Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stories - whales and politics

        Two quite different non-fiction books, yet both have connections, about the good results of working together to make good things happen. Thanks to Alyson Beecher at KidLitFrenzy who hosts this community. I am grateful for learning about so many good non-fiction picture books!
         Happy Reading!

        Finally a little free time at school, so have been reorganizing books in my office, then going in to browse in our library.  This first one is an older book, another magical book about whales. The second is not a new story, but told in a fun way for younger children. 

A Symphony of Whales - written by Steve Schuch and illustrated by Peter Sylvada.          
         Because of the recent special book about whales, Following Papa's Song, this book caught my eye. In my own library, hiding in a stack. It's a wonderfully inspiring story of the people of the Chukchi Peninsula and the crew of the icebreaker Moskva risked their lives to save thousands of beluga whales. 

The whales were trapped by ice floes freezing their exit out into the open ocean. While waiting for the icebreaker ship, the native peoples worked hard to chop the ice to keep holes open so the whales could breathe. There is a further surprise in the story, how the ship got the whales to follow through the narrow channel. The illustrations are gorgeous paintings, showing actions of the people and the whales. The story is based on a news account of this event.

Worst of Friends, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of An American Feud - written by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain and illustrated by Larry Day
        I don't know how many times I've read about this feud/friendship, but the story never tires, and this time, the book will fit well with younger students. The basic story is shared about the friendship, the later feuding and even anger over political matters, but finally these two illustrious men stop speaking. There are some good moments, and marvelous, cartoon-like illustrations, detailed and respectful of the men portrayed. I especially love the double-page spread of all the men standing over a table, ready to sign the Declaration of Independence. Rather inspiring.

             I just have a few days left of school, and then really can dive in to the stacks of books I have waiting. Hope your last days are great, or you're already enjoying summer break!


  1. Good morning, Linda! Both of those books are new to me, thanks for sharing. I have stacks waiting for me for the summer - I really need to stop scheduling myself this summer so I can have time to read :)

  2. These both look great. I'm not familiar with them, either. Don't you love that more reading time is right around the corner?! My summer started this week. :-)

  3. I'm sure I know about the feud between the two men but now I want to read more about it. I'll have to keep a look out for that book!

  4. Nice choices! I haven't seen either of those books before. I love getting new angles on American history - it helps kids know that history is more than just a series of dates and battles.


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