Friday, February 24, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

For my first post to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Fridays, I thought I’d share one of my very favorite children’s books.  I have so many favorites, but this one holds a special place in my heart.  It is written in a lyrical, poetic voice (of course it is…it’s written by Maya Angelou!); very refreshing for an informational nonfiction book. 

Title: My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken, and Me
Author: Maya Angelou
Photographs : Margaret Courtney-Clarke
Publisher: Clarkson Potter, Inc./Publishers; 1994
Nonfiction for grades 1-3

Topics: Friendship, world cultures, Africa, art

Opening: “Hello Stranger-friend.  I am Thandi, an Ndebele girl in South Africa.  I am eight years old, and my best friend is a chicken.”

Synopsis: Thandi shares the unique beauty of her culture (painted houses and beaded clothes) while relating the universal themes of friendship, family, and fun.  Readers connect to Thandi as she proudly looks inward at her people and outward to the world, full of hope at making a new friend from afar.

Resources: How to pronounce Ndebele - http://www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/ndebele
When I was a third grade teacher, I used this book during our African studies unit.  You could easily create art projects around the painted houses and beadwork shown in the book.  As a writing exercise, students can write a letter to Thandi in a similar style, sharing what is important in their own culture.

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, click here.

15 comments:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful book! I love Maya Angelou and didn't realize she had written a picture book. Thanks so much for sharing! (I've hopefully got your link up now :))

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Laura,
    So nice to meet you.
    I think we are on the same page...no pun intended. :) I've been passionate about picture books for over 60 years...and have always used the messages in them to help the kids in my care...as a kindergarten teacher, daycare provider and mom. Now I read and craft with kindergartens for fun...and write picture books, also for fun. :)
    What a great book...I love Maya Angelou! Great resources and activities as well! Thanks for reviewing this book.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A picture book by Maya Angelou! Wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also didn't know Maya Angelou wrote a picture book. Lovely to discover this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for your positive comments! Another book by the same team (Maya Angelou and photojournalist Margaret Courtney-Clarke) is Kofi and His Magic, told by a boy who lives in Ghana. Maya Angelou has also written a series of multi-cultural books from around the world (Maya's World), but they are hard to find. She's also written/collected a few books of poetry for children. What an amazing writer!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll have to look this up. It's above my kiddo's "pay grade," but I like the nonfiction books and he likes to check them out with me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love Maya Angelou -- will have to check this out. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Welcome to PPBF! This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lauara, am not familiar with this book. I love Maya Angelou, so this is a great offering to our growing PPB list. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have never heard of this book, but it sounds like one I will like! Thank you for telling us about it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Laura! What a great selection for the PPBF list! I love it! Maya Angelou is wonderful. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. sounds like a wonderful, educational book. will have to check it out. didn't realize Maya Angelou did children's books. very cool.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love Maya Angelou!!!!!!! This book looks awesome and I am not familiar with it at all. Never knew she had written it. This looks like a book I would read over and over. Thanks so much for sharing. And welcome to PPBF. It is a pleasure to read your reviews. Sorry I'm late getting over here. I was finishing a short story I wrote about my son Christopher. I am subbing it to an anthology. *waving*

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for sharing this book. It looks delightful.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks for sharing this book with PPBF as it sounds perfectly delightful. I like what you suggested as the resources, too. :)

    ReplyDelete