Monday, March 31, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

For Nonfiction Monday  --  "The Crossing: How George Washington Saved theAmerican Revolution" by Jim Murphy.

Murphy's narrative reads like a powerful suspense story as he follows Washington from his 1775 appointment to command the army through the Battle of Princeton in 1777. "He had never commanded more than 5,000 men, did not know how to position artillery, or maneuver cavalry and had no engineering skills in building defensive positions." Never-the-less, John Adams spoke in favor of Washington and the Continental Congress voted unanimously in Washington's favor.

Washington is portrayed not as a larger-than-than-life hero, but rather as a man beset with self-doubt whose early military disasters led colonists to lose confidence and almost resulted in his being replaced. Faced with the challenge of turning farmers and shop-keepers into a disciplined fighting force, Washington persevered, learned from his mistakes, became such a skilled strategist that he was nicknamed the "Old Fox" and successfully defeated the most powerful military in the world.

Murphy's narrative utilizes quotes and is enriched with maps and reproductions of art. He makes a point of offering a thoughtful discussion of Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware,  pointing out for example that the painting was intended as a symbolic rather than a factual depiction. A timeline, websites, and bibliography complete the book.
You'll find other Nonfiction Monday posts HERE.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by A Year of Reading.

For Poetry Friday -- "Animal Snackers"  by Betsy Lewin.
Lewin's revised book invites young readers to discover the menu preferences of twelve animals ranging from gorilla and platypus to ostrich and koala. Each four-line verse offers a whimsical description of eating habits that is both humorous and accurate. The simplicity of language makes the poetry appealing for young readers.  A page of Animal Facts provides an interesting detail and the locality of each animal. This new version of an old favorite is filled with delightful watercolors and is worth a look.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

For Nonfiction Monday  --  "Migrating With The Humpback Whale" by Thessaly Catt.

K-3 readers will discover the watery world of the Humpback whale in Catt's attractive, photo-illustrated book that provides details about the Humpbacks life. Ten chapters include Flippers and Flukes, Finding Food and Staying Warm, Splashing and Singing, and Mothers and Calves. Maps detail the migratory journey and keywords, bolded in the text, are defined in the glossary. An Index and Websites complete the book.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Julie at The Drift Record.
For Poetry Friday -- "A Curious Collection of Cats: concrete poems" by Betsy Franco with illustrations by Michael Wertz.

Concrete poems in a variety of forms from haiku to free verse celebrate the unique world of cats: righting themselves in a fall, confronting pesky squirrels, escaping dogs, etc.  Feline manners and moods are mirrored by the shaped words and imbedded in the bold illustrations.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Writers Wednesday

What's your excuse?

We all have those reasons why we haven't quite gotten around to writing today.

Some are important -- caring for family, children, parents, the unexpected emergency, prepping that tax information for the accountant, etc.

Other's not so much.

We all know that successful writing is about skill, talent, dedication and discipline.

If you've ever struggled with avoiding or letting go of a day's many distractions, you will relate to this post -- DISTRACTIONS VS. DISCIPLINE today at The Blood-Red Pencil.

Check it out!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Writers Wednesday

This is a day late, but still a fun share.  We hear and read a lot of advice about learning to edit our work to eliminate excessive description, dialog, etc.


Here are some successes that I found on line: 20 horror stories told in two sentences.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

Paulsen explains that he wrote this book in response to the questions from fans of his Newbery Honor book "Hatchet" and the other books that follow the Brian character. Paulsen provides readers with details from his own life and explains how they found their way into the stories and enriched the character of Brian.
A great resource for literature studies of his fiction books and fun reading for fans.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

For Nonfiction Monday  --  "The Elements by Dan Green.

Green's book is a title in Scholastic's Discover More series which provides readers with material at varied reading levels and includes a downloadable book for additional reading.

Green targets middle school expert readers with his well organized text.  He opens with How to Discover More which offers the audience a visual guide to the various components such as Element Info, Fact Boxes, Fantastic Facts, etc. as well as information on the Digital Book Companion.
A side bar labeled More Here provides information about Suggested Reading, Places to Visit, Experiments, a Mini Glossary and more. Each page is dense with text, photographs and illustrations which make them informative and visually interesting and invite readers to explore and discover.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer