Monday, August 10, 2020

It's #PB10for10 - Books Showing Kindness

         It's the tenth year of PictureBook10for10 (#PB10for10) where many share ten picture books that are Must-HavesCathy Mere of Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning host this wonderful tradition. You can find everyone's posts shared on Mandy's blog this year, HERE. Thank you Mandy and Cathy for continuing this special tradition! 
          And, best wishes to all for starting this school year. However you are beginning, I hope you enjoy being with your students and stay safe and well.
Here are my previous posts for 

  2011     2012     2013     2014     2015    2016     2017     2018 and 2019

My favorite books mostly from this past year and a few older give us ways to share about taking care of others and self! There are many kinds of actions! Here are favorites that I hope you can use in your classrooms, your lives. I've given a hint of my reviews and a link to each one on Goodreads.

Antonio wants someone to read a book with him. He moves around the neighborhood but everyone is TOO busy. One "extra" person listening to Antonio is an older blind man from the neighborhood sitting outside in a folding chair. He shares his own secret with Antonio, that few people have time for him either, invites Antonio for a chat and a story. It's a warm story that gives a fine opportunity for people to talk about including everyone.

Read more here!

A young child is on the way--somewhere. At first, I thought she might be homeless, but she is dressed too well. The cover itself opens the story. Where is that child, "small" on a bus, going? In his nearly wordless picture book, Smith used the outlining of black, effective here because it feels cold and unpleasant, and that day with the child moving in the city, we know something is wrong! When you read it, you will be immersed in the questions, and finally, you will discover exactly who is "small in the city." This traveler has taken time to rescue someone.

Read more here!

Many have written during this pandemic time that nature helps children (and adults) feel better. will help to introduce the healing idea of being present. One of my favorite parts says: There's a quiet place/in my head like an egg hidden/ in a nest. A place/I go when the world is loud./A moss-green forest with birds."

Read more here!

Being kind, listening well, how to treat oneself and others are the threads that tie it together. The whimsey of the simple sketches, mostly black and white, but sometimes gorgeous color and a tiny note from Mackesy works beautifully.

Read more here

Words by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrations by Mehrdokht Amini create a book for every.single.age. As it says on the cover there are poems, quotes, and anecdotes from A to Z. This will be a beautiful addition to every classroom/household! 

Read more here!

It's Monday - Books Loved Last Week

              Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they've been reading, along with others who post their favorites.  Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading!
          Share with the hashtag #IMWAYR    

       Best wishes to all of you who are going back to school whether online or in the buildings. I know you are challenged and hope every start goes as smoothly as possible!
Today is also the exciting #PB10for10 hosted by Cathy Mere at Reflect & Refine (instructions here) and Mandy Robek at Enjoy & Embrace Learning. This year, link up with Mandy by commenting on her post. 

              I'm sharing a mixture of books read last week, back in the swing for some new and some old!

          In the gentlest and most caring of ways, Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin show a year of Joy's life after her closest friend, Lukas, has died. Joy and Lukas have been best friends since second grade when discovering their birthdays are only one day apart. In alternating chapters, they return to their friendship memories, their personal family problems, Lukas up to a year ago, and Joy since that birthday time for them. Hints sprinkle throughout of the final "hunt" that Lukas has been creating for Joy's birthday all through the years. As a reader and a former teacher of young teens, I began to love these two, their heartfelt feelings for each other, Lukas worried that he may have gone too far in the final clue for Joy while Joy shows the deep grief for her friend as she lives one year more. It will be a book for readers who need to read about experiencing loss in order to begin understanding others' feelings or if they need to understand their own. It's a beautifully done collaboration.

Laura Purdie Salas has written a special story that is not her usual marvelous poetry books, but one just right for young ones heading to school for the first time. I imagine Laura did not expect that the book would be out when schools struggle about opening because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, it's a book that will especially help for any child with sensory issues, one who prefers a quiet room mostly alone. 
       Clover Kitty loves her life, perhaps thinks a friend would be nice sometimes, but mostly, she's satisfied. Then her mother announces that the next day is the first day in kittygarden and off she goes. It's not a good day with classmates getting so close, a teacher who uses a very loud gong, and naptime with a scratchy mat. The next day Clover decides to stay home and her mother lets her take time to figure out how things can be better. A new friend, Oliver, helps, too, so Clover goes off again, with new plans to enjoy her days, like earmuffs for that twangy gong! For parents and children with sensory issues, this can be a good book to read together and, like Clover, make plans that help with those school challenges. Hiroe Nikata's illustrations of cute "cat" students show all the emotions from sad to frustrating to happy! 

         I have loved Edward Gorey's 'nonsensical' books for a long time, am excited that here is a book for those children who find themselves a bit alone in what they like to do and create, Gorey's story. He never let go of his different way of doing things, ended up illustrating for others, finally realized he wanted to make his own books. And he did. When no one would publish, he published them himself. There was controversy, yet he stayed true to thinking "the world was an uncertain place where anything could happen. And in Edward's stories, it did! With Chloe Bristol's Gorey-like illustrations, every child will love reading more about a favorite book creator, or if they don't know him at all, will look for his books! There is an author's note that tells more and added sources.

            Published in 2000 by a favorite author, I wanted to share this intriguing story, made realistic with detailed illustrations by C.B. Mordan with ink on clayboard. A young girl living high in an apartment building is sad because the electricity goes out in a thunderstorm, thus nothing to do--no radio, TV, computer, etc. Her grandmother says she can tell a story and the granddaughter says, but there'll be no pictures. Indeed there are! Lost in the woods while looking for a dog, Grandmother tells the story, with string. You can see the creations and the back of the book explains how they are made. I imagine everyone has made a string figure or two, but this is a new way to use them, to tell a story! 

Thanks to Candlewick for these special picture books!

        From Steve Light who also gave the youngest readers Black Bird Yellow Sun is a new board book exploring opposites, especially for those who also love and know cats! He includes the simplest of shapes, like a sofa or a window to show some usual opposites like up and down and long and short but also includes more that are abstract, like empty and full or straight and curvy, all with those two cats. There's also a tiny blue mouse to discover on every double-page and a bit of a storyline, perhaps following a day in the life? I'd love to read this to a young toddler!

             I am a Nana (Grandma), too, and adore this loving story by Ann Stott about a young child's Nana who goes to every sports event, every art show, cheers for each accomplishment of her grandchild. She's a winner, too, earning a medal in the senior tennis tourney, but when she stumbles at a basketball game (looks as if she broke an ankle), roles reverse and the child becomes Nana's biggest fan. Andrew Joyner illustrates with great humor and action between these two but also in the crowds at all the activities. It's fun and a super book to read with a grandchild!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Back to Poetry Friday - August Arrives

     Poetry Friday is hosted by Laura Purdie Salas here! She's sharing a laugh in a poem, some advice and support for all. Thanks for hosting, Laura, this first Friday in August.

     I took the month of July off from posting, busy with the bookstore where I work and planning for our family's beach trip in the final two weeks. I am well, but the Covid virus made me change my plan. I've managed to stay mostly home for all these months, and sadly, it just didn't feel safe to go. 
     Like others who are sharing, I've been rather scattered, seemed to be stuck, but also moving from task to task, sometimes without finishing one before I move to the other. I was reading less, and writing so little.

     Thus, this post is one of gratitude to Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe, but truthfully, Heidi on twitter (@HeidiMordhorst). Seeing her ideas of #makesomething and the wonderfully creative #magazineticpoetry inspired way to do something. I've done it a bit differently, creating journal pages with magazine words sketching and pairing, what I called #everydaythings with the small poems. It gives me joy to get back into #wordplay and it's simply #fun. I'm not the greatest artist, but I find that quite a joy, nevertheless. Thanks very much, Heidi!