Tuesday, August 11, 2015

LovingReading #PB10for10

Thanks to Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek who host the Annual Picture Book 10 for 10 Event! To read everyone's posts, be sure to follow the hashtag #PB10for10 on twitter too! 

        Has everyone begun with, "there are so many"? And we all have attempted different ways to choose. This time, I'm sharing books about the love of reading all over the world, in places one might never imagine. I hope you discover at least one new one!

Bookspeak - poems by Laura Purdie Salas and Josee Bisaillon 
           When I taught in the classroom we loved conversations about books and reading. We discussed what books give us, what they do for us, those we like and why, those we dislike and why. Students not only discussed these topics as a class group, but they wrote to me in letter journals about their books and delights or struggles. They brought books that I just had to read and they loaned books to each other. The more formal writing was about books, too: poetry, reviews, and personal stories about their earliest memories or special times with books and parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles. I have a few books with published works about books too, but Laurie Purdie Salas’ book filled with wonderful poems about all kinds of book topics is a must have to start conversations about reading.

Please Bury Me In The Library - poems by J. Patrick Lewis and Kyle M. Stone

          This is another delightful book, filled with words and illustrations that will make any book lover shout “hurrah”. There are whimsical poems like “Summer Reading At The Beach”, serious ones, like the “Three Haiku”, and one of my favorites, the title poem: “Please bury me in the library/in the clean well-lighted stacks/Of novels, history, poetry,/Right next to the paperbacks.” I love books about books, and this one is a terrific addition to a collection.

Razia’s Ray of Hope, One Girl's Dream of an Education -Elizabeth Suneby and Suana Verelst
         Based on the stories of many girls around the world, this one highlights a young girl from Afghanistan whose village is building a school for girls. She already knows how to read a little because she listens to two of her brothers when they do homework. But it’s time for registration and the family has a meeting to discuss whether she might attend. There are some objections, but the final say is a “no” from her older brother. In a brief, and telling moment, he finally relents. I don’t want to give away the reason, but it has to do with reading! The pictures highlight the young girl, showing the background of different situations.
Ruth and The Green Book -Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Floyd Cooper
           This is the story of the challenges of travel for African-Americans in the times after World War II. Jim Crow laws had been passed that were supported by the state governments, which meant that many businesses could still choose to serve only white people. A young girl, Ruth, and her family are traveling to see her grandmother in Alabama. They live in Chicago, and have just bought their first car. They struggle with finding places to buy food, even to stay the night, but fortunately they know they will be welcomed at Esso stations, and there they discover the Green Book, a book that lists all kinds of services where African-Americans are welcomed. Sometimes it’s just someone’s home! This would make a good introduction to Jim Crow laws and the challenges faced before the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, the year the final Green book was published. There is a additional information about these times, and the book’s beginning. The illustrations are bold and beautiful portraits of the family and their travels. 

A Library Book for Bear - Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton
           It’s another bear book, and a funny story about Bear’s trip to the library with Mouse. Bear thinks he has all the books he will ever need, especially about pickles. At the library, he continues to reject the books Mouse offers, like one about outer space. He even finds another about pickles, but it’s about dancing pickles, and is rejected with a huff! At the same time, story hour is happening around the corner, and Bear hears the words, “So the Very Brave Bear began to inch his way toward the treasure chest…” And the rest you’ll need to read the book to discover. It’s a delight, and I know it will have kids wanting what’s next. The illustrations are lovely, showing such emotion in Bear and in the library. Much is also included about being quiet in the library, which Bear struggles with.

Ruby’s Wish - Shirin Kim Bridges and Sophie Blackall
        This came highly recommended by a Goodreads friends, and I managed to get the DVD of Shirin Yim Bridges reading it.  It was great to “listen” to this true story about her grandmother, Ruby. Set in 19th Century China, Bridges tells the story of one large family in China where Ruby’s grandfather, the head of the household, brought in a teacher because he had so many grandchildren.  There is also a small intro that tells of the many Chinese men who left for the gold rush and never returned, but this man did. He also allowed the girls to come to school, but the expectation was that girls only stayed for a while, and then were married. They did not go for further education. Ruby stayed, and she also did the extra work girls were required to do, like learning to cook, clean and sew. One day, she wrote a poem concerning the unfair ways girls were treated in the household. Grandfather summoned her, and the rest you’ll have to discover.  The beauty of China is shown in the artful illustrations.

Tomas and The Library Lady - Pat Mora and Raul Colon
         It’s not easy to keep connections when you have to move two times a year to follow crops, as the family in this story does. They’re in Texas in the winter, Iowa in the summer. The story is based on the true experiences of Tomás Rivera, who became a university professor, a writer and an education leader in his life. The Univ. of CA at Riverside library is now named after him. Tomás loved stories, and loved listening to his grandpa tell them. One day his grandpa told him to go to the library to read more stories so that he could come home and tell different stories to the family. Tomás did, and found a kind librarian who fed him books and books and more books. It’s another wonderful story about a librarian who makes a difference in someone’s life, showing Tomas often getting lost in the stories. These particular pages are made even more wonderful with Colón’s beautiful woodcut illustrations of this reader’s imagination as he reads. It’s a very sweet story.

Biblioburro: A True Story From Columbia - Jeannette Winter
           Living in a remote area of Colombia, Luis Soriana spent a lot of time reading, so much that his wife began to worry about the amount of room his book collection was using. They didn’t have a large home. So Luis got the idea to begin traveling to even more remote areas to give the books to those without. He used two burros to carry as many as possible, beginning with a collection of 70 in 2000. When the book was published, Jeannette Winter writes that this collection has grown to over 4,800 books, mostly through donations. She quotes Soriana: People around here love stories. I’m trying to keep that spirit alive in my own way.” It’s an inspiration to hear what one person with a good idea can do, and Jeannette Winter tells the story in her own special way, with a few good words, and beautifully illustrated pages.

That Book Woman - Heather Henson and David Small
         It's the story of the packhorse librarians who brought books to those who lived in remote places in the Appalachian Mountains. It's a touching story of appreciation and of the power of books.

A Story for Bear - Dennis Haseley and Jim LaMarche
         Until I read this book I didn't know that bears loved them too. It's about the love of books but also a whimsical story of a woman who reads books to a bear when she stays in her home in the woods. When she leaves for the winter, she leaves the books behind for bear. 


  1. Hello Linda! You listed two of my favorites, Ruby's Wish and Tomas and the Library Lady. I've added A Story for Bear to my "must find" list. Thanks for sharing! I hope you are doing well!

  2. What a wonderful list--and so timely! I've got my favorite course to teach this fall, the Special Methods course, and want to include lots of PBs about reading and writing. You've highlighted books that go far beyond the obvious choices, and I love the diversity and world travel we're able to do through your list. I'll be bookmarking this post for upcoming library trips. Thanks, Linda! And off to order Bookspeak because that seems like one I'll return to again and again. #pb10for10 is an expensive event for some of us!!

  3. Great list! Love that your focus took you/us around the world!

  4. Being a reading teacher and always on the look out for new books about books, I love your list. I've used Biblioburro and That Book Woman with my third graders. I just requested the rest of your list from our local library. Thank you for giving me new books to explore.

  5. I love this list Linda! That Book Woman was on my list too. I so adore this book. I also love Ruby's Wish. Other titles are new to me so I I will be on the lookout! I love Jim LaMarche so I would like to find A Story for Bear.

  6. Nothing better than books about books! I have lots of these, but I'm adding Ruby's Wish and A Library Book for Bear to my list. I don't know either of those!

  7. Love this list and the celebration of book love and community. Thank you!

  8. Razia's Ray of Hope sounds like an amazing book. What ages do you think it is geared to?


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