Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Reading - Fun Picture Books

           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'm reading Dry by Neal Shusterman and it is long! But I've enjoyed it so far! And still reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Other than that, here are a few picture books I liked this week--one brand new, some old and worth knowing. I'm also still reading for the Cybil's poetry judging so my reading life is varied and full!

              I'm also celebrating. I have one more post and that will be my 1800th! It feels as if the time has gone quickly, but then when I look back at March, 2011, that also seems a long time ago. For a few years, I also kept a blog with my class, but have now deleted it, saving a few posts only. I imagine I've written more than 2000 altogether. If you've just started, keep going. It becomes a diary of at least part of one's life. Some of you started before I did and I congratulate you for keeping on, despite your busy lives. Most of you are still in education and are marvelous mentors for students.

         Enjoy these gems!

        What if you were a child, a young boy, and loved elephants more than anything? You loved to draw them and talk about them. You loved their "hosepipe trunks and their flap-flap ears, their tree-stump feet and their swish-swish tails." But, but, you've never ever seen a real elephant. This is a story about that boy, Frank, and his adventure with Miss Fancy,  one elephant who spent some years in Avondale Park in Birmingham, Alabama. He is that boy who lived only two blocks from the park and helped collect pennies with other schoolchildren so the city could raise the money to buy Miss Fancy from a circus. 
            Wrapping her poignant story with some truth, this brand new wonderful book from Irene Latham shows the sad history of segregation years ago and the ingenuity of a young boy who only wanted to touch Miss Fancy. Finally, Frank got to see her when she came by train, but when the crowd arrived, with Miss Fancy, he walked with her all the way until he couldn't anymore. The sign said "No Colored Allowed". What if you were that boy, heartbroken? There is a reward for being that boy, and I hope you can read Irene's story in order to discover it. John Holyfield encompasses the words with his gorgeous realistic illustrations, filling the pages with color and emotion and detail of this community, its people and a special elephant. Irene adds an informative author's note about the story, the history and adds a real photo of Miss Fancy! The book will be a great start for children beginning to know the history of segregation. 

           Forty years old, a Caldecott honor. I've missed it all these years, and for those who love the music, those who wish every child yearning to play could, this is the book. Perhaps, according to the description, it could be the story of any young musician growing up in the twenties. With fabulous black and white, art deco illustrations, zigging and zagging like jazz itself, another Isadora book to love.

          "No matter how steep or tough the climb, a friend is worth it every time!" That's the mantra for this book, a cheerful 'let me help' book with a surprise you'll love at the end. Brian Lies tells the simple cumulative story and illustrates with joy, even in a snowstorm. How can one resist a duck with a stocking cap and a chipmunk named Izzy with a striped scarf? 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Poetry Friday - Search & Find

Poetry Friday's host this week is the busy Kat Apel from Australia, sharing her poem-a-day she's named 'Insta-poetry', filling us up with summer, yes, summer! That's what's happening Downunder as many of us shiver. Thanks, Kat for the beauty shared!

        I've been struggling lately finding some kind of goal for writing poems. I've begun a new journal, have delved into favorite quotes and pictures and though I enjoyed creating the beginning pages and sketching, too, I still did not find much to write about. I'm in the midst of reading for the Cybil's poetry award, and perhaps that's part of it, so filled with beautiful poetry that I think somehow it's all been written! Anyway, here's what I did for this day, a bit about looking and some about finding.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

NF Picture Book Revitalized In 2018

            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, discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they continue to be available for kids.

       I enjoyed this book, the background of the 'girls' and finales of the inventions, but didn't understand that while first published in 2000, it has been revised and refreshed in the illustrations. 
      Here, from Hornbook:
          “This updated version of Thimmesh’s collection of profiles of female inventors (fifteen in all) eliminates three outdated chapters and spotlights seven new inventions created since the original’s 2000 publication (Trisha Prabhu’s antibullying ReThink app; Alissa Chavez’s “Hot Seat” sensor to protect kids from being forgotten in hot cars). Today’s readers will find a laudable increase in the subjects’ diversity as well as a more contemporary focus. The many “personal interviews…employ[ing] a conversational tone” noted in the original Horn Book review (rev. May/June 2000) remain, as does the emphasis on “accomplishments over personality.” Sweet has added vibrant collages to the new chapters as well as to some of the old ones. The refreshed design also includes additions to the timeline of women’s inventions. A resource as informative as it is empowering.
          It's an inspiring look at women's little known or recognized role with inventions in various areas like science, household and outer space needs, as well as products that help keep people safe. Toward the end, the stories are about young students who found an interest and continued with it far beyond a science fair or classroom project. Some still wait for their "product" to enter the marketplace! 
         It's a terrific book of stories for older elementary students and up where readers will learn the innovative role women have played throughout history, despite the earlier way they were dismissed as incapable. (Some earlier in history could not even hold a patent!) Here, curiosity did NOT kill the cat, but made many lives better in a number of ways. Things invented included in our lives today that we take for granted are the Apgar score, windshield wipers, Kevlar, Snuglies, Scotchguard, flat-bottomed paper bags and there is hope for the future through an invented process that helps farmers in times of drought.