Monday, March 29, 2021

It's Monday - Celebrating - Preparing for Poetry Month - Almost April

     Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 

       April arrives in a few days and that feels like a special month for several reasons, one of which is that it is known as Poetry Month. For that reason, I have a second post for #IMWAYR today, to share some of the recent poetry books out this year! I know many beloved books of poetry for children, teens, and adults yet I wanted to share these new ones in case you have not met them yet!

        I cannot imagine NOT having this marvelous new book by Nikki Grimes on my bookshelf or in my classroom, or as a gift for someone. She has researched and found poems from women poets from the Harlem Renaissance, shared the poem, and her chosen "strike line" to use in her own poem. The "strike line", FYI, is the line where each word ends a line in a poem form termed a "Golden Shovel" originated by Terrance Hayes. Nikki used this form to write two previous books, One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance and the picture book The Watcher, illustrated by Bryan Collier.
        This book is divided into three sections with the themes of Heritage, Earth Mother, and Taking Notice. An exceptional addition is that each two-poem part is illustrated by a different artist. I marked a few favorites. The first is "Joy" by Clarissa Scott Delany, celebrating that emotion "like the roistering wind/That laughs through stalwart pines." Nikki uses another line from this poem and writes of  "Leah's Reunion" when "Without this maternal crew's guidance, a/brown girl like me would simply be adrift." I adored the celebration in "Rondeau" by Jessie Redmon Fauset and Nikki's "Tara Takes on Montclair" where she writes of a girl who cannot understand why "folks want me to see "the countryside" and where that girl discovers trees and cousins suggest "Let's head for the woods!" 
        There are more and more poems to love and extensive resources that include a table of contents, a preface, pages about the poem form, and the Harlem Renaissance. Found at the back are poet biographies, artist biographies, acknowledgments, sources, and an index. I loved every page.

              This past pandemic year has been stressful for many, but most especially for children, switching back and forth from in-school to hybrid school to online school. I imagine everyone knows of this mixed-up world that children have been asked to navigate. 
               Poet and educator Georgia Heard has published a wonderful book of creative poetry, all centered on mindfulness, helping to find calm in the midst of what she describes in one poem, "There is a Monkey in My Mind". On a double-page spread showing a monkey jumping around using vines on trees, illustrated by Isabel Roxas, a few of the lines read "I tell myself: Be kind to the monkey swinging in my mind, and give it space–". It's one of the poems describing the challenges that comes when distracted, sometimes not even realizing that a lesson has been missed, a question has not been answered. Finding ways to be mindful becomes Georgia's thread of helpful poems, with titles like "Counting Breaths", the title poem, "My Thoughts are Clouds", and about meditation, "Come Home to Your True Self". You may want this book for yourself to enjoy the poetry and the ways Georgia suggests to become mindful. It offers a lovely way to present the ideas to children, in class or at home. In the end, putting her own creative spark, she changes to being "kindful" with a final and hopeful poem. This lovely book is a how-to with child-friendly illustrations and softly-worded poems. 

It's Monday - New Wonderful Books!

 Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 

       Today I'm sharing some special new books. I imagine you might have read some, but also hope you'll find one you can't live without!

Thanks to Candlewick Press and Walker Books, US!

        It all begins with a young girl coming home after helping her doctor father with a  challenging birth, mention of the Journal of Anomalous Objects, otherwise known as 'oddities', an ice hook, and sadly, a murder. Those are the early pages of the heart-rending adventure of Clover Elkin, taking her into magical worlds, meeting historical figures, including a talking rooster and a witch named The Seamstress. It's an alternate nineteenth-century history whose background shows the United States at war with France and a failed Louisiana Purchase. Eli Brown does not leave a frightening detail unexplained from tiny blue threads giving life to a true friend for Clover, another girl with courage named Nessa. If you are a fantasy lover, this book will thrill you, make you cringe, and bring admiration for the heroine who bravely steps forward every time to do what is right. The book includes lovely 
woodcut-style illustrations by Karin Rytter
        Coming this March 30th!

          It's the delight I imagined, five children live in a 'ramble-shamble' house and do the necessary chores and other things they love like reading together just because that's what their life is like. There are Merra, Locky, Roozle, Finn, and Jory - taking care of their 'ramble-shamble' house until one day they read a book that changes the way they believe a "proper" house should be. Things change to "more proper" yet sometimes those things aren't quite right. A hen lays an egg in a shoe, disliking the new and "proper" henhouse. Lauren Castillo's illustrations make this intriguing story by Christina Soontornvat come alive just as you might imagine of those feelings of 'before' and 'after'. Someone else's expectations do not always have to change the way we love and live and thank goodness the children realize that. 
           I was so excited about this book that I pre-ordered and received a special print from the book, too. Here's a picture!


Thursday, March 25, 2021

Poetry Friday - Found! That Bird in the Herd

    Susan Bruck hosts our Poetry Friday today HERE at her blog, Soul Blossom Living. It's nearly April, nearly Poetry Month, time for celebrating through words you want to write. Today, Susan shares some of the plans by poets during April. Thanks for hosting and gathering, Susan!

            I'm starting my poetry excitement for April early because I found a way to get  Poetry Friday friend Kat Apel's new rhyming picture book, The Bird in the Herd! It has traveled all the way from Queensland, Australia, bringing Kat's fond and fun memories in this newest book.

            I traveled to Costa Rica with students one year and we were fascinated when seeing cattle in the fields accompanied by some white bird, which we soon learned was a cattle egret. Now, years later, Kat Appel has written a book about that bird!

       I've always thought that one of the bigger challenges in creating a picture book is not only to tell a good story for children but to do it while rhyming, too! Kat has managed to do that 
with expertise in this new book, finding marvelous rhymes for this funny and entertaining cumulative story. Yes, it is about "The Bird in the Herd" moving along with some cows, a dog, and a drover (in the US, we might call him a cowboy) until yikes! something happens on that road that mixes everything up! I won't tell what but it's a smash ending, but without a crash, thank goodness. 

          In the story, with double-page spreads full of colorful antics and expressions illustrated by RenĂ©e Treml, the animals amble and ramble along doing what they are supposed to be doing, pushed along by that drover, a sweet country scene until it isn't! It's such a rhythmic read-aloud that I continue to be inspired to try my own rhymes! If you notice that I color-coded them, it's because the rhymes are color-coded in the book, perfect for helping young readers see those rhyming words, another terrific part of the book. Each page brings a new look at the travelers, clever action in the art and in the poetic lines. I imagine everyone will want to say "What's next? Turn the page, turn the page!" 

            Here is one double-page example of the fun look of the book in about the middle of the story!

         If you want to know the back-story of Kat's book and her introduction to it, look here. Also, Kat shared an activity kit for it here, in case you missed it a couple of weeks ago. I hope that many of you are able to find Kat's book and enjoy it as I have.
          Thank you, Kat, for this new special book about your very own countryside. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Monday Reading - It's All About Learning

         Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 


          Thanks to Candlewick Press for these next two books!

             Frederick Joseph speaks directly to us readers of how it is being a Black kid by sharing race-related stories from his own life growing up, explaining the hurt and why he handled those things then but might change his behavior now. The chapters include his voice but also brief interviews of the chapter's topic with one or more artists or activists like Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give or April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite. It will be a book to share with everyone, adults, students if you're a teacher, or your children, aiding conversations about microaggressions, tragic results of a situation ending so wrong, a way to "be".  All along the way Joseph also gives ideas for things to Google and learn about, including songs and various people's names and important events. Backmatter includes an encyclopedia of racism with added details of relevant historical events and terminology. Also, there are lists of people to know, books to read, and a "Black Friend Playlist". 
          I marked one passage that feels like the way Joseph uses his book as a thread of knowledge for everyone to know and understand what being a friend means: "To have someone judge you by getting to know you is a powerful and life-changing thing when you've never been treated that way."

           This is Helen Yoon's first picture book and it will fill you with chuckles as you watch this "wolf under cover" try so hard to have a good "sheepie" meal. His imagination is unlimited in the dishes he looks forward to. There is a crowd of sheep in the dining hall and this sneaky wolf manages to enter. He tries all sorts of tactics with a "master plan" like being helpful (washing dishes for the group) and being a team player (shuffleboard). Unfortunately, it doesn't exactly work out for the goal, but better than the sneaky wolf ever could imagine. Yoon's cartoon illustrations are so detailed and fun, you must take time to look at them all. The expressions and those "bubble dreams" are terrific. A different kind of wolf and sheep story that just might make readers think twice about what or who is considered a meal, an enemy.

         Finally! I feel as if I'm the last person to read this wondrous, Newbery winner! Lily and her family have moved in with her sick grandmother, her Halmoni. They used to live with her; she used to tell Lily and sister Sam fairy stories, beloved ones to Lily. As they see the illness is bad, Lily knows she doesn't know all the stories and wants to know more, especially because a magical tiger out of them has arrived, but only Lily can see it. She seeks more information and wants to make an agreement with that tiger to help Halmoni get better. Mixed in with who Lily really thinks she is but others think differently, it also becomes a growing-up story. With Sam's and new friend Ricky's help, she tries so, so hard to make the challenges work, especially when it becomes a time to say goodbye. Tae Keller's way of showing the complex layers of "all" the characters made the story poignant for the "story" of every single one. Perhaps that is the loving takeaway from this special book. Each of us has a story to share if only we can find the courage to tell it, to "trap the tiger". 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

#PoetryFriday - Spring Dress Rehearsal

       Welcome to the Spring Dress Rehearsal - Spring is Saturday!  

        Yes, waiting, waiting and then we really did have snow. The weather people were scrambling with the 'why' of the snow being so late. This picture is early Saturday. I wanted to show those sprouts to prove that spring is on its way. The BIG snow arrived overnight and all day Sunday!

           Most everyone was talking about time this past week, what 'time' people first heard about Covid-19, what 'time' they decided that it was going to be a serious threat to our lives, what 'time' did they first have a friend with the virus, how long a 'time' did it take to actually see anyone, friends or family? Perhaps other important questions are "When will we stop talking about the virus?" and "When will it really be spring?" (Daylight Savings Time change also arrived this past week. I'm not sure anyone is asking about that.)
            I have a little sign I bought long ago at a shop in Concord, Massachusetts after spending the day at Walden Pond with my students. It pleases me and perhaps it will please you, too, especially since March, 2020. Are you fishing in a Thoreau kind of way?
             Welcome to Poetry Friday where words wait to entertain, educate, and blast you with emotion -- the big three E's!

                      Like Clockwork


 Albeit time is but an abstract thought;


Seldom is the minute that can be bought.


We count it, and kill it, and watch it pass,


Then try to save it, and cannot, alas!


We turn it backward, and forward spring it,


Waste it, clock it, coordinate it.


Time heals, time marches, we yearn for more.


Though time lies heavy, there is a time for


everything. In the blink of an eye,


once in a blue moon, old rules do not apply.


Linda Baie ©


          Thank you for joining us today. Add your post below to Inlinkz! I will be at the bookstore where I volunteer, home about six, mountain time. Hope everything works for you as you add your links! (The link goes live at 2 pm Mountain Time.)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, March 15, 2021

It's Monday - More Fun Reading

        Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 

       Well, we had the big snow from last Friday to today! In the Denver area, 20 inches plus, Boulder and further north got more. It is wet and heavy and a lot!


          Yes, finished, and I enjoyed it very much. You can read my response here on Goodreads.

            Nancy Bo Flood tells this story of a young girl with Cerebral Palsy who longs to dance. There seems to be no one who knows how it would look for her, wheelchair-bound, only able to move her head, arms, and fingers. Then Eva learns about a place with a class for ALL abilities. Julianna Swaney's endearing illustrations show ALL kinds of children, first doing what you can imagine, jumping rope, kicking soccer balls, hugging. Eva tries to imagine what it must be like to BE like them and in a swirling two-page spread, she is dancing! In the class, shy and nervous, Eva enters this new class and this time ALL kinds of children, including wheelchairs, cane, crutches, and those who do not have at least a recognizable challenge. I love the part when shy Eva is invited to join the others. Nancy writes: "Join us. We are many dancers, one circle. We each pass the touch." They partner up and they dance and they move and it is wonderful for us readers to see, to imagine.
          In the Author's Note, Nancy writes that "like every child, Eva was born with dreams, Let me try. With longings, Let me belong." There is a place like this, named Young Dance where dancers of seven to eighteen come to participate in dance. Find more about it here at 

        Thanks to Candlewick Press for the following marvelous books!

         I loved this book so much that I made a collage of some parts of the drawings. First, the cover: the outside spread (without the cover) of people waiting, waiting, part of the inside cover - small things noticed, and two pages of what was sketched in different places. 
        Resisting the wish to not see what was going on in our world, artist George Butler, over the course of a decade created pen-and-ink and watercolor portraits in war zones, refugee camps, and on the move. There are brief explanations of where he is, some background of the place and the people, most always a focus and small sketch of one person. The twelve places include Myanmar, Kenya, Iraq, and Serbia. It's a poignant capture of these most recent years, but none of it is over as I hope everyone knows.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Poetry Friday - Time for A Debut

    Heidi Mordhorst hosts our Poetry Friday today HERE at her blog, My Juicy Little Universe. She is celebrating her birthday with spectacular poems, candles, and a few lightbulbs - Huh? Thank you, Heidi! I hope the day has been absolutely grand! 



         It was near seventy earlier this week, now we have a big snowstorm on its way, all weekend. Time for me to enjoy all the PF posts and some reading of some poetry and prose, too!

          Trees are sprouting, too. I am really looking forward to that beginning green haze, then the leafing, every spring like a miracle! Are you preparing for April, Poetry Month? Here's a peek at the poster.

            Here's a challenge for you if you're staying in and writing: 

Rhopalic Verse: (from Greek "rhopalon"--a club which is thicker at one end)

Lines in which each successive word has more syllables than the one before it.



To define, 

so many ideas-

branched complexity

each species demonstrates

surprising variety.

Bark displays 

rough edges,

smooth symmetry,

and nature’s coloring.

Leaves’ ID

as palmate, parallel, trifoliate

and pinnate.

Leaf colors illustrate

lime, chartreuse, emerald, asparagus.


Trees offer

shade, cover, oxygen,


but mostly 

eye candy.


Linda Baie ©

Monday, March 8, 2021

Monday Reading - All Kinds of Stories

       Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 

       I'm hoping March has been kind to you so far!

Thanks to Candlewick Press for the following five marvelous books!

           Yes, I did finish it, all 500 pages! Yet now I wish it had not ended! It took a while to remember the characters' names and figure out, at least a little, where this story might be headed. This is set in ancient Greece, a story told in prose about a young girl, Melisto, born into a wealthy family, and Rhaskos, a slave boy, who shares his own story in verse. Woven into these tales are other fascinating people, important to these two young people: a slave woman, Thratta; Sokrates, the philosopher; Rhaskos' slave owners and of course the importance of various Greek gods. Hermes, son of Zeus, also appears once in a while, questioning and adding information. 
          Chapters begin with found artifacts, all illustrated by Julia Iredale, each one central to the chapter. Laura Amy Schlitz explains more history and her choice of the written prose and poetry in added Author's Notes plus there is an extensive bibliography. The language is beautiful throughout. Schlitz does not hurry the story but takes time to show the emotions and the surroundings with deft description and emotion. Here is one tiny part in one scene, like many others: "The water foams and chuckles; their jars were overflowing. Soon dawn will daub the sky with finger paints, watercolor tints of saffron and rose; the women will sashay home, balancing their jars."The final question to lure you into this book is why is it titled Amver & Clay?   (After finishing and during the reading, I returned to the beginning, an introduction first by Hermes, then Rhaskos speaks. I found returning to these pages and the list of the cast of characters helpful.) This is an amazing story and it publishes tomorrow!

          It's a growing-up story of something here in the US we don't see, at least I don't but there may be some in certain places, especially in open markets. This is a story from Haiti about a young girl, Fallon, who is invited to go to market with Manman. She is excited, but more than anything, she wants to carry the panye, that woven basket that sits on her mother's head in order to carry things. She and her mother put on their mouchwas, the scarf that wraps around their heads. Fallon wants to get it just right and her mother helps. The panye waits.
           It seems to be a rite of passage to learn patience for getting this perfect. Fallon gets to try once, but it soon falls. Manman tells her 'Pitit, pitit, zwazo fo nich it.'  'Little by little the bird builds its nest.' (I did search for the meaning of 'pitit'. In Haitian Creole, it has several meanings, including 'golden child' and 'grandchild', an endearment. They travel to the market with Sara Palacios' beautifully-colored illustrations showing us the beauty of tropical Haiti as well as lots of people at market, like friends and other family members. The trip appears to take the whole day because at the end, sellers are packing up to go home. During the market, choosing the foods needed, greeting people, is part of the fun journey and with patience, there is a lovely milestone achieved by the end. This would be wonderful to read aloud, then talk of traditions in each child's own culture.
             Tami Charles adds an author's note, revealing that Haiti is her husband's home country.

         Happy little grey and white Poojo was born without his back legs, but guess what? He's got wheels! Charrow's story in words and simple cartoon-like illustrations show this happy dog doing all sorts of fancy tricks, making good friends, like pigeons in a birdbath and sitting on him, too. Charrow shows him with all kinds of expressions, along with so many do friends who run and play together AND dress up in silly costumes. Even when there's a kink in this happiness, like a flat tire, he figures out how to fix it. He borrows a tire from a wheelbarrow. Showing a dog with a difference having fun like all the other dogs is great and there are challenges, but Poojo's heart seems to leap right over them!

           My father was a pilot during World War II. His plane was shot down in the Pacific Ocean in a battle near the Philippine Islands. I've always thought of him being part of those honored by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. His plane and those in it were never found. With every step, the Tomb Guards pay homage to America's fallen when they guard this Tomb. Here in serious and respectful words, Jeff Gottesfeld allows one "unknown" to tell the story of the Tomb and of those in the "Tomb Guard" who guard it. They are devoted to The Sentinel's Creed, given at the beginning, whose author is unknown, fitting for this special place that honors all the unknown who have given their lives fighting for America. Matt Tavares' illustrations bring a solemn look at this important monument, showing the faces of soldiers, visitors, and those who walk those twenty-one steps. There is a page with the ceremony carrying that first unknown, a soldier's shoes walking in the moonlight, and another's serious face walking in the snow. The unknown soldiers buried in the tomb are never alone. It's a beautiful book of respect and honor both to those unknowns and to the Tomb Guard. Gottesfel adds an Afterword with some background history. 

1st published in the UK by 
Walker Books Ltd

         I don't read too many early readers but when I do, I always like them. They often teach from a younger point of view and show new ideas. This time Atinuke (Anna Hibiscus, B is for Baby, and Catch That Chicken are only a few of her books)  introduces Too Small Tola, a young girl who lives in a one-room apartment with older siblings Moji, a very clever sister, and Dapo, a brother who is very fast. Also, there is Grandmommy who doesn't take any "no" for an answer, but slyly shows her own kind of sweetness. They live in the mega-city of Lagos, Nigeria. Life is okay for them although sometimes they have no electricity or no water. Children reading these three stories will learn another way of living, one where kindness and friendly ways seem to make all the difference. The first story has Tola, although the smallest, going to market with Grandmommy, and the challenges they face carrying all that they get on their heads. The older ones seem to have too much to do, so Too Small Tola goes to help. It is a lot, but along the way, Grandmommy decides it's time to rest. The first time it happens to be by the soft drink stand; the second time near a doughnut seller. I imagine you know that another rest stop also happens and when they arrive home, those older siblings know they've missed out!
            Two more stories also hide some special moments, about bullies and the heavy task of carrying water, about Tola never wanting to be late to school because she would miss math, and last, about a kind deed that at first seems too hard, but turns out quite wonderfully at the end. Itinuke manages so beautifully to slip in other characters and facts about Tola and everyone. The illustrations by Onyinye Iwu add to the fun and emotions. I enjoyed each story thoroughly.
            (It's great to have still another story about people from other places who carry  their purchases on their heads, like the Panye story above!)

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Poetry Friday - Coming Warmth

    Kat Apel, way down under, hosts our Poetry Friday today HERE at her blog. She's been doing a few cartwheels and high jumps because she has a new book out, The Bird in the Herd!  You can read her "release day post" HERE! Thank you, Kat! 


          I am so excited that spring is, at least officially, just a couple of weeks away. It's been in the fifties and sixties this week, after our big snow last week! I know, I know that in Colorado, March, then April, are traditionally our snowiest months, thus it may be spring, but winter weather will return. In fact, yesterday was 60 and this afternoon it started to rain and will fall into snow overnight. Back warm again tomorrow. Flip-flop it does! However, warm-weather seasons are coming!

hoya blooming, sure sign of spring!

I wrote my final poem in February with the group celebrating Laura Shovan's birthday to Michelle Kogan's prompt, to write about the back. Remember the theme for each day connected to the "body".  This time, Michelle gave us the freedom to use "back" in the various ways it is used in our language, like "backdrop" or "throwback", not exclusively to our bodies. I chose to connect to a memory of the "backdoor" at a grandparents' home.

Backdoor in My Mind


Out the back door lies

Grandma’s garden

giving us all those growing things

you imagine. They sleep together 

among the strange snarls of kohlrabi 

she calls her fruit of the loom.

(Because of those tangles, you know.)

Out the back door lies

Grandpa’s shed, all those tools

leaning together like men at the

downtown bar: diggers, cutters, rakers,

saws, each one with a story to tell

(which Grandpa relates).

Out the back door lies

my maple tree, the one grown enough

to hold me while I read, 

(like Mother did when I was tiny),

the one offering helicopters that really fly

and crimson leaves that predict ‘goodbye’.

Out the back door lies

the porch where warm rainy days

mean slow stories, 

and clear evenings are perfumed

with sundown and starlight

and being together.

          Linda Baie ©

Monday, March 1, 2021

Monday Reading - Love These Picture Books

          Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 

Today is my 10th blogiversary! My posts have taken varied turns throughout these years, writing with the Two Writing Teachers started this journey and I loved it for quite a long time. There, then a couple of other groups is where I first wrote with Ruth Ayres, someone I still connect with whenever I can who has hosted a couple of different ideas, now with SOS (sharing our stories) magic. Then I met Jen & Kellee, finally Ricki, and the Poetry Friday group, every single one making me feel welcome. I am happy that I started. This will be post number 2,128!  

I am halfway through this very complicated story woven within Greek mythology. I'm enjoying it but it took a while to begin to know the characters' names and to see the plot developing. The background research Laura Amy Schlitz is amazing!

Thanks to Candlewick Press for these next two books!

             In a rhyming story, Caryn Yacowitz tells a story full of love from Moses' mother who couldn't keep him hidden anymore from the Pharaohs who wanted to kill all the boy babies of the children of Israel. She crafted a little boat and hid him in the reeds by the bank of the river Nile. Yacowitz imagines a story of animals watching over him as he floats downstream, an Ibis, a Mama Hippo, and even a Mighty Crocodile. They keep him from being caught by some reeds, through fast currents, even a terrible storm. Finally, "plunging through the wild waters/toward the calm of sandy shore" he is found by the Pharaoh's daughter. It is an imagined story of nature's creatures taking care of a young one when no one else could be there made even more beautiful by Julie Downing's gorgeous watercolors. If it's time to tell a young reader the story from the Bible of Moses, this will be a sweet one to share.

           Gideon Storer's book begins on the endcovers where a group of animals stands hidden in the forest watching trailers and trucks roll up to set up a traveling fair. They don't stop watching until finally, the caretaker (manager?) flips the switch and the fair begins with all the fun you can imagine, booths for winning prizes like a ringtoss for a goldfish (remember those?), rides with giant swings and roller coasters and treats like cotton candy and ice cream. Watching from the shadows, more animals gather, the caretaker closes up, they wait. And it starts all over again when two raccoons flip that switch with every animal having the time of their lives, all night until the sky begins to lighten and they drift back into the woods, the bear carrying her very tired little one, the fox taking his goldfish prize to the lake. So many details in Mariachiara Di Giorgio's illustrations will delight you in this fabulous, wordless picture book. The animals do clean up a bit, but forget to empty the cash bowl of their payments of acorns, wildflowers, and mushrooms. The back end covers show an empty field with only a peek of the rear end of a trailer moving away. 
        Here are a couple of favorite pages, the title page and one other!

From the library!

          Matthew Burgess tells a beautiful story of this artist, Keith Haring, who sadly was not here on earth very long (he died at age thirty-one), but has made an impact all over the world. Who does not recognize his work when you see it? In his younger days, Keith drew with his dad. They took turns with what looked like scribbles but, as the story goes, might turn into an ice cream cone. "He drew all the time,  everywhere. 'But not on the walls!' his mother would call." He was the oldest of four, with three little sisters. Burgess shows again how he did art with those sisters, too.
          The book tells Haring's story of moving from place to place, from art school to art school, finally finding "his" world in New York City. He painted walls everywhere in the world, he painted with children, he painted on a church's wall in Pisa and a stretch of the Berlin Wall. Josh Cochran manages to find the spirit of Keith Haring in the illustrations that are splashed in bold colors and fun movement. Even in a book, they manage to be like walls! More information is added at the back: a biographical note with a picture of Keith Haring painting, an author's note, and an illustrator's note. For someone who loves art, who wants to know more, and be inspired by Keith Haring's work and life, this is a special book.