Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Picture Book Month Book Talks #3

Week Three of Picture Book Month!

As in weeks past, each post links to an essay by a picture book author or illustrator about the IMPORTANCE of picture books!

Nov 16: Fractured Tales

Previously, by Allen Ahlberg
What were familiar fairy tale characters doing BEFORE the adventures that made them famous? Turns out they were all connected somehow. For example, previous to her experience with the three bears, Goldilocks met a boy named Jack (of beanstalk fame)...and so it goes. It's fun to hear the stories told backwards and the see how each character is linked to another. Grades 2+

Nov 17: Royalty

The Secret Lives of Princesses, by Phillipe Lechermeier, illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer
This is like a field guide to different princesses: their personalities, their interests, strengths, weaknesses. There's lots to look over in sidebars, diagrams, and smaller pictures. It reminds me of a book I used to love when I was little about the world of dwarfs - you feel you're stepping into an imaginary world that's fully realized. The illustrations are not the usual frilly type of thing you'd expect of a princess book - how refreshing!

Nov 18: Friendship

The Searcher and Old Tree, by David McPhail
The Searcher is a raccoon and after his long day of foraging he returns to Old Tree to sleep. Old Tree keeps him safe and the attachment between the two is subtle but dear. Watercolor illustrations add to the tension of the story as we watch to see if The Searcher will stay safe through the stormy night.

Nov 19: Heroes

Barak Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Brian Collier
Tells the story of Barack Obama: his struggle growing up without a father, his life growing up in Hawaii, Kenya, and Indonesia, and his historic presidential campaign of 2008.

Yes, this president is a hero to me, and I'm sure many others!

Nov 20: Library

The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians, by Carla Morris, illustrated by Brad Sneed
* disclaimer * this is my favorite library-related book. I've posted about this book half a dozen times already.

Melvin spends tons of time in his town's library. He is filled with curiosity and the librarians keep up with him, no problem. As this trio of information whizzes watches him grow up, their expressions of pride and eagerness to help him learn practically brought tears to my eyes.

Nov 21: Dogs

Officer Buckle and Gloria, by Peggy Rathmann
Hilarious story of a police officer who gives safety talks at local schools and his dog, Gloria, who gets the kids' attention with funny stunts.  The expressions on the characters' faces are perfect and Gloria, the dog, is an absolute comic genius.

Nov 22: Cats

Kitten's First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes
When kitten sees her first full moon, she thinks it's a bowl of milk!  We love her expressions as she tries to catch the moon, and how lovely when she finally gives up only to find a bowl of milk waiting for her right on her own porch.

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