Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Author Study: Linda Sue Park

Are you familiar with the versatile Linda Sue Park? She has written novels for young readers, as well as picture books which range in scope from folktales and Korean traditions, to rhythmic rhyming stories and poetry, to unique concept books that appeal to preschoolers and keep the adult reader interested. She is most well known for A Single Shard which won the Newbery Medal in 2002. Check out her website for a catalog of her books, some fun, and a fabulous "writing" tab with tips for wanna-be writers, like me. :)

Here is a taste:

Xander's Panda Party
illustrated by Matt Phelan

Xander the Panda wants a party. Alas, he is the only panda at the zoo. What is he to do? He has to change his "point of view." The themes of friendship, inclusion, and fun make this a favorite to read again and again. And the ending of this story is just perfect! Watch the book trailer here.

The Third Gift 
illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Opening: "My father collects tears." A beautiful and unexpected Christmas story, poetically describing the traditional collection of myrrh. I especially like the author's explanatory note at the end which gives the story its historical context.

Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo Poems
illustrated by Istvan Banyai

A sijo is a traditional form of Korean poetry, similar to the Japanese haiku. They are short, usually about daily life, and have a humorous twist ending. This book would be a nice complement to a poetry unit.

What Does Bunny See?: A Book of Colors 
illustrated by Maggie Smith

Flower colors jump out at Bunny as she hops around the cottage garden. Each page's bouncy rhyme leaves the color word for the next page, encouraging preschoolers to interact with the text and finish the rhyme. 

Bee-bim Bop!
illustrated by Ho Baek Lee

Readers are introduced to a traditional Korean food in this upbeat rhyming book, narrated by a young girl who is "Hungry hungry hungry for some BEE-BIM BOP!"

Mung-Mung: A Fold-out Book of Animal Sounds
illustrated by Diane Bigda

Animal sounds in 19 languages! Need I say more?

The Firekeeper's Son
illustrated by Julie Downing

This work of historical fiction, set in Korea in the early 1800s, depicts a bonfire signal system that was used to report peace and danger from the provinces to the king's palace. "When the king saw the fire on the last mountain, he knew that all was well in the land." In this tale, Sang-hee, the Firekeeper's son, must take over his father's duties one night. He has a choice: light the fire to declare the day's peace or say that he spilled the coals accidentally. "Sang-hee wished he could see soldiers. Just once." Which will he choose?

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