It works well to read poems here and there from The Voice of My Heart ... but I often find myself caught up in the expressions of love and longing, moving from one poem to the next, contemplating, learning, feeling.
Julius Lester loved language and he loved story. Language, Lester wrote, is not just words and what they mean; music and rhythm are also part of the meaning. Just reading his books for children makes us want to read them out loud to hear that music and rhythm along with his gift for putting words together.
When considering picture book biographies of visual artists, one cannot overlook the three illustrators who have garnered Caldecott Honors for their autobiographical works: Bill Peet, Uri Shulevitz, and Peter Sis.
With declining funding for arts education in schools1,2 and limited opportunities for school-sponsored class visits to art museums, Caldecott Award-winning picture books invite children to explore various media and styles of art deemed “distinguished.”3 Indeed, as professor of English and children’s literature specialist Philip Nel observes, “Good picture books are portable art galleries.”4
A number of Caldecott award books extend the art enrichment experience by introducing children to the lives and works of visual artists.
I’ve received a wonderful early Christmas gift this year — two new regular storytimes to conduct. Both interested in the season’s books — and do I have Christmas books to share!
The only downside — and I can live with it — is that it’s via the technologies with which we see people these days. I’m so grateful for the Zooms, the FaceTimes, the Facebook Lives…it’s the only way to safely see folks and it makes things like storytime possible.… more
Raising Star Readers is delighted to hear that Brenda Sederberg’s Reading Team has added to its membership: welcome, Baby Phoebe! Brenda is also focusing on adding something else—she is expanding on the list of her Team’s old favorites by intentionally looking for books that are diverse and inclusive
Wordless picture books are great for many reasons. They emphasize the importance of art, build on important literacy skills, help children become storytellers, and they are a reliable source for imagination.
I believe this book belongs in every classroom, every home, and in every child’s life. It is a wondrous book to read, to look at, to memorize, and to talk about with the children around you. It is a Literary Madeleine, scrumptious in every way.
The full title is Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year, edited by Fiona Water and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon, it is a wonder.… more
… when dead leaves fly like witches on switches across the sky …
In the center of our Wegman’s is all the stuff that is not food. Of course, I head there first. Browsing tea towels and sunflower coasters is my reward from having to shop in the too-big grocery store.
Recently I found a plate among the Halloween décor.… more
When our children were young we both spent many hours with them pouring over Wendy Watson’s illustrations for her sister Clyde’s rhymes in Father Fox’s Pennyrhymes and delighting in the sounds and the silliness of the rhymes themselves. We felt as though we had lost a personal friend when Wendy Watson died, even though we had never met her.… more
Thirty years ago, I bought a poster of “Jungle Tales” by J.J. Shannon (1895) at the Met in New York City. I took it to my favorite framer, but when it was ready, I was horrified to see they’d cut off Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Children’s Bookshop at the bottom, framing just the image. No one thought the words were important.… more
Author and illustrator Debra Frasier was invited to lecture on this topic to the Western North Carolina Textile Study Group, and the public, in mid-November 2017. This is the bibliography that accompanies Debra’s presentation, with book selections by Debra Frasier and Vicki Palmquist.
If you would like to invite Debra to give this presentation to your group, please contact her.… more
There was a time — although it seems like it’s becoming a tiny dot in the rearview mirror — in which one birthday child or the other received the birthday-appropriate book in the Kingfisher Treasury series of Stories for Five/Six/Seven/Eight Year Olds. Those beloved paperbacks reside on my office shelves now, but it was not so long ago that they were opened on the appropriate birthday to big smiles — there was something sort of milestone-like about receiving them.… more
Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie: A Story about Edna Lewis is a memorable book about growing food throughout the seasons and living off the land in Virginia. Wild strawberry, purslane, dandelions, sassafras, honey. As spring rides the breeze into summer, this extended family tends to their larder, taking full advantage of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables growing around them.… more
Warning: There’s a lot of enthusiasm ahead for these books!
Where Do Pants Go? Written by Rebecca Van Slyke, illustrated by Chris Robertson
Sterling Children’s Books, 2016
Well, this is just adorable … and I can already hear households throughout the English-speaking world chanting:
“Where do pants go?
On your arms? No.
On your neck? No.
No, no, no.
Pants go on your legs, that’s where pants go.”… more
We are pleased to share with you our interview with Francis Vallejo, the illustrator of Jazz Day: the Making of a Famous Photograph, our Bookstorm™ this month. This book is so rich with visual images that stir readers’ imaginations. You’ll feel like you’re standing on the street with the other onlookers!
The title page says that you used acrylics and pastels to create this art.… more
I’m a big fan of Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer. I can remember reading it as a kid and thinking it both hilarious and clever. And I loved the words! So many words!
So when the Juster-Feiffer team came out with The Odious Ogre a few years back, I leapt at it. A picture book! A long picture book! My favorite kind!… more
In this interview with Jennifer A. Bell, illustrator of many endearing books, we’ve asked about the process of illustrating Little Cat’s Luck, our Bookstorm™ this month, written for second, third, and fourth graders as a read-aloud or individual reading books.Jennifer was also the illustrator for Marion Dane Bauer’s earlier novel-in-verse, Little Dog, Lost. What media and tools did you use to create the soft illustrations in Little Cat’s Luck?… more
The word exquisite once won the game for me while playing Password. I have been fond of that word since that time and look for instances where it applies. That is surely the illustrated edition of The Jungle Book, written by Rudyard Kipling all of those years ago, and newly illustrated by Nicola Bayley. Candlewick published this edition of the classic stories and their classics are worth collecting, reading, and treasuring.… more
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