Friday, November 30, 2012

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by ThePoem Farm.

My selection is "Big talk: poems for four voices" by Paul Fleischman with illustrations by Beppe Giacobbe.

Fleischman builds on the success of Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices (a Newbery Medal winner) with a collection of poems that will challenge, inspire and delight  both readers and audience. Meticulous attention to detail in "The Quiet Evenings Here" offers readers a contrast between the apparent quiet of an evening at home with the subtle energy beneath  "Clock tick-tockin' / Sister hummin' / Grandpa strummin' / Raindrops rappin' / Toes a-tappin' / Roof-leak droppin',"  and so on.   "Seventh-Grade Soap Opera" raises the energy index as voices ring with lively gossip that ends in a well-crafted chaos.  Quiet thoughtfulness and longing imbue Ghost's Grace with a gentle melancholy as spirits remember the joys of dining with family.
Giacobbe highlights the action and balances the text with well-drawn humor  mirroring the poems with tints ranging from quiet sepias to lively colors.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

For Nonfiction Monday - - "Ben Franklin : his wit and wisdom fromA-Z" written by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by John O'Brien.

Schroeder's book is a rich collection of Franklin miscellany neatly arranged as an entertaining alphabet book that touches on the personal, professional, and political life of one of America's most talented men.  "A" covers almanac (Franklin's Poor Richards Almanack), his apprenticeship in a print shop, describes the glass armonica (Franklin's musical invention) and includes a mention of Abiah (Franklin's mother).  The text is enriched by the inclusion of quotes and sayings related to the various topics under discussion.

O'Brien has illustrated a number of biographies and he brings his cartooning background to this work.  The pictures capture the text with warmth and humor.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Greetings

Thanksgiving . . .

It's not just about the beauty of the season . . .

Or the delicious food in abundance . . .

It's about the family and friends who share these blessings with us.

So, from The Gingerbread Cowboy and me -- to all of you . . .


Monday, November 12, 2012

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today at The Flatt Perspective.

In honor of the day, my selection is "Veterans Day" written by Marlene Targ Brill with illustrations by Qi Z. Wang.

Brill explains who Veterans are, why they are honored,  and provides the history of  Veteran's Day for primary students in this straight forward  introduction to this holiday.  He also offers suggestion for "What can you do on Veteran's Day" and includes a Timeline and Websites.
The book is available in both English and Spanish versions.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today Think Kid, Think!

For Poetry Friday --  "Silver seeds: a book of nature poems" written by Paul Paolilli and Dan Brewer with paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.

 SILVER SEEDS appears deceptively simple, but a closer read reveals a thoughtful collection of acrostic poems that invite the reader to contemplate a variety of nature's most fundamental pleasures and perhaps see them in a new way.  The works are arranged in a chronology that takes readers from

Down goes the moon

And up comes the sun,

Welcoming the

New day.

to bedtime.

The illustrations are lovely and soft-edged seeming to encourage a quiet communion with the subject at hand.

 I've found this book to be an enjoyable introduction to acrostic poems for my students.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Booktalking.

My selection is "Balloons over Broadway: the true story of the puppeteer of Macy's Parade" written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.


When November arrives my thoughts always turn to one of my favorite holidays -- Thanksgiving -- and all the memories and experiences associated with this special time of year.  Of course, that must include the Macy's Day Parade.

Sweet shares the story of Tony Sarg, the gifted marionette creator responsible for the remarkable helium filled balloons that are a trademark of this Thanksgiving tradition.  She skillfully paints a portrait of the man and the evolution of his giant balloon puppets while giving readers an entertaining peek into this historic American event.



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