Monday, August 29, 2022

It's Monday - A Wide Array!



            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! 

            I know, the following isn't a children's book, but it would be great for young adults. Here's my review!


       This is a must-read for all those today who are planning to ban books. It's a World War II effort I have never read about and it is a story of an amazing accomplishment. A quote: "By VE Day, it is estimated that Germany had destroyed over 100 books in Europe." and "The (US) government supplied more than 120 million free books to ensure that America's fighting men were equipped with spirit and resolve to carry them through their battles."
       At first, people realized that soldiers and sailors needed reading material to fill the long hours of waiting, even in foxholes between bombardments! A nationwide call for donations was started yet soon realized that any old book, particularly hardbacks, would not be the right thing. A group was formed (you will read the names in the book) who worked with publishers to create special, very small, editions of varied titles, ones that would fit in a back pocket. At the time, few paperbacks had been being published. Most preferred the fancier hardbacks. However, this particular and successful idea served as entertainment all over the world. These bundles of books were sent quickly and became much sought after by every soldier and sailor. Also included in the "books" were magazines, like The Saturday Evening Post. 
       Manning has included a lot of background to the war, a partial list of authors whose books were banned by the Nazi regime, the many lists of books that were included in America, notes, and an index. Knowing how challenging this was and the way everyone worked so hard to get it done is a tribute to still another part of the effort to stop Germany. "We all know that books burn--yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory." It is a special book about the history of World War II.
          Marianne Dubuc adds this note at the end of her picture book: "Marianne Dubuc writes, "Sometimes life forces us to move, whether physically or mentally. It's important to let ourselves be guided by this ebb and flow, remembering that everything will be fine in the end and that there is always a comforting corner of the world to find." Although kids often don't have a choice, this particular book will bring a way to talk about moving positively. Bear has a nice life, a nice house, and nice friends. But one day he wakes and realizes he has a yen to move. Through his wandering, meeting a new friend or two, yet continuing on through some frightening events, he finds it's going to be okay and change feels good. Dubuc's soft and dreamy illustrations create a comforting story to read and enjoy.

          Three stories from Max, a poet and dreamer, with fantastic illustrations from Maira Kalman, was donated to the used bookstore where I volunteer. What a book to read and love with kids or just self, looking and smiling, often chuckling, at Max's adventures, filled with surprises from Kalman's art in words and picture.

         One last book I discovered at the library. I didn't know Christina Soontornvat had this book out! 
         It's brief, it's powerful, it's an ode to earth. Between Christina Soontornvat's words and Rahele Jomepour Bell's illustrations, readers are taken on a journey, from earth's beginnings to how one person, then many persons, have made changes. These changes, as many know, have not been good for the earth, and they themselves need changing. There are few words, and Christina has given additional information in the backmatter. If you want to share with others, perhaps students, perhaps family, this is a great place to begin.

Currently reading: from Candlewick by David Almond, a curious book titled Brand New Boy. Next, I have Pet and Bitter waiting for me at my library, per Max's reviews last week!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Poetry Friday - Bye Bye Summer


  Poetry Friday is with Tanita Davis, hosting with her #PoetryPals end-of-month challenge! You can find her HERE at {fiction, instead of lies}.  Thanks for hosting, Tanita.  

        I love the carefree days of summer. Yet, we have had HOT for days and days, and more days. I am ready for a drop in the temperature. No, I won't welcome big snows but will be happier when it drops just a bit! It is a few weeks until official autumn!

 summer in my garden

                  Summer Blues


When out in the heat, with humidity high,

The sky’s blue and cloudless. It’s pretty but sigh . . .

I’m lethargic and listless, no get up and go.

My oomph’s disappeared; it’s why I’m so slow.


I’m waiting for "cooler", for a fair autumn day

when walking outside doesn’t fade me away.

My zest, zip, and vigor will rebound full force.

They’ll say there’s the oomph girl, and I’ll say "of course"! 


Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 22, 2022

Monday Reading - Take a Look!



            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! 

             Best wishes to you who have started your school year or are starting today as Denver schools are. My granddaughters are excited! 

         Stretching across three centuries, including a story of old-time primogeniture sending a younger son into exile, to an author who lives on a moon colony who's written a scene in her pandemic novel that some cannot explain, then to an investigation from the mysterious Time Institute that doesn't end well, or does it? Emily St. John Mandel's story may help answer questions about the future and what we wish it to be, no matter the new inventions and living in far places, no matter the time.  Like all her books, I enjoyed this new one very much.

             I realized after posting last week that I didn't include any of my early books read from Candlewick. Here they are plus some new ones.

            It's so nice to read a book where Marisol tells this story of her feelings about sports even when her older brother Oz is a super athlete. She knows this isn't one of her good traits and struggles to find something about herself so others will say "Way to go, Marisol!" She also has a hard time sharing her worries, with her dad who works far away, and the only time the family talks to him several weeks of the month is through an online chat. Then, everyone is listening! Readers will connect, I'm sure, and also see that sometimes it all works out well, especially if one does share and also does the right thing with best friends. 

 There will be many city kids who are familiar with food trucks, maybe even Food Truck Friday. Yet, every reader will laugh at the idea that Bean has an idea to win the 'best food' prize with his "Big Bean Candy Mountain", a sprinkle donut. Frank likes the idea of eating healthier (and he's a hot dog!) so creates his own food truck to add to the mix. He's selling bowls of oatmeal! Through all the fun and chaos of the various trucks like sloth sells slow-cooked soup while Owl's truck sells Night Owl Coffee, an accident produces the favorite. Color-filled and cute illustrations by Bob Kolar make this second early reader story about Frank and Bean by Jamie Michalak even more fun.

       Louie and Ralphie Ratso want to have their friends sing and dance in a concert to raise money to fix up the rundown park. They are so excited until Chad teases and says the new costumes with glitter and sequins are "too girly". However, all is not lost when that same Chad's secrets are discovered when a box of his own "fan stash" falls off a shelf by mistake. There's more talk (and learning) about being girly and what is or what is not truly okay. What a great story to read with a group and discuss. 

          McTavish, believe it or not, always seems to save the day. This time, among all the Peachey family, Betty needs him the most. Pa Peachey has found a new job and a new happier outlook. The family needs to move and while that feels okay to others, Betty is the one who will have a new school. She's worried about having no friends, thinking no one will talk to her, etc. Perhaps others who read the book will understand what that means. Yet, they must move. Betty and all the family like their new home which is next to a park, but nerves increase for Betty when that "first day" arrives. Mom and McTavish walk with her for support but what happens next seems like a disaster, until it isn't. Meg Rosoff tells a fun story, one those who've never had a pet may not believe. Dogs do know more than we can imagine, don't they? There are a few illustrations that add to the tone of the story. It's another great one showing off charming and helpful McTavish. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

#Poetry Friday - Seeing Is Believing


  Poetry Friday is with Dave, hosting PF for the first time! You can find him HERE at Leap of Dave. He's written a funny etheree about internet ads and taken us all on a lovely bike hike, "finding castles". Thanks for hosting, Dave.  

   I'm remembering more about our trip to Costa Rica, finding a way to share the ocean beauty at this particular place we landed and also that thing that was not beauty. I've been to ocean shores many times and have sailed on large ships yet rarely (except on those ships) have I seen such powerful, enormous waves. We loved them and were careful to take care of ourselves lest they sweep us away.
    One thing that reminded me of an Oregon coast trip was the incredible amount of driftwood brought onto the beach. Here's one picture. Some days, huge logs arrived on the incoming tide only to disappear with the outgoing sweep. We spent some time imagining what we might create if we had access (at home) to those beautiful wood pieces. 

              However, strewn within the wood was a lot of trash, washed up from who knows where. We found no names. Our discoveries started with a tire, which we filled the middle of day by day. I did not take a picture.

                   Sadly More Than a Drop

               Old tire, riding the waves,
               wandering across a divide
               joined our vacation.
               Between the nightly roaring lullaby
               and the kick at the body while we swam,
               you rode the amusement park ride
               called the sea.

               Your inside ring became our trash can,
               filling up with the plastic that never dies:
               bottle caps, toothbrushes, pieces of broken toys,
               and the ringer of all, a small drawer.
               We carried on the task every day,
               wondering if what washed out again
               before we found it
               wandered on over to that garbage patch
               everyone keeps telling us about?
               And, we wondered if the ground-up pieces
               we couldn't see also traveled in and out, 
               or nestled into the sand, waiting to be dinner
               for the crabs and the sanderlings 
               lively on the beach?
               We can read the scientists' reports: 
               We can read their warnings.
                And back home, 
                             we can stop 
                                       plastic use,
                                                               what that tide brought 
                with the beautiful wood.
                But it feels
                             like only a drop
                                             in the bucket.
                                                     (Oops, in the ocean.)
                      Linda Baie ©

Monday, August 15, 2022

It's Monday - Books Loved in past Weeks!



        I've taken some time away from my blog, and have recently returned from a family trip to Costa Rica, on the beach, having a fabulous time in and out of the waves! Now it's time to look ahead. I actually didn't read very much on the trip. Too much was happening all the time, especially outside by the sea. But through the weeks I haven't posted, I have read, a lot! Here's a small pic of what I want to share. I've shared the more recent ones below with a few exceptions, like Gary Paulsen's last book. In this collage, note Canoe Days, an older picture book by Paulsen, a wonderful 'find' at the used bookstore where I volunteer!

         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! 

           I shared On A Gold-Blooming DayFinding Fall Treasures, a new book by Buffy Silverman last week for Poetry Friday here. It's great!

       It was bittersweet reading Gary Paulsen's final book, perhaps a fitting end, an adventure of a twelve-year-old boy, Leif, who had to flee his ship's camp because everyone had some disease, were dying. He was a foundling, raised by the crew but still a prisoner on board. One kind seaman sent him with a dugout canoe, a blanket bundle, a handaxe, a knife, flint and steel, and a metal point for making a spear. His journey along the north coasts, among islands, shows his survival instincts and skills. Interactions with whales and ravens, eagles and bears, plus observations about nature and life itself are beautifully written as Paulsen allows Leif to tell his story. When you read an author's note from him, you'll find it has a personal connection that feels very real. It's a lovely ending story from this special author.

       I  dearly love grandparent/grandchild stories and also stories by Philip Stead and Matthew Cordell. Here is another to adore! Young Louis wants a dog but his gram says there are too many dogs in the neighborhood already. They write the authorities to check and discover that no record is kept. Well, there they go, taking their own time to find ALL the dogs in the neighborhood. It's the cutest story, with a super surprise at the end for Louis! Don't miss this one!

       Dan Santat's art and stories amaze and satisfy. This time, with underlying grief over the loss of her father, Sophia is struggling to meet a teacher's expectations for a science fair project, is sad that her uncle has little time to see her, and hangs out at Aqualand that her dad and uncle created, but her uncle still has no time. Her world changes drastically when an "aquanaut" breaks into the research lab. Where else but in Santat's books can sea creatures like an octopus and a crab learn to use an old diving suit and manage a daring rescue? There's love here and a message about what's most important in our lives. It's terrific!

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Poetry Friday - "Gold-Blooming" On Its Way


  Poetry Friday is with Margaret Simon, who's hosting HERE at Reflections on the Teche. And, it's her birthday, with rainbows! Thanks for hosting, Margaret. Best wishes for a very Happy Birthday holding many celebrations.

  I've taken some time away from my blog, and have recently returned from a family trip to Costa Rica, on the beach, having a fabulous time in and out of the waves! Now it's time to look ahead. Schools are starting back and the trees are fading. Stores fill up with school supplies and crafty items like straw pumpkins and colorful leafy wreaths. There are shelves stocked with canning jars. It feels too soon to say goodbye to summer yet I am noticing Autumn's invitation.

      Remember On A Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring? Buffy Silverman, an expert at the gerund phrases, is giving us another wonderfully poetic look at a season, this time, it's On A Gold-Blooming Day: Finding Fall Treasures which will be out on September 6th. I was thrilled when Buffy sent an advanced copy, wishing I could be in a classroom of younger students, starting them off with this book's challenge to search all through these coming weeks into September, for those "treasures" of fall that Buffy shares. 
       Buffy, along with other photographers, shows beautiful photos and clever brief poems that celebrate fall in a special "leaf-peeping" way. Pages include "leaf-lunching' by a moose and "hole-digging" by a squirrel. Plants and animals "lift" and "drift",  "rattle" and "skedaddle". The action shown cannot be ignored on any page, inviting searches during the beginning weeks of school, or at home with children, and perhaps with journals for recording each discovery.
          In the backmatter, Buffy takes time to explain the actions that are shown in the book, like "crickets chirp" and "mushrooms pop", and adds a glossary and a list for further reading. 
         It's a don't-miss book for fall, inspirational to see, then do some of one's own searching on those "gold-blooming" days!

          Thanks, Buffy, for the pleasure of reading and sharing your latest creation!