Sunday, July 30, 2017

It's Monday, Sharing Books



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

       I finished Nikki Grimes' One Last Word. and several other wonderful picture books, have started The Best Man by Richard Peck, on my #MustReadIn2017 list. I have one new title from NetGalley, too! 


          Sorry that I've waited so long to read this, but finally I did, reading and savoring a few pages all this week! Nikki Grimes has written a book's worth of tributes to those poets of the Harlem Renaissance by sharing some of the poems and writing what are called "Golden Shovel" poems in response. A Golden Shovel poem asks the writer to take a line, or "all" the lines, and place each word at an end of a line, weaving one's own words to create one's own poem. Each poem and response are illustrated, and by a variety of artists. Those, plus the poems themselves are heartfelt, considering and celebrating African American experiences. They are contemporary, show the grit and feelings of a variety of people, young and old, parents and children. A favorite of mine is written from a line by Paul Lawrence Dunbar's "We Wear the Mask". In part, Grimes writes, "freshen your mouth/with ferocious lines of potent poetry, with/metaphors that mightily reveal the myriad/of emotions you feel--yet, in all their subtleties. It's book for the middle and upper grades, to share, to respond to, to love.



        Read this to start conversations with children, and read it to help begin research in poverty and children's needs in our own country and in others. The text is simple, but begs for a thoughtful response. "I like rice. I don't like rice." shows facing pages of a boy on the left eating a bowl of rice with a smile on his face and a boy on the right harvesting. I read this to my youngest granddaughter, knowing that a beginning conversation is all she needs now. She is six. But it is a start in helping her realize that children in her world do not always live as she does. It's a poignant, heart-rending book.
         "Uncle," Croissant said,  "the fridge is in trouble! A horrible stench turned a whole shelf to rubble! I'm the last hope, or the fridge will be lost! Help me, or else we'll be cooked, served, and sauced." So begins another adventure of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast, a favorite breakfast couple who are on vacation. As you can see, their nephew, Inspector Croissant, needs help, and he gets it fast! Off they go around Mount Everbean crossing Salsa Ravine into Onion Ring Cave to confront Baron von Waffle, the first suspect. Josh Funk's wild ride through the world of a (sometimes) freaky fridge is a laugh-out-loud rhyming story sure to delight. Some extra fun I had was imagining the tale of the food in my own refrigerator, like "Wilt the Lettuce", and hoping that kids might use this to write personal adventures. The art work delights as detailed food stories fill each page. Steaks slumber with hair of french fries, boats are guided by carrot stick oars, and "Spuddy Holly and the Croquettes" play their tunes. A full fridge fold-out map at the end deftly shows the flavorful journey taken by these heroes, a satisfying end, but I won't give up the answer to that "Stinky Stench." It's a book you must read to discover what really smells!

          This sweet and thoughtful "not quite narwhal" wonders why he's not as fast a swimmer, why his tusk is not as long as the other narwhals. After seeking some adventure, he spies a creature on land that looks a lot like he does and finds out it's a unicorn. He's a unicorn. How he makes space for fitting into both groups offers something for everyone to ponder. Being a bit different doesn't mean one cannot belong to a group, and this story shows that well. Soft, layered illustrations partner well with a gentle story.
       While I love sweet stories, there aren't many that bring a lump to my throat, and this by Kate Klise is one. Astrid is born in the household where Eli, the dog, lives. She grows up with him, but for every year she grows, he grows six or seven. He's getting old. They do many things together, and when Astrid realizes that Eli is aging, she creates a bucket list of things for him to do before he's too old, like going down a slide and riding behind her on her bike. There is more, in addition to a final one decided by Eli. Yes, we hear his thoughts too, which makes him just like all pets, almost human, right? It's a beautiful story, illustrated with a warm, realistic feeling by Kate's sister, M. Sarah Klise.

         Have a wonderful week whether still on vacation, getting your libraries ready for students, or already back book-talking!

21 comments:

  1. Oh NO, I just know that "Stay" will have me tearing up - it sounds just beautiful, and I'm such a sap, especially when it comes to beloved pets!

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    1. Sorry! You will love it despite the tears, Jane!

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  2. Stay does sound beautiful. I also enjoyed Josh Funk's kitchen books and Not Quite Narwhal. I will have to look for the others.

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    1. Thanks, love hearing that you liked those books. Enjoy Stay, too!

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  3. I have One Last Word, but it's taking me a long time to get to it. Don't you just love the Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast books. I am looking forward to Josh's newest book which will be out soon.

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    1. I know about Josh's latest, and imagine I'll have to go to the bookstore to get it. There are many holds for them at the library! Hope you'll get to One Last Word soon! Somehow I waited too as I wrote! Thanks, Lisa!

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  5. I was signed in with my husband's account, so I am posting again as me. ;)

    I just heard Jillian Heise speak about I Like I Don't Like on a podcast about #classroombookaday. I am definitely going to look for it. I also really enjoyed One Last Word. It was interesting to see that format, but the content and poetry is wonderful too.

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    1. Yes, both are terrific. Love that you heard Jillian Heise talk about I Like, I don't Like. I thought it was a message for most everyone to consider often!

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  6. One Last Word is one of those books that I've heard lots of great things about, but I still haven't gotten to it yet! There are always so many awesome books coming along, it's tough to keep up. It looks like I should probably get my own copy of this one so I can savor it. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Jana, I hope you do enjoy One Last Word whenever you can. It feels like an important message.

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  7. My dog is 11, so I don't think I'll be reading Stay! She has spent most of her summer sitting on my lap!

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    1. Sweet to hear, Karen. The book is poignant, but it ends just as you are describing, a lot of love together.

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  8. Stay sounds lovely, Linda. I have the Nikki Giovanni book, but have not read it yet - you've convinced me to hurry up and get to it, though!

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    1. There are so many to love and enjoy, Tara, as we all know. Reading as fast as I can, but wanting to slow down, too! Thanks!

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  9. I need to read One Last Word! I have it--I just have to pick it up!
    Not Quite Narwhal is a book that Trent and I love! And of course, Stinky :)

    Happy reading this week!

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    1. Thanks, Kellee, yes, pick it up! I'm always happy to hear what Trent likes!

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  10. Stay looks very sweet. I also want to read One Last Word.I so love that cover!

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    1. The art throughout the pages of One Last Word is marvelous too, Carrie. Hope you enjoy both when you can!

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  11. I Like/I Don't Like is one I've been wanting to find. The library doesn't have it yet.
    Stay was a beautiful book and one that I think is important to have. It will be needed for a reader!

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    1. Yes, I know I need to have Stay for myself, Michele. I Like/I Don't Like is great. Hope you get it soon!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!