Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Written by Maya Gottfried
Paintings by Robert Rahway Zakanitch
Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
Miss Grandma Moo, a wise old cow, talks to a young calf and tells the calf that she will show him/her the following: the most wonderful spot in the sun, the sweetest patch of grass, and the softest bed of clover.
J. D. Piglet tells why it’s so great to be able to run around freely:
I can feel the warm sun on my snout…
…the mud is spraying on my belly
Diego, a duck, quacks instructions to little ducklings—tells them to join his parade, explains to them how to flap their feet in the water, and shows them how to march up the bank:
Zakanitch’s realistic illustrations—done in watercolor, pencil, and ink on a blank white background—are extraordinary. They are a perfect complement to Gottfried’s mask poems. Most of the large paintings are of the animals’ faces, which look out to us from the pages. The animals are imbued with personality. Their eyes are expressive. The smaller pencil and ink sketches are more playful and add light touches of humor. The front and back endpapers give us expansive views of Farm Sanctuary and its bucolic setting.
Here is Bonnie, a donkey, giving us her view about life at Farm Sanctuary:
by Bonnie, a donkey
the fields and trees
the wide green hills
all in front of me
my name swept by wind
my ears filled with quiet
why ever stray?
i’d rather be here
watch the land
feel the sun.
Click here to visit the Our Farm Book Web site. http://www.ourfarmbook.com/index.html
Our Farm Book Promo
Visit the Farm Sanctuary Web site at http://farmsanctuary.org/
Click on the following link to see inside Nibble Nibble illustrated by Wendell Minor.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather
Written by Marilyn Singer
Illustrated by Frane Lessac
On the Same Day in March is a fine nonfiction picture book that could be used to introduce a unit on weather in the early elementary grades. It’s also an excellent book for connecting science and geography. Both the author and illustrator take readers to various locales around the world on one day of one particular month of the year to show how people living in different places don’t all experience the same kind of weather at the same time.
Singer takes us on a tour of cities, areas of countries, and continents situated in all the hemispheres of the globe. Readers travel to the Arctic; Alberta, Canada; Paris, France; New York City; the Texas Panhandle; the Nile Valley; a Louisiana bayou; Xian, China; Darjeeling, India; Central Thailand; Dakar, Senegal; Barbados; Northern Kenya, the Amazon Basin in Brazil; Darwin, Australia; Patagonia, Argentina; and Antarctica. Lessac’s endpapers label these locales on a hand-painted map of the world.
Here’s a partial weather report for this “same day in March”:
- There’s a tiny twister in Texas.
- “Fog threads through the temples” in the Nile Valley.
- Hailstones fall on a hillside in Darjeeling.
- In Thailand, it’s hot…hot…hot.
- The rains leave behind a river in Kenya.
- It’s raining, too, in the Amazon Basin.
- While in Patagonia, autumn “shears the clouds like a flock of sheep.”
The text printed on each page of the book is brief—usually just a sentence or two. The illustrations extend the text. They show how animals and people in different habitats experience this particular weather day in March where they reside. Folks in Paris sit outside a café or sell produce in an open market. People swim in the ocean and play cricket at the beach in Barbados. A family in Darwin pulls their boat out of the water and boards up their windows before the willy-willies (cyclones) arrive.
Singer includes A Note from the Author in the back matter of the book.
Click here to read an excerpt from the book. http://www.marilynsinger.net/march.htm
From Open Wide, Look Inside
Teaching Geography with Children’s Literature: On the Same Day in March
Weather: Poems for All Seasons
Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Melanie Hall
This is a Level 3 I Can Read Book. It’s excellent for using in primary grades. The twenty-nine poems are organized in five sections: Sun, Wind and Clouds, Rain and Fog, Snow and Ice, Weather Together. It contains works by some of our finest children’s poets—including David McCord, Lilian Moore, Valerie Worth, J. Patrick Lewis, Barbara Juster Esbensen—as well as poems by Carl Sandburg and Langston Hughes.
Here are some excerpts from the SUN section to give you a flavor of the book:
No-Sweater Sun, the first poem in the collection, captures the excitement children feel when spring has finally arrived.
by Beverly McLoughland
Your arms feel new as growing grass
The first No-Sweater sun,
Your legs feel light as rising air
You have to run—
And turn a thousand cartwheels round
So dizzy with the giddy sun
J. Patrick Lewis personifies the “star” of our solar system in Mister Sun—who “puts his gold slippers on” at dawn. He also switches off the “globe lamplight” and pulls “down the shades of night.”
Isabel Joslin Glaser’s summer sun sports a “lion face” at noon and “shakes out/its orangy mane”—and its searing “tongue scorches leaves.” Valerie Worth’s sun “is a leaping fire” that can form “warm yellow squares/on the floor” where a cat can sun itself.
The SUN section is typical of the rest of the book. It includes short poems that are easy to read. Some poems are straightforward rhythmic, rhyming poems of a lighthearted nature; some poems are free verse and do not rhyme; some poems have lovely imagery.
Click here to browse inside this book. http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780064441919
Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems about Weather
Written by Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated with photographs
Capstone Press, 2008
Laura Salas wrote poems for this collection in a variety of forms: limerick, cinquain, haiku, concrete, and acrostic. The photographs included in the book served as Laura’s inspiration for her poems. For example: Laura was inspired to write a list poem for the picture of a child flying a kite across an expanse of a bright blue sky dotted with puffs of white clouds:
Wind Is An…
And, best of all, a
Seed Thrower, Hat Thrower: Poems about Weather was published by Capstone for the educational market. It contains poems about fog, arid lands, rain, icicles, lightning, wind, a tornado, and clouds. In the back matter of this book, the author includes a glossary—as well as recommendations for other poetry books about weather and the seasons. In addition, there’s a section titled The Language of Poetry in which the author defines poetic terms—such as alliteration, repetition, free verse, and cinquain.
Edited to Add:
Friday, March 19, 2010
Bear Wants More
Written by Karma Wilson
Illustrated by Jane Chapman
Margaret K. McElderry, 2003
Bear Wants More is a terrific picture book to read aloud at the beginning of spring. In this fine follow-up to Bear Snores On, we find Bear awaking and feeling famished when springtime arrives. Bear leaves his den and looks for food.
He waddles around
and roots all around.
He digs and he paws
fresh shoots from the ground.
He nibbles on his lawn
till the last blade is gone.
So bear keeps looking for more...food.
Mouse scampers by and suggests Bear accompany him to Strawberry Vale—where Bear eats and eats and eats…and STILL wants more!
Then Hare comes along and all three animals scoot on over to a clover patch—where Bear nibbles and crunches on his lunch…but he STILL wants more!
Next, Badger shuffles by and takes the animals to an “ol’ fishin’ hole”—where Bear catches fish…and, yes, he STILL wants more!
Meanwhile…Gopher, Mole, Raven, and Wren are back at Bear’s den—decorating it and baking honey cakes for a springtime party for their big friend. Bear smells the scent of something delicious blowing in the breeze. He follows his nose back to his lair—but he’s eaten so much that he can’t fit through his front door. He gets stuck!!!
Badger pries Bear loose with a stick. The animals have their party for Bear outside his lair. Bear’s not finished eating yet. He STILL wants more!
Bear opens presents;
he gobbles honey cakes.
He eats SO much
that his big tummy aches.
He snuggles in the grass
And he snores big snores.
He is full, full, full…
Look inside this book: http://www.amazon.com/Bear-Wants-More-Karma-Wilson/dp/068984509X#reader_068984509X
Video Clip: http://video.scholastic.com/services/player/bcpid1842760475?bctid=1688281213
Written by Lynn Plourde
Illustrated by John Schoenherr
Down East Books, 2006
Spring is a muddy season here in the Northeast. Maine author Lynne Plourde wrote this winner of a read-aloud book that was a favorite with my elementary students. Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud is a wonderful rhyming picture book with a refrain that invites participation by young children.
The Story: A family—Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Grandma—are riding along in their Model T Ford after a pouring rain. Of course, the dirt road they’re driving on is now mostly mud. But mud isn’t their only problem—it’s the animals in the mud in the middle of the rud that really impede their travel.
Here’s how the book begins:
It had rained. It had poured.
Now a Model T Ford
was stopped in the rud
by some pigs in the mud.
“Pigs in the mud!”
Oh no. Won’t do
Gotta shoo. But Who?
“I’ll shoo. That’s who,”
And he shooed.
And he squealed.
And he rutted.
And he reeled.
But the pigs didn’t budge.
Not a tiny little smudge.
“TIME FOR SUP!”
And, man, do the pigs, hens, sheep, and bulls take off! No more animals in the mud in the middle of the rud thanks to Grandma.
With her dress all rumpled,
and her bonnet all crumpled,
and muddy, head to toe…
“Time to go!”
Teacher Activities (from Reading Rainbow): http://webapps.monroe.edu/technologyservices/multimedia/guides/3312.pdf
Waddle, Waddle, Quack, Quack, Quack
Written by Barbara Anne Skalak
Illustrated by Sylvia Long
Chronicle Books, 2005
This is another great read-aloud for preschoolers and kindergartners. It would also be a good bedtime book. It’s a story about newly hatched ducklings. Mama takes her ducklings to the lake for a swim. She shows them how to put their heads down under the water for tasty pondweeds. After Mama and her children have finished eating, one of the ducklings drifts off in the reeds. He looks around—but can’t see Mama! He hears thunder crashing. Storm’s coming. The lake is getting rough. The little duckling searches for his mother. He crosses the meadow and goes looking in the grass, near the daisies, up the hill, in a log—but no Mama!
The clouds begin to disappear. The sun comes out again. The little lost duckling heads back to the lake.
Through the shallows to the deep.
Calling mama, peep, peep, peep.
“I’m here!” cries Mama. Quack! Quack! Quack!
“And here you are! You made it back!”
Safe inside their cozy nest,
tired ducklings—time to rest.
Fluffy puffs of gold and brown,
preening, dozing, nestled down.
A few last whispers, peep, peep, peep,
as drowsy ducklings drift to sleep.
Moon climbs in her bed of black.
“Sweet dreams,” says mama. Quack, quack, quack.
Look inside this book: http://www.amazon.com/Waddle-Quack/dp/0811843424/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268315746&sr=1-1#reader_0811843424
The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Some Novel Ideas.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Top Ten Graphic Novels for Youth: 2010
Read-alikes: New Narnias
Story behind the Story: Mo Willems’ City Dog, Country Frog.
From School Library Journal
Hooray for Spring! Stories to Read Aloud
Get Your Students to Vote for their Favorite Author, Illustrator
‘Charles and Emma’ Wins SLJ’s Battle of the Books, Round 1, Match 1
LA Unified School District to Eliminate All Certified Librarians
What Are They Reading for Fun?
Baseball Books Are a Hit
Cool New Books
Hippity, Hoppity Easter's on Its Way!
Show Us Your Green Thumbs!
From Reading Rockets
A Poetic Spring
The Exquisite Prompt: A Writing Challenge for K-12 Students (The March prompts entry deadline is March 31, 2010)
From Booklights (PBS Parents)
Share a Story - Shape a Future 2010: A Blog Tour for Literacy posted by Jen Robinson
Friday, March 12, 2010
Two weeks ago, I posted March, an original poem from an unpublished collection of acrostics about spring. Today, I have the second poem in the collection for you. It’s about a mother bear sensing the arrival of a warmer season—and thinking about taking her cubs out into a world they’ve never seen.
How long have
I slept? How long has it
Been since I’ve
Eaten? I hear the river running again. I must
Rouse my cubs from their slumber
Now…open their eyes to the wonders of spring,
Awaken them to a new life. It is
Time to take my children out
Into the sunlight,
Out into a brighter world they’ve
At Blue Rose Girls I have a Poem titled Cold Spring by Lawrence Raab.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Bustling Biomes: Desserts and Grasslands by Kathy Piehl
ALSCA & YALSA Book Picks 2010
From The Horn Book (March/April 2010)
An Interview with Katherine Paterson by Roger Sutton
Sharing the Love: A salute to the incoming Ambassador--Editorial by Martha V. Parravano
From A Year of Reading
2010 NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts—posted by Mary Lee Hahn
From the National Science Teachers Association
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2010 (Books published in 2009)
From Reading Tub
Booklists by Theme
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Here's a poem I wrote about Grace Lin's lovely wedding that I attended last Sunday:
Origami cranes wearing party prints
watch over the day.
On tables, pink rosebuds
bloom in vases
filled with glitter.
Delicate paper cuttings
trim the room with lace.
Gold candles flicker on the mantle.
A painted teapot sits on a table
ready to pour sweet tradition
Paper lanterns hang from branches,
as the guitarist strums soft chords
and two women sing a song of love.
Enchanted guests await
the prince and princess
who are to marry today
and begin their journey
to happily ever after.
- A Wonderful Wedding Day!!!!! (Wild Rose Reader)
- entropy (Blue Rose Girls)
- Wedding pics and links (Blue Rose Girls)
- my wedding things (on thursdays) (Grace Notes)
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Selected by Kathleen T. Horning, Merri V. Lindgren and Megan Schliesman with Tessa Michaelson
Note from the CCBC: CCBC Choices is the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center. The complete CCBC Choices 2010 publication featuring books published in 2009 will include annotations and recommended ages for all of the books included, as well as an author/title/subject index, and a commentary on the publishing year. CCBC Choices 2010 will be available at the CCBC after March 6, 2010.
Click here to see the extensive list of 2010 CCBC Choices.
I was happy to see that my friend Grace Lin's book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Jarrett Krosoczka's "Lunch Lady" books made the list!
Some of the 2010 CCBC Choices:
Fiction for Children
- Lin, Grace. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Little, Brown, 2009.
- Krosoczka, Jarrett J. Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
- Krosoczka, Jarrett J. Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
- Krosoczka, Jarrett J. Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
- Sidman, Joyce. Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors. Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. Houghton Mifflin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
- Argueta, Jorge. Sopa de frijoles: un poema para cocinar = Bean Soup: A Cooking Poem. Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng. Groundwood Books/Libros Tigrillo/House of Anansi Press, 2009.
- Florian, Douglas. Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings. Atheneum, 2009.
- Harley, Avis. African Acrostics: A Word in Edgewise. Photographs by Deborah Noyes. Candlewick Press, 2009.
- Hopkins, Lee Bennett, selector. Sky Magic. Illustrated by Mariusz Stawarski. Dutton, 2009.
- Hughes, Langston. My People. Photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr. Ginee Seo Books/Atheneum, 2009.
- Hughes, Langston. The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Jump at the Sun Books / Disney, 2009.
- Janeczko, Paul B., selector. A Foot in the Mouth: Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout. Illustrated by Chris Raschka. Candlewick Press, 2009.
- Rosen, Michael J. The Cuckoo’s Haiku and Other Birding Poems. Illustrated by Stan Fellows. Candlewick Press, 2009.
- Ruddell, Deborah. A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems. Illustrated by Joan Rankin. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009.
- Shange, Ntozake. We Troubled the Waters. Illustrated by Rod Brown. Amistad/Collins/HarperCollins, 2009.
- Smith, Hope Anita. Mother Poems. Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, 2009.
- Soto, Gary. Partly Cloudy: Poems of Love and Longing. Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
Monday, March 1, 2010
The following pictures were taken "upstairs" at The Lyceum Restaurant in historic Salem, Massachusetts.
Which one is a Blue Rose Girl?
Grace's handmade paper cuttings and delicious desserts
The groom made the cupcake display.
Grace painted the bride and groom at the top of the display.
Some of the lovely and delicious homemade cookies
Alvina says a few words.
Grace prepared a special cupcake for each person who came to the wedding.
Painting by Author/Illustrator David Costello
In 2009, the talented and generous author/illustrator Grace Lin donated 11 original paintings to the Foundation for Children's Books to be auctioned on eBay as a benefit for our programs in under-served schools.
In this new year, we are fortunate enough to have 12 different illustrators contributing to our "Small Graces" auction. Each month a small, unpublished, original painting will be auctioned on eBay with 100% of the proceeds to support the FCB's author/illustrator visits and residencies in urban schools. Each painting will illustrate a bit of wisdom, a proverb, or a "small Grace."
This month's painting (above), a sweet watercolor by author/illustrator David Costello, is on auction now Monday 3/1 through Friday 3/5.
Click here for the eBay link and to bid!
For those who find original art from children's books beyond their budget, this is a great way to buy affordable art! Please spread the word and bid!
David Hyde Costello is the author and illustrator of Here They Come, a lively picture book about goblins on Halloween night. His second book, I Can Help, hits book stores this month. Visit him online here.
Don't forget: You can purchase high-quality, hand-signed prints of three of Grace Lin's 2009 paintings online at the Child at Heart Gallery. The cost is $25, they make wonderful gifts, and half of the proceeds will support the Foundation for Children's Books.