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Tag Archives | Anita Silvey

When We Reach Them

Let Your Voice Be HeardWe’re out of school today in obser­vance of Oaks Day here in our area. This morn­ing, Ani­ta Sil­vey, chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture expert and resource, remind­ed us on Face­book that Pete Seeger cel­e­brates a birth­day today. 100 years. I might not have known that with­out her post. How many of us would? How many of us would have known that Ani­ta Sil­vey has writ­ten one of the best non­fic­tion looks at Seeger’s life and work?

Adam did.

And, as you will see, as luck might have it, I had Adam’s project to share with you out in the van. Here is that project. As you will see in the pho­tos below, Adam’s instal­la­tion is built like a stage that dis­plays a bro­ken-down ban­jo Adam found at the Ped­dler’s Mall right before the project.

Adam's stage display for Pete Seeger's life

Stage dis­play of Pete Seeger’s life and music

Adam had no aware­ness of Seeger or his music or his influ­ence on many of the artists Adam did know. When Adam was stuck in his sub­ject choice, we had just fin­ished watch­ing clips of Bruce Spring­steen’s Broad­way show to inspire some writ­ing in Room 407. I thought that Pete Seeger would be a great sub­ject to tie into the idea of the theme of an Amer­i­can Creed and how music can be the lan­guage we use to express our per­son­al creed as Americans.

This is a moment that we might stop and remind our­selves that our stu­dents do not read 100% of the books and they do not write 100% of the pieces they might if we don’t know about them, shelve and share them, and work these with stu­dents while they are in our build­ings. I had Sil­vey’s book in the room as well as oth­er resources you see in Adam’s Anno­tat­ed Bib­li­og­ra­phy. I had Seeger CDs at the ready or I would not have made a rec­om­men­da­tion to him to pur­sue the project.

Watch as Adam lists his Table of Con­tents right after the orig­i­nal tracks on this album set (and that his project is tucked inside of a vin­tage boxed record set). His review of Sil­vey’s book (post­ed to Ama­zon) is also includ­ed with­in the project. A lit­tle book­let is tucked inside of the project that serves like “Lin­er Notes” for the project.

Cover of the project

Cov­er of the project, a riff on the ban­jo Pete Seeger played through­out his life, which bore the inscrip­tion, “This machine sur­rounds hate and forces it to surrender.”

Boxed set

Adam lists his Table of Con­tents right after the orig­i­nal tracks on this album set.

Detail of project enclosure

Table of Contents

I sim­ply love the earnest­ness of this project as it is pre­sent­ed. Adam nar­rates the “turns” in the project as well as how it all comes togeth­er in the end. Adam has (and he will not mind or push back against this) been a lit­tle late on some of the pieces along the way. All I want­ed for him this spring is that a project could come in that reflect­ed his love for music. All I want­ed for Adam was to take a deep­er look at the roots of the music he lis­tens to today. That’s what I want­ed. And Adam deliv­ers here.

project statement

Adam nar­rates the “turns” in the project as well as how it all comes togeth­er in the end.

Introduction to the Project

Book Review

Adam’s book review of Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, writ­ten by Ani­ta Silvey

annotated bibliography

Anno­tat­ed bib­li­og­ra­phy for the project

As a side note, Adam’s project caught the eye of senior, Calvin, and he want­ed to know more about the ban­jo Adam had found (Calvin is a pick­er). This led to an IRP (study hall) con­ver­sa­tion between two stu­dents who might not oth­er­wise had an oppor­tu­ni­ty to share an inter­est in the instru­ment and the music.

It is a joy to share Adam’s project with you today on Seeger’s birthday.

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Word Search: Let Your Voice Be Heard

Let Your Voice Be HeardPete Seeger was a mas­ter musi­cian, a long-time pro­po­nent of peo­ple and racial equal­i­ty and fair wages and work­ers’ rights and ecol­o­gy and con­ser­va­tion. He cared about the world you and I live in and want­ed it to be a bet­ter world for every­one. We’re hon­or­ing Ani­ta Sil­vey’s biog­ra­phy this month, Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger. It’s a book that will inspire you to do more to help the world … and to sing. If you love puz­zles and games, we hope you have a good time solv­ing this Word Search. 

Sim­ply use your mouse or touch pad to draw a line over your found words and the pro­gram will mark them off for you. Words can be found for­wards, back­wards, hor­i­zon­tal­ly, ver­ti­cal­ly, and diag­o­nal­ly. As you find a word, it will be high­light­ed on the board and it will dis­ap­pear from the word list.

Have fun!

Hid­den Words

Puz­zle by mypuzzle.org
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Anita Silvey

Let Your Voice Be HeardWe are so pleased to have author and edu­ca­tor Ani­ta Sil­vey talk with us about her book Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, our Book­storm this month.

Do you remem­ber when you were first aware of Pete Seeger as a child or teenager?

In my sopho­more year in col­lege, I came down with mono and had to be sequestered from oth­er stu­dents. So I taught myself gui­tar as a way to pass the long con­va­les­cent hours. That was the semes­ter I fell in love with Pete Seeger.

What made you want to write a book about Pete Seeger?

I had inter­viewed Pete for Every­thing I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book. I was talk­ing to Dinah Steven­son of Clar­i­on about that inter­view, and she men­tioned that she had tried, unsuc­cess­ful­ly, to get one of her writ­ers inter­est­ed in a book on the Weavers. I myself didn’t see the Weavers as the sub­ject of a book but men­tioned that a biog­ra­phy of Pete, with a chap­ter on the Weavers, would be an excit­ing project. That con­ver­sa­tion began an eight-year pub­lish­ing process.

You begin the book with the Peek­skill con­cert which turned out to be life-threat­en­ing. Why did you choose to begin there?

Pete always talked about the Peek­skill con­cert and the ride home as among the most fright­en­ing moments of his life. That inci­dent show­cas­es one of the themes of the book. No mat­ter what hap­pened to him, Pete Seeger did not allow any­thing to keep him from singing.

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger, 2011, Cre­ative Commons

Were there any “truths” you thought were true but your research proved were otherwise?

There were so many things I didn’t know: for 10 years he was harassed dur­ing the McCarthy era; he had dif­fi­cul­ties appear­ing on tele­vi­sion, even after he was cleared. The extent of his activ­i­ties — for unions, civ­il rights, peace, the envi­ron­ment — amazed me. I could have writ­ten 10,000 words about any year in Pete’s life.

Did you find a lot of fac­tu­al mate­r­i­al that you had to check in sev­er­al sources before you includ­ed it in the book?

You have just described the process of writ­ing nar­ra­tive non­fic­tion — lots of sources, both pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary, lots of bal­anc­ing opin­ions. Basi­cal­ly I had to do that for every sen­tence that I wrote.

How do you plan an inter­view with the sub­ject of a biography?

With Pete it was easy. I would have a cou­ple of ques­tions that I need­ed clar­i­fy­ing. He would do all the rest. Two hours lat­er I’d be off the phone with infor­ma­tion I didn’t even know I needed.

When you inter­viewed Pete Seeger, what sur­prised you the most in his responses?

His gen­eros­i­ty of time. And he sang to me.

Pete Seeger's banjo

Pete Seeger’s ban­jo, Cre­ative Commons

What proved to be the hard­est infor­ma­tion for you to find about Pete Seeger?

Toshi Seeger and Pete clear­ly tried to keep fam­i­ly infor­ma­tion out of the press. In the end I hon­ored that desire and kept details about the fam­i­ly to a minimum.

In your After­word, you write, “Biog­ra­phers have a respon­si­bil­i­ty to exam­ine the facts, remain as unbi­ased as pos­si­ble, and tell the truth about their sub­jects.” You fol­low this up by shar­ing that “When I read the files that the FBI had gath­ered about Pete Seeger, and I stud­ied the com­plete tes­ti­mo­ny of Pete Seeger’s appear­ance before the House Un-Amer­i­can Activ­i­ties Com­mit­tee, I became angry and dis­turbed.” In con­clu­sion, you stat­ed, “I offer up his sto­ry in the hope that as a nation we nev­er again turn on our own cit­i­zens and do them the same kind of injustice.”

After writ­ing this book, do you feel that tak­ing a stance in a non­fic­tion book is accept­able for an author?

I think writ­ers for chil­dren need to admit to a bias if they have one. I didn’t make this type of state­ment in Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall. For that book, I remained much more impar­tial through­out the process. Alert­ing chil­dren to the bias of a writer helps them inter­pret non­fic­tion and can send them to oth­er sources. Some­times when asked by an adult friend about some­thing, I remind them that I am not impar­tial on this top­ic. I believe chil­dren deserve the same respect.

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Bookstorm™: Let Your Voice Be Heard

Bookmap Let Your Voice Be Heard

Let Your Voice Be HeardWhether you include social jus­tice, com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice, activism, or social action in your cur­ricu­lum or at your library, this is the ide­al book for you. A biog­ra­phy of Pete Seeger, recip­i­ent of our Nation­al Medal for the Arts, and cham­pi­on of the peo­ple for his 94 years, our Book­storm this month, Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, cel­e­brates his life while it inspires each read­er to car­ry on his work. At once infor­ma­tive and enter­tain­ing, Ani­ta Sil­vey has writ­ten a book that looks at Seeger’s child­hood, his evo­lu­tion from singer to world­wide change leader to deeply admired man. Emi­nent­ly read­able, this would be a good book to share with stu­dents as  you lead into deep­er dis­cus­sions about involve­ment and ser­vice in your own community.

The book is writ­ten at a lev­el for 4th to 6th grade read­ers, so you can use this with these stu­dents, but we also encour­age you to use the book in mid­dle school, high school, and with adult groups. It’s an excel­lent choice for a book club discussion.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. You’ll find books, arti­cles, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. This month, we’re focus­ing on books about the ways in which Pete Seeger influ­enced our world. 

Downloadables

 

 

You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Ani­ta Sil­vey on her web­site.

BOOKSTORM TOPICS

About Pete Seeger. To sup­ple­ment the infor­ma­tion Ani­ta Sil­vey has includ­ed in her biog­ra­phy, we’ve sug­gest­ed a few oth­er books that offer anoth­er perspective.

Writ­ten by Pete Seeger. He was remark­ably pro­lif­ic in writ­ing books, or intro­duc­tions, or col­lab­o­rat­ing on quite a few books. You’ll cer­tain­ly rec­og­nize Abiy­oyo but there are more books for study, enjoy­ment, and for singing!

Pete Seeger’s Music. He’s so well-known for his music and he record­ed a great num­ber of folk songs for chil­dren and all ages. We’ve point­ed you in the direc­tion of some of the best that you can share in your class­room or library. 

Civ­il Rights. Well-known for his efforts on behalf of the Civ­il Rights Move­ment, for over  70 years, we offer rec­om­men­da­tions so you can gath­er a shelf full of paired books includ­ing fic­tion, true sto­ries, and poetry.

Labor Move­ment. Sep­tem­ber is the month when we hon­or the hard work of those who have fought for work­ers’ rights, out­law­ing child labor, ensur­ing health and vaca­tion and sick leave ben­e­fits. Pete Seeger was a tire­less pro­po­nent of this work. You’ll find a num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions to sup­port this aspect of his biog­ra­phy, cer­tain­ly engen­der­ing dis­cus­sion. We’ve includ­ed rec­om­men­da­tions for songs to accom­pa­ny this study.

Folk Music, Col­lect­ing, Play­ing, Singing. Do you know the work of Alan and John Lomax, Woody Guthrie, Charles and Ruth Seeger, Smith­son­ian Folk­ways, and oth­er musi­col­o­gists? This is a fas­ci­nat­ing aspect of Pete Seeger’s life that can lead to dis­cus­sions of pre­serv­ing cul­ture, the intrin­sic place of music with­in a cul­ture … and more singing! Sug­ges­tions are made for fur­ther study of many indi­vid­u­als impor­tant to the preser­va­tion of folk music.

Pol­i­tics: Under Sus­pi­cion and Black­list­ed (Cen­sor­ship). Dur­ing those times of the year when your class­room or library is focus­ing on cen­sor­ship, Ani­ta Sil­vey focus­es on the House Un-Amer­i­can Activ­i­ties Com­mit­tee of the 1950s, Com­mu­nism, and black­list­ing. All of these can be com­pared to the polit­i­cal cli­mate in con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­ca. We have includ­ed a vari­ety of fic­tion and non­fic­tion recommendations.

Protest­ing War (Viet­nam). The protests of the 1960s and 1970s in Amer­i­ca left an indeli­ble change on the coun­try that a num­ber of anthro­pol­o­gists argue con­tin­ues to affect Amer­i­ca today. Pete Seeger was active in this protest move­ment. Books on the war, its after­math, and songs of protest are a part of this Bookstorm.

Think Glob­al­ly, Act Local­ly. Pete Seeger’s social action with The Clear­wa­ter Project, gath­er­ing com­mu­ni­ties to clean up The Hud­son Riv­er in New York, was accom­plished through song, com­mu­ni­ty gath­er­ings, fundrais­ing, and hard work. We pro­vide quotes, videos, web­sites, and a lot of books for stu­dents to use for learn­ing more and mak­ing their own plans for involvement.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Bookstorm™.

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Celebrating Ezra Jack Keats

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack KeatsJack­ie: This is the time of year when I read the Trav­el Sec­tion of the Sun­day paper. I just want to go away from grit­ty snow, brown yards and come back to Spring. Well, there are no tick­ets on the shelf this year so Phyl­lis and I are tak­ing a trip to the city cre­at­ed by Ezra Jack Keats. And why not? This month, this year marks his one-hun­dredth birthday.

As our trav­el guide we’re tak­ing The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats (Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2011), writ­ten by Clau­dia Nah­sen to coin­cide with The Snowy Day’s 50th anniver­sary and the show­ing of many of his works at the Jew­ish Muse­um, New York

Last Stop on Market StreetI’ve been think­ing of Keats since I read Last Stop on Mar­ket Street, this year’s New­bery Award win­ner, writ­ten by Matt de la Peña and illus­trat­ed by Chris­t­ian Robin­son. Robinson’s won­der­ful depic­tions of the urban land­scape and the text’s sug­ges­tion that beau­ty is all around us, remind­ed me of Keats’s city scenes. Often they are set in his child­hood home in Depres­sion Era Brook­lyn but enhanced with Keats’s bril­liant col­lages, sketch­es, and jazzy palette.

A bit about his life, which I learned from Nahsen’s beau­ti­ful book: Jacob Ezra Katz was born in New York, on March 11, 1916. He was the youngest of three chil­dren born to immi­grant par­ents in a “love­less mar­riage.” He grew up in a fam­i­ly marked by strife and unhap­pi­ness. He felt invis­i­ble as a child and believed “’life was mea­sured by anguish.’” (Nahsen,p. 5). Art saved him. And in his art he gave life and valid­i­ty to the streets he remem­bered from his child­hood and to the kids, often invis­i­ble to soci­ety, who live on those streets.

The Snowy DayPhyl­lis: And up until pub­li­ca­tion of A Snowy Day, the first full-col­or pic­ture book to fea­ture an African Amer­i­can pro­tag­o­nist, those kids were vir­tu­al­ly invis­i­ble in pic­ture books as well. I espe­cial­ly love how Keats makes us see the city and the chil­dren and grown-ups who live in it with fresh eyes — his art includes graf­fi­ti, trash­cans, and the strug­gles and cel­e­bra­tions of child­hood. Nah­sen quotes Keats: “Every­thing in life is wait­ing to be seen!” While some peo­ple crit­i­cized Keats, a white writer, for writ­ing about black char­ac­ters in The Snowy Day, the poet Langston Hugh­es wished he had “grand­chil­dren to give it [the book] to.” Keats felt the crit­i­cisms deeply but con­tin­ued to tell and illus­trate the sto­ries in his world “wait­ing to be seen.”

LouieJack­ie: Keats wrote and illus­trat­ed twen­ty-two books in his career. The ones I know are just as fresh, just as in tune with the lives of chil­dren as they were when he wrote them. We all know Peter of A Snowy Day, Peter’s Chair, A Let­ter to Amy. But Keats’s Louie is not quite as famil­iar. Louie is a qui­et, kid who hard­ly ever speaks. But when he sees the pup­pet Gussie (Keats’s mother’s name) at Susie and Roberto’s pup­pet show, he stands up and yells “Hel­lo!, Hel­lo! Hel­lo!” Susie and Rober­to decide to have Gussie ask Louie to sit down so they can get on with the show. After the show they bring Gussie out so Louie can hold the pup­pet. Then the boy goes home, even­tu­al­ly sleeps and dreams he is falling and kids are laugh­ing at him. When he wakes up, his moth­er tells him some­one slipped a note under the door — “Go out­side and fol­low the long green string.” At the end of the green string is — Gussie! There is so much to love about this sto­ry — a sen­si­tive por­tray­al of a child who is some­how dif­fer­ent, gets laughed at, yelled at by some kids; two kids, Susie and Rober­to, who treat Louie with great kind­ness; and a hope­ful ending.

Nah­sen says: “…neglect­ed char­ac­ters, who had hith­er­to been liv­ing in the mar­gins of pic­ture books or had sim­ply been absent from children’s lit­er­a­ture take pride of place in Keats’s oeu­vre.” She quotes from his unpub­lished auto­bi­og­ra­phy: “When I did my first book about a black kid I want­ed black kids and white kids to know that he’s there.” So it is with Louie. Keats reminds read­ers that the qui­et kids, the kids who march to a dif­fer­ent drum, the kids who live behind the bro­ken doors, or on bro­ken-down bus­es and can only have a crick­et for a pet (Mag­gie and the Pirate) are there.

Maggie and the PiratePhyl­lis: Just as Keats por­trays the real lives of kids who live in bus­es or city apart­ments with­out “even any steps in front of the door to sit on,” he doesn’t shy away from the small and large griefs and trou­bles of child­hood. In Mag­gie and the Pirate, Maggie’s pet crick­et, tak­en by a boy who admires the cricket’s cage, acci­den­tal­ly drowns in a riv­er. Mag­gie and her friends hold a crick­et funer­al, and when the “pirate,” a boy who didn’t mean for the crick­et to die but want­ed the cage “real bad,” brings Mag­gie the cage with a new crick­et, the children

                “all sat down togeth­er.
                Nobody said any­thing.
                They lis­tened to the new crick­et singing.
                Crick­ets all around joined in.”

Tragedies and con­so­la­tion in the death of a crick­et — a world seen through children’s eyes.

The Trip, Louie's Search, Regards to the Man in the Moon

Jack­ie: Keats came back to Louie with three oth­er books and used this char­ac­ter to help him present some of the oth­er prob­lems of child­hood—The Trip (1978), Louie’s Search (1980), and Regards to the Man in the Moon (1981).

The Trip tells us that Louie and his Mom move to a new neigh­bor­hood. Louie’s Search takes place after Louie has moved to a new neigh­bor­hood. “’What kind of neigh­bor­hood is this?’ thought Louie. “Nobody notices a kid around here.” He puts on a paper sack hat and paints his nose red and goes out for a walk. Even­tu­al­ly he picks up an object which has fall­en off a junk wag­on and so encoun­ters the scary junkman Bar­ney. Bar­ney is huge and thinks Louie has stolen this object. “’Come back, you lit­tle crook,’ Bar­ney bel­lowed.” They go to Louie’s house where Bar­ney tells his Mom, “Your son’s a crook!’”

What Louie had found was a music box. When he holds it the box makes music. When he drops it, it stops. Bar­ney decides to give the music box to Louie and stays for tea with Louie and his mom. It’s the begin­ning of a won­der­ful rela­tion­ship that ends with a wed­ding and Louie find­ing the Dad he hoped for.

The Trip, Jennie's Hat, Dreams

Phyl­lis: Anoth­er thread through­out Keats’ work is the pow­er of imag­i­na­tion. Louie in The Trip imag­ines a plane fly­ing him to his old neigh­bor­hood. Jen­nie in Jennie’s Hat imag­ines a beau­ti­ful hat instead of the plain one her aunt has sent, and the birds, who she feeds dai­ly, swoop down and dec­o­rate her hat with leaves, pic­tures, flow­ers (paper and real), col­ored eggs, a paper fan, and a pink valen­tine. In Dreams, Rober­to imag­ines (or does it real­ly hap­pen?) that when a paper mouse he has made tum­bles from his win­dowsill, its shad­ow “grew big­ger — and big­ger — and BIGGER” until it scared off the dog ter­ror­iz­ing his friend’s kit­ten on the side­walk below.

Ezra Jack Keats: Artist and Picture-book MakerWe haven’t real­ly even talked about his art and his bril­liant use of col­lage and col­or. Just as Keats’s books cel­e­brate the pow­er of the imag­i­na­tion, Ani­ta Sil­vey says that Keats took “absolute joy in the cre­ative process.” We can share that joy in his books in sto­ries and art that rec­og­nize that every­one needs to be seen, every­one has a place, and every­one, joy­ous­ly, matters.

Jack­ie: Bri­an Alder­son in Ezra Jack Keats: Artist and Pic­ture-Book Mak­er writes that in The Snowy Day Keats “came home to his prop­er place: a col­orist cel­e­brat­ing the hid­den lives of the city kids.” I would add that that can be said for most of his works. And we are the rich­er for it.

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Beautiful Books: an interview with designer Marty Ittner

Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane GoodallFor young writ­ers who aspire to write infor­ma­tion books of their own, or read­ers who will enjoy the expe­ri­ence of read­ing more, we’d like to help them under­stand how a book design­er works.

Mar­ty Ittner designed Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane Goodall and gra­cious­ly agreed to answer bookol­o­gist Vic­ki Palmquist’s questions.Flourish

When you start the process of design­ing a book, what pro­vides your inspiration?

The design process actu­al­ly begins in the mid­dle of a book’s life. The project has already been con­ceived, researched and approved by the author and pub­lish­er to make sure it is a sto­ry worth the invest­ment. So when the design­er first receives the text and pho­tos, it is impor­tant to hon­or the life of the book and the author’s vision. There­fore most of the inspi­ra­tion comes from com­ing to know the sto­ry, and how to tell it visu­al­ly. Sim­ply put, inspi­ra­tion comes from with­in the book itself.

How do you phys­i­cal­ly orga­nize your ideas for the book layout?

At first I will do some rough pen­cil sketch­es in my Mole­sk­ine note­book, along­side the notes tak­en from ini­tial dis­cus­sions with the book team. But by and large the ideas are col­lect­ed dig­i­tal­ly in InDe­sign (a page lay­out pro­gram) and Pho­to­shop, a pro­gram which enables adjust­ments to pho­tographs such as adding col­or to an old black and white photo.

Do you start by know­ing the book will be a cer­tain size and num­ber of pages or do you decide the size and num­ber of pages after you’ve exam­ined the con­tent and cre­at­ed a rough design?

Nation­al Geographic’s mar­ket­ing and dis­tri­b­u­tion teams deter­mine the size and num­ber of pages before it reach­es the design­er. These spec­i­fi­ca­tions are based on a long his­to­ry of pub­lish­ing and review­ing sim­i­lar books and products.

gr_animals_of_gombe_600

There’s a lot of space on many pages where there is no print­ing and no pho­tographs: white space. Why is this impor­tant to you?

That’s fun­ny, because to me this book is brim­ming with col­or and images, com­pared with books that are designed for adults, which have much more white space. I wouldn’t fill an entire room with fur­ni­ture or sur­vive with­out sleep. Space is sim­ply the absence that allows us to see what is present.

You’ve used a graph­ic, screened back to 15% or 20% of a sol­id hue to lay behind the pri­ma­ry ele­ments on many pages. What does this do for the reader?

On the first sketch­es for the book, I includ­ed some exot­ic vines and leaves that were meant to set the stage for Jane’s time in the jun­gle. The book team liked the idea and decid­ed to take it fur­ther by hir­ing an illus­tra­tor (Susan Craw­ford) to draw the spe­cif­ic plants found in Gombe Nation­al Park, where Jane was study­ing the chimps. At first the read­er may only see them as a back­ground, but even­tu­al­ly may devel­op a curios­i­ty to find out more, much like Ms. Goodall’s own work and note­books. We went so far as to include a page describ­ing each plant, some of which pro­vide food and shel­ter for the chimps. In this way, the read­er can dis­cov­er more about life in the jun­gle, and the inter­de­pen­dence of all species.

gr_plants

On some pages a pho­to cov­ers the entire page. On oth­er pages, a pho­to may take 1/12th or ¼ of the page. How do you make deci­sions about how big the pho­tos will be?

In children’s books, we use what’s called “track­ing”, which is that a pho­to must be on the same spread as its men­tion. For exam­ple, the pho­to of Jane with her stuffed toy Jubilee would run next to the text “her father bought her a large stuffed chim­panzee”. This can some­times be tricky, but for­tu­nate­ly I love solv­ing puz­zles. The oth­er fac­tor is the qual­i­ty of the image. We will high­light good images by run­ning them large and min­i­mize pho­tographs that don’t have the best quality.

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Do you work on a grid?

Absolute­ly! Struc­ture and form are the under­pin­nings that make a book cohe­sive — cre­at­ing a rhythm that is inher­ent­ly felt. The reg­u­lar­i­ty of the grid cre­ates an ease of entry for the read­er, as their eyes are not jump­ing around.

What com­put­er pro­gram do you use to lay out the book?

Adobe InDe­sign.

ph_knifeDo you do any of your work by hand?

I love the feel of a book as an object. So when design­ing, I always print and trim out the pages with an xac­to knife to see how they will look in the final book.

When a read­er picks up Untamed, how do you hope the book’s design will affect them?

It was a great hon­or to work with Nation­al Geo­graph­ic and Ani­ta Sil­vey to tell the impor­tant sto­ry of Jane Goodall and her beloved chimps. It touch­es on com­pas­sion, the envi­ron­ment, ani­mal rights and the strength of a remark­able woman. My hope is that the design delights and car­ries the read­er through the whole sto­ry. In this way, we can hope to inspire a new wave of com­pas­sion­ate conservationists.

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Bookstorm™: Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Untamed Bookstorm

Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane GoodallThis month, we are pleased to fea­ture Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, writ­ten by Ani­ta Sil­vey, with pho­tographs and book designed by the incred­i­ble team at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic. This book is not only fas­ci­nat­ing to read, it’s a beau­ti­ful read­ing expe­ri­ence as well.

It’s not often that a book offers us a glimpse into the child­hood of a woman who has fol­lowed a brave, and car­ing, career path, but also fol­lows her through more than 50 years in that cho­sen pro­fes­sion, describ­ing her work, dis­cov­er­ies, and her pas­sion for the mam­mals with whom she works. I learned so much I did­n’t know about Dr. Goodall and her chim­panzees, Africa, field work, and how one moves peo­ple to sup­port one’s cause.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. For Untamed, you’ll find books for a vari­ety of tastes and inter­ests. The book will be com­fort­ably read by ages 9 through adult. We’ve includ­ed fic­tion and non­fic­tion, pic­ture books, mid­dle grade books, and books adults will find inter­est­ing. A num­ber of the books are by Dr. Jane Goodall her­self — she’s a pro­lif­ic writer. We’ve also includ­ed books about teach­ing sci­ence, as well as videos, and arti­cles acces­si­ble on the internet.

Jane Goodall and Her Research. From Me … Jane, the pic­ture by Patrick McDon­nell about Jane Goodal­l’s child­hood, to Jane Goodall: the Woman Who Rede­fined Man by Dale Peter­son, there are a num­ber of acces­si­ble books for every type of reader.

Pri­mate Research. We’ve includ­ed non­fic­tion books such as Pamela S. Turn­er’s Goril­la Doc­tors and Jim Otta­viani and Maris Wick­’s Pri­mates, a graph­ic nov­el about the three women who devot­ed so much of their loves to study­ing pri­mates: Jane Goodall, Dian Fos­sey, and Biruté Galdikas.

Chim­panzees. Dr. Goodal­l’s research is specif­i­cal­ly about chim­panzees so com­pan­ion books such as Michele Colon’s Ter­mites on a Stick and Dr. Goodal­l’s Chim­panzees I Love: Sav­ing Their World and Ours are suggested.

Fic­tion. Many excel­lent nov­els have been writ­ten about pri­mates and Africa and con­ser­va­tion, rang­ing from real­ism to sci­ence fic­tion and a nov­el based on a true sto­ry. Among our list, you’ll find Lin­da Sue Park’s A Long to Water and Eva by Peter Dick­in­son and The One and Only Ivan by Kather­ine Applegate.

World-Chang­ing Women and Women Sci­en­tists. Here you’ll find pic­ture book biogra­phies, longer non­fic­tion books, and col­lec­tions of short biogra­phies such as Girls Think of Every­thing by Cather­ine Thimmesh, Silk & Ven­om by Kathryn Lasky, and Rad Amer­i­can Women: A to Z by Kate Schatz.

Africa. The titles about, or set on, this con­ti­nent are numer­ous. Learn­ing About Africa by Robin Koontz pro­vides a use­ful and cur­rent intro­duc­tion to the con­ti­nent. We also looked for books by authors who were born in or lived for a while in an African coun­try; Next Stop — Zanz­ibar! by Niki Daly and Mag­ic Gourd by Coret­ta Scott King Hon­oree Baba Wague Diakiteare are includ­ed in this section.

Ani­mal Friend­ships. Chil­dren and adults alike crave these sto­ries about unlike­ly friend­ships between ani­mals who don’t nor­mal­ly hang around togeth­er. From Cather­ine Thimmesh’s Friends: True Sto­ries of Extra­or­di­nary Ani­mal Friend­ships to Mar­i­on Dane Bauer’s A Mama for Owen, you’ll be charmed by these books.

Ani­mals In Dan­ger of Extinc­tion. We’ve includ­ed only two books in this cat­e­go­ry but both of them should be stars in your book­talks. Count­ing Lions by Katie Cot­ton, illus­trat­ed by Stephen Wal­ton, is a stun­ning book — do find it! Dr. Goodall con­tributes a mov­ing book, Hope for Ani­mals and Their World: How Endan­gered Species Are Being Res­cued from the Brink.

Teach­ing Sci­ence. If you’re work­ing with young chil­dren in grades K through 2, you’ll want Per­fect Pairs by Melis­sa Stew­art and Nan­cy Ches­ley. For old­er stu­dents in grades 3 through 6, Pic­ture-Per­fect Sci­ence Lessons will inspire you.

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Bookstorm™.

Downloadables

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From the Editor

by Mar­sha Qualey

Untamed: the Wild Life of Jane GoodallThank good­ness for pub­lic libraries. I’ve been a user and fan for well over 50 years now, but for the last eight months, as I’ve worked with the oth­er bookol­o­gists putting togeth­er the mag­a­zine, I’ve put more book miles on my card than in many years combined.

My local library is the largest in a con­sor­tium of near­ly 50 libraries in west­ern Wis­con­sin, which means deliv­ery of spe­cial requests hap­pens quick­ly; that reach and speed has been a key ele­ment in my abil­i­ty to keep up with the nec­es­sary book work. This is espe­cial­ly true for the Book­storm™ books. Before we rec­om­mend or write about those titles we like to — at the very least — get our hands on the can­di­date books, rif­fle pages, and exam­ine back mat­ter and illus­tra­tions. And of course we read. For near­ly a year now I make the trip to the library sev­er­al times a week to see what’s wait­ing for me on the hold shelf.

This month our Book­storm™ fea­tures Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall, writ­ten by Ani­ta Sil­vey, with pho­tographs and book design by the edi­to­r­i­al team at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic. The com­pan­ion book read­ing for this mon­th’s storm has quite pos­si­bly cov­ered more lit­er­ary dis­tance than that trig­gered by pre­vi­ous Book­storms. Not only have I crossed and recrossed the African con­ti­nent, but I’ve read about ani­mal friend­ships and inspir­ing sci­en­tists, East African trick­ster sto­ries, and vis­it­ed a mar­ket in Zanzibar.

golden-baobab-prizeI’ve dis­cov­ered more than books, of course. I’ve learned about the devel­op­ing and excit­ing chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture scene through­out the African con­ti­nent: The Gold­en Baobab Prize, first award­ed in 2009 to cel­e­brate and encour­age emerg­ing writ­ers and illus­tra­tors of chil­dren’s sto­ries; Book­shy, a won­der­ful blog­ger who focus­es on African lit­er­a­ture and book art; Book Dash, a writ­ers and illus­tra­tors’ project designed to pro­vide thou­sands of chil­dren with sto­ry books at lit­tle or no cost, and – most intrigu­ing–Worl­dread­er, a non­prof­it that pro­vides e‑readers and e‑books to schools and stu­dents in Africa and also works with African pub­lish­ers to dig­i­tize their titles. 

And of course, I’ve read and thought a lot about Dr. Jane Goodall. As Book­storm™ cre­ator Vic­ki Palmquist says in her intro­duc­tion to this mon­th’s ‘storm, “[i]t’s not often that a book offers us a glimpse into the child­hood of a woman who has fol­lowed a brave, and car­ing, career path, but also fol­lows her through more than 50 years in that cho­sen pro­fes­sion, describ­ing her work, dis­cov­er­ies, and her pas­sion for the mam­mals with whom she works.”

Thanks for vis­it­ing Bookol­o­gy. Please roam, and enjoy.

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Skinny Dip with Anita Silvey

bk_UntamedWhat keeps you up at night?

Usu­al­ly one of my beau­ti­ful Bernese Moun­tain Dogs. My girl devel­oped a love affair with the local rac­coon and woke me every time he came near the premises.

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Left a nine to five job with ben­e­fits to become a full-time writer.

What’s the first book you remem­ber reading?

 Seuss’s Hor­ton Hatch­es the Egg

What TV show can’t you turn off?

News­room or Nashville

Do you like to gift wrap presents?

I’m dan­ger­ous with scis­sors and tape, so as few as I can.

What do you wish you could tell your 10-year old self?

Relax and enjoy the jour­ney; it is going to be okay.

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Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled Companion Booktalks

To get you start­ed on the Book­storm™ books …

cover imageAge of Rep­tiles and Age of Rep­tiles: the Hunt, Richard Del­ga­do, Dark Horse Books, 2011. Ages 12 and up.

  • Word­less sto­ry­telling through beau­ti­ful (some­times gory) art
  • What hap­pens when you steal the T‑rex eggs? What hap­pens when an Allosaurus takes revenge on the Cer­atosaurs that killed his mother?
  • The author-artist has worked on movies such as Men in Black, The Incred­i­bles, WALL‑E

cover imageCap­tain Rap­tor series, writ­ten by Kevin O’Mal­ley, illus­trat­ed by Patrick O’Brien, Walk­er Books, 2005. Ages 5 – 8.

  • Dinosaurs are the char­ac­ters on the plan­et Jurassica
  • Rock­et ships and action
  • Good guys, bad guys, scary stuff, and fun inventions

cover imageThe Dinosaurs of Water­house Hawkins, writ­ten by Bar­bara Ker­ley, illus­trat­ed by Bri­an Selznick, Scholas­tic Press, 2001.

  • Biog­ra­phy of  19th cen­tu­ry pale­oartist Water­house Hawkins who pop­u­lar­ized dinosaurs and once threw a din­ner par­ty inside one of his dinosaur sculptures
  • Just why are pieces of his dinosaur sculp­tures buried in New York’s Cen­tral Park?
  • Calde­cott Hon­or book

 cover imageDinosaurs: the Grand Tour, writ­ten by Keiron Pim and Jack Horner, The Exper­i­ment, 2014. Appro­pri­ate for chil­dren and adults.

  • Report mate­r­i­al on more than 300 dinosaurs and the sci­en­tists who have dis­cov­ered and stud­ied them
  • Help­ful orga­ni­za­tion (col­or-cod­ed by Geo­log­ic peri­od) with gray scale illustrations
  • Includes Chi­nese and Native Amer­i­can mythol­o­gy linked to dinosaurs

cover imageHow the Dinosaur Got to the Muse­um, Jessie Hart­land, Blue Apple Books, 2013. Ages 6 to 9

  • Pic­ture book about the team­work need­ed to bring a dinosaur skele­ton to a place where many peo­ple can see it and learn from it (the Smith­son­ian Museum)
  • Sol­id infor­ma­tion deliv­ered in bright art and live­ly language
  • A Book­list “Top Ten Sci-Tech Books for Youth” (2010)

cover imageHow to Draw Incred­i­ble Dinosaurs, writ­ten by Kris­ten McCur­ry, illus­trat­ed by Juan Calle, Smith­son­ian Draw­ing Books/Capstone Press, 2012. Ages 5 and up.

  • Step-by-step instruc­tions for ages 5 and up
  • Each draw­ing les­son comes with a brief “bio” of the dinosaur model
  • One in a set of 4 draw­ing books (also: Incred­i­ble Ocean Ani­mals, Amaz­ing Ani­mals, Amaz­ing Space­craft)

cover imagePale­on­tol­ogy: the Study of Pre­his­toric Life, writ­ten by Susan H. Gray, Scholas­tic, 2012. ages 4 and up

  • A begin­ning intro­duc­tion to the sci­ence of paleontology
  • Quick facts in col­or­ful large font, illus­trat­ed with many photographs
  • Includes his­to­ry of pale­on­tol­ogy, how sci­en­tists date fos­sils, the tools they use

cover imagePlant Hunters: True sto­ries of their dar­ing adven­tures to the far cor­ners of the Earth, Ani­ta Sil­vey, Far­rar, Straus & Giroux, 2012. Ages 8 and up.

  • Sci­en­tists have had the cra­zi­est adventures
  • Beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed (many archival pho­tographs) and use­ful­ly orga­nized — great report material
  • Includes a chap­ter on con­tem­po­rary scientists

bk_BulletPrehistoricLifPre­his­toric Life by DK Pub­lish­ing, 2010. Ages 8 and up

  • Dinosaurs and more: the plants, inver­te­brates, amphib­ians, birds, rep­tiles, and mam­mals from the ori­gins of life in the sea to the evo­lu­tion of man
  • DK’s sig­na­ture explod­ed dia­grams, cut­aways, and high-inter­est visuals
  • Cof­fee table-beau­ti­ful and with tons of report material

cover imageStone Girl, Bone Girl: the Sto­ry of Mary Anning, writ­ten by Lau­rence Anholt, illus­trat­ed by Sheila Mox­ley, Frances Lin­coln, 2006. Ages 6 – 9

  • Mary Anning: Struck by light­en­ing as a baby, famous at age 12, a girl work­ing in a man’s world
  • Vivid­ly illus­trat­ed pic­ture book sto­ry about the most famous fos­sil hunter of all (and the inspi­ra­tion for the wicked tongue twister “She Sells Sea Shells”)
  • Puts an engag­ing, human face on the 19th cen­tu­ry icon by mix­ing biog­ra­phy with an ele­ment of tall tale

cover imageUbiq­ui­tous: Cel­e­brat­ing Nature’s Sur­vivors, writ­ten by Joyce Sid­man, illus­trat­ed by Beck­ie Prange, HMH Books for Young Read­ers, 2010. Ages 7 – 12.

  • Mam­mals and birds and rep­tiles that have sur­vived extinc­tion, excel­lent for con­trast in a dis­cus­sion about dinosaurs
  • Each spread includes a poem, facts, and a hand-col­ored linocut
  • From the cre­ators of the Calde­cott Hon­or Book Song of the Water Boat­man and Oth­er Pond Poems

 

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Gifted: Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac

Ani­ta Sil­vey writes, among oth­er things, books that help us find good books. And not only does she help us find more books that we or our chil­dren or our stu­dents will enjoy, but she tells us the sto­ry behind those books. Oh, what fun it is to know that Charles Dick­ens had to pub­lish A Christ­mas Car­ol him­self because his pub­lish­er did­n’t believe in it.… more
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Written in code

Hav­ing just fin­ished a ter­rif­ic new book called J.R.R. Tolkien, by Alexan­dra and John Wall­ner (Hol­i­day House), I was remind­ed about codes. I spent a good num­ber of hours dur­ing my junior high days fash­ion­ing notes in Elvish and leav­ing them in my friends’ lock­ers. The runic writ­ing fas­ci­nat­ed me and, of course, the idea of hav­ing a means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that could­n’t be read if it fell into the wrong hands was … deli­cious.… more
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A gentle nudge

Some­times we get so caught up in dis­cussing the lit­er­ary mer­its of a book that we for­get who the intend­ed read­ers are. Some­times we enjoy play­ing the game of who will win the awards so much that we for­get there are all kinds of read­ers who are touched by books in many ways … and most of them unpre­dictable, even by the experts.… more
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