Monday, September 30, 2013

Mystery Line Monday


Mystery Line Monday
#MysteryLMon

The Game: Every Monday, I'll tweet a quote from a children's book @laura_renauld. (Any children's lit genre is fair game.)

Your missionGuess the Book or Author of origin on Twitter. Click my blog link for the answer! 



Mystery LinePa turned on his big flashlight and caught the owl just as it was landing on a branch.
Clue: Classic PB, Caldecott Medal

ANSWEROwl Moon by Jane Yolen; Illustrated by John Schoenherr


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

ONE by Kathryn Otoshi

I love picture books. I really do. Even so, I read many, like many, but don't FALL IN LOVE with many. On a whim, I bought Kathryn Otoshi's One. I liked the description. It sounded like a clever concept book. It is. And so much more.


One personifies colors. Blue is quiet, Orange is outgoing, and Red is a hot head. But this is not a simple concept book. Layered on the colors and the personality traits is the bigger theme of bullying. And then, on top of that, she adds counting. One shows up. "He was funny. He made the colors laugh."

Through Otoshi's humor and wit, the simple concepts of colors and counting are transformed into a tightly crafted, astonishingly accessible book about bullying and assertiveness.

To say this book is clever doesn't do it justice. Otoshi plays on the various meanings of "blue" and "count" to develop her story. In the end, the bully is transformed because "Everyone counts!" The final page is the clincher: "Sometimes it just takes One." What an incredible lesson, for children and adults. I know I need that affirmation.

Powerful and beautiful. This ONE is now on my shelf!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mystery Line Monday


Mystery Line Monday
#MysteryLMon

The Game: Every Monday, I'll tweet a quote from a children's book @laura_renauld. (Any children's lit genre is fair game.)

Your missionGuess the Book or Author of origin on Twitter. Click my blog link for the answer! 



Mystery Line: I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and…
Clue: Classic PB

ANSWERAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst


Friday, September 20, 2013

PPBF: The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind


TitleThe Boy Who Harnessed The Wind
Author/Illustrator: William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer/ Elizabeth Zunon
Publisher/Date: Dial Books for Young Readers/2012
Genre/Audience: Nonfiction/Ages 6-8
Themes: Africa, invention/engineering, perseverance

Opening: "In a small village in Malawi, where people had no money for lights, nightfall came quickly and hurried poor farmers to bed. But for William, the darkness was best for dreaming."

Synopsis: (from amazon.com)

When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone's crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library... and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind. 

Lyrically told and gloriously illustrated, this story will inspire many as it shows how - even in the worst of times - a great idea and a lot of hard work can still rock the world.

Why I Love This Book

This book reveals the strength of the human spirit to make positive change in our world. With curiosity, personal drive, and a dream to help his village, William Kamkwamba overcame the obstacles of famine, poverty, and the inaccessibility of formal education. This inspirational story speaks volumes to kids and adults, alike, as we all seek to realize our dreams and, as Mahatma Gandhi said, "be the change (we) wish to see in the world."

This picture book is a companion to the 2009 bestseller The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, written for adults by the same team.

Resources:
Do you live in Northern Virginia? The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind is this fall's Loudoun County Public Library 1book 1 community selection and William Kamkwamba will be coming to speak in October!

William Kamkwamba's 2009 TED talk "How I Harnessed the Wind"

10 Inventions That Changed the World

Make a Pinwheel template

Craving more Perfect Picture Books? Author Susanna Leonard Hill compiles weekly book reviews from bloggers at www.susannahill.blogspot.com. Visit Fridays or click the Perfect Picture Books tab at her website for a subject listing.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Author/Illustrator Spotlight: Peggy Rathmann

Getting to know Peggy Rathmann's books has been a complete accident. It was a word-of-mouth recommendation that led us to Good Night, Gorilla. That was about a year ago. Two weeks ago, at the library, the boys and I happened to see 10 Minutes Till Bedtime on the shelf. This QUICKLY became a favorite in our house, leading me to look up her other books. I then ordered Officer Buckle and Gloria, sight unseen, because I was hooked. Check these out for yourself!

Good Night, Gorilla - The premise is simple: a zookeeper says good night to the animals in his charge. But the illustrations tell a different story. This book will appeal to any child who has ever left his bed for that of his parents. And it thrills a child's silly side to see zoo animals in that role! Rathmann's illustrations are never as straightforward as they seem. Don't forget to look in the background for some fun details!

10 Minutes Till Bedtime - Rathmann's nearly wordless picture book is the familiar story of a bedtime routine. Only it has the not so familiar element of hamsters joining in the evening rituals! Her illustrations are intensely detailed. The boys and I sit, pouring over the pages, noticing things we haven't seen in the previous 50 reads. 10 Minutes Till Bedtime is highly entertaining in this regard. The hamsters wear numbered shirts and each has an obvious personality. "2" befriends the boy, "7" is a photo bug, and "9" likes high places. Ironically, only the baby of the family, "10", speaks. Other visual elements drive the story and tickle the reader, such as the boy reading the book we are reading! If you get the hard cover version, you are in for a treat, as the endpapers are the photos taken by "7". This book is a fast favorite. (Can you find Gorilla, Officer Buckle, and Gloria among the pages?)

Officer Buckle and Gloria - The wordiest of the three, Rathmann's storyline still depends on the silent story going on in the illustrations. Her use of clever names add to the humor of this sweet and silly story of teamwork and friendship. Ultimately, the "biggest accident ever" leads to the revelation of 'Safety Tip #101: "Always stick with your buddy!"' Once again, the endpapers are a treat.

My next library request? This!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mystery Line Monday


Mystery Line Monday
#MysteryLMon

The Game: Every Monday, I'll tweet a quote from a children's book @laura_renauld. (Any children's lit genre is fair game.)

Your missionGuess the Book or Author of origin on Twitter. Click my blog link for the answer! 



Mystery Line: It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had not had so much water in it.
Clue: Author B.P. 

ANSWERThe Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter