books, and in addition from your library. Enjoy those two "night" books.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!