Monday, May 20, 2019

It's Monday - Beautiful Books Again!

Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with everyone else who post their favorites. 
         I'll need to skip next Monday, am leaving this Wednesday to travel to my grandson's high school graduation. It is an exciting time for our family! I'll read on the plane, but suspect that's about it! Here are the books I've read this past week!

          Anytime there is a book with a quest, I'm in. (I re-read The Hobbit once in a while!) Yes, I finished this one and now how long might be the wait for the next adventure for brave, growing-up and now adventurous Byx and her companions, humans Khara and Renzo, catlike felivet Gambler, and the small and mighty Tobble? They have continued their journey to find the traveling island of Tarok, hoping to find more dairnes, saving Byx from being the last one of her species. The plot expands into political strife and danger in the land with the reigning dictator, the Murdano, gearing up to fight the other vicious Kazar Sg’drit, enslaving species to build his army. Connections to today's political challenges including war, prejudices of 'other', and human trafficking may go unnoticed by children, but not by adult readers. Khara is rising as a leader in the coming war and her companions, including Byx, will face the battle with her. Now we must wait for number three! Katherine Applegate's imagined world in this series is extraordinary! 

        Oh, wow, this is a gorgeous book, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline and a story full of nostalgia by Michelle Houts. Some years ago, a young boy spends the summer with his grandmother at her cottage by the sea. He finds what he learns is a piece of sea glass, smoothed by its tumbling in the ocean from, perhaps, years ago. Grandmother tells that each piece is connected by a story, one we may never know, but it has one. She gives him his grandfather's magnifying glass to look at his found treasures more closely. Turning the page, Houts imagines the story in the boy's dream, illustrated in muted black and white by Ibatoulline, a beautiful time travel transition to a ship’s christening and a schooner tossed in a tempest’s fury. Sadly, the boy drops the magnifying glass which breaks and he tosses the pieces into the sea. The story moves on to present day and a young girl also discovering sea glass, a particularly special piece that "might" be part of that same glass. Houts shares the story which feels real, but no matter real or not, looking for sea glass and imagining its story will make the adventure (if you can ever have one) a wonderful thing. 
          There is a brief author's note that speaks of the time in the past when many dumped all their trash in the ocean and the change today to be more environmentally conscious. Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy.

         First time published in the U.S., this is sure to be a favorite for young dinosaur lovers! Jason Cockcroft tells and illustrates this new book with a twist. What if you received an enormous package in the mail one day and in it was an egg that soon hatched a dinosaur? It is a sweet one, but huge (of course), and this young boy needs to learn how to manage some "huge" challenges. He must fix breakfast for his new pet (It is not picky, will eat anything.); how to teach it to share, especially at the playground; and, worse of all but funny, too, how to clean up the enormous piles of poop. Cockcroft's illustrations show a lively, but positive outlook for this new adventure in bright and colorful pages. (The other pet, the dog, adds humor, too.) He ends the story with a sleepy, lovable pet and a happy little boy. Thanks to Candlewick Press for the copy!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Poetry Friday - Sinking In

It's Poetry Friday, this day hosted by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. She's sharing some marvelous "pi-ku" written by her students in response to a nature trip. 

            Our cold, rainy, snowy few days last week appears to have released the spring magic that is GREEN. I sink into its richness, took one picture that shows some of what I see. Oh, yes, other colors are emerging, but first, GREEN is the star of this spring production.




 Linda Baie ©

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Non-Fiction Picture Books Fill Varied Needs

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

      It's a new poetry book, a new non-fiction picture book, and a new science book. For young students starting to study animal behavior and for older ones who need mentor texts that show how to write poetry while including the factual information, this, a book out recently, fits the description beautifully. 
       Susannah Buhrman-Deever writes varied poems in the voices of eleven pairs of animals, sometimes in two voices, sometimes single ones, often with sounds, which appear to be a large part of these animals' survival. In a brief introduction, she emphasizes the top priority, "to survive and raise young". Each creature's words show the way they fight to keep safe, or attack to have a meal. In some, it's poison, and others use sound to escape. Amazing to learn, but a 'Big Dipper Firefly is poisonous, but when lured to the Female Pennsylvania Firefly by her flash, she attacks and eats him in order to "get those chemicals for themselves". Things are not always what is expected!

         Femme Fatale
              My treasure?
              A light in the dark.
              I seek you,
              for love.
              I am hungry.

        Text boxes add to the poems and illustrations with information about the animals, and clever gatefolds in some spreads allow Kitchen’s illustrations to fill the scene before opening to read the poems and explanation.  
        Here is a sample of a double page spread, showing the realistic and gorgeous watercolor and gouache illustrations by Bert Kitchen. At night and in the day, in varied settings of field and woods, he adds his magic to Susannah's poetry and to the magic of animals' lives who use intriguing ways to survive.

         It would be fun for students to list all the different methods used for protection, like movement, voice, creating a certain sound, camouflage, and more! It's a terrific book for learning the mysteries of nature. There is an extensive bibliography added at the end.