Posted tagged ‘Picture Book’

A Cautionary Snow Tale

February 26, 2015

Last week I was in Boston and New Hampshire. There’s a LOT of snow there. Take a look at the drifts outside this New Hampshire house. How long does it take to shovel those snowdrifts? Let me count the days!

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In Boston, snow is piled just as high. Mother Nature played a dirty, white trick on the Northeast. Do you remember the Big Dig in Boston years ago? Well, this is the new Big Dig. Snow is still everywhere and people are continuing to dig out!

This brings to mind a wonderful nonfiction book, Over and Under the Snow, written by the very talented Kate Messner and enhanced with clever illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal.

A little girl and her dad are enjoying a cross-country ski romp in the winter woods. As they glide over the snow, the little girl sees an animal dart by and then disappear. She wants to know where it went. Her dad describes the “secret kingdom” under the snow where animals are safe and warm during the winter. It’s a lovely winter tale.

Boston has a secret kingdom under the snow, too. As Bostonians trudge over and around the piles of white stuff, there is a secret world beneath it.

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 A trash can hidden beneath a pile of snow

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A bench in the Public Garden that disappeared during one of the nor’easters

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A parked car buried by a city plow

And over the snow is something else to keep your eye on.

Icicles!

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Long, dagger-like pieces of ice hang from buildings.

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On a whim, those icicles can turn into a deadly weapon if they break free.

Watch your head!

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Unlike Kate Messner’s delightful story, the Boston Winter of 2015 is a cautionary tale. For the time being, keep a close look out for what’s over and under the snow if you’re walking through the streets of Boston.

Is it spring yet?

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Buster Keaton Eyes

June 13, 2013

You may have heard the song “Bette Davis Eyes” sung by Kim Carnes.  It would be nice to have Bette Davis eyes, but I have I Buster Keaton eyes – and that’s nothing to sing about. Buster Keaton was a vaudeville performer, screen star, and director. In all, he was an extremely talented man. His eyes and facial expressions had much to do with his fame.

Eyes can be beautiful and expressive. I’ve always liked my hazel eyes, but the other day I noticed a little baggage accumulating there. Take a look at Keaton’s eyes in his later years. Not to be impolite, but bags under my eyes are beginning to look very similar to his. Unlike Keaton, my eyes and facial expressions have nothing to do with any fame. It’s time to get out the cold compresses, cucumbers, tea bags, and creams and trash those bags. Or maybe it’s time for an eye lift. Now that would be a real eye-opener!

Here are some eyes that will have you seeing funny!

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The Eye Book is written by Theo.LeSieg (Dr. Seuss) and illustrated by Joe Mathieu. The simple text includes humor and rhyme which encourages young children to read along. Mathieu’s illustrations are colorful and add to the fun of the book. Open your eyes and see what you can see!

You might also look at these books by Dr. Seuss:

The Foot Book

The Tooth Book

The End

June 6, 2013

The end is here. It really isn’t the end because the end always leads back to the beginning.

Take the school year. It has ended. The school library is on hiatus for the summer. Pleasant memories passed through my mind as I wished each of my students a happily ever after vacation.

Preparing for the end of the school year takes time. I plan for the upcoming year, order supplies, inventory books, and weed out books that are tired and worn. When I’m finished with all my tasks, I turn out the lights, give a sigh of relief, and go off into the summer sunset with books in hand to read until the new year begins. So you see the end always leads to a beginning.

This experience reminds me of the picture book, The End, written by David La Rochelle and illustrated by Richard Egielski. It’s a cause and effect story – or if you’re doing it backwards maybe it an effect and cause story. Does that make any sense? Maybe not, but that is my school library story. It begins at the end of the year and ends at the beginning of the new school year and continues on a never-ending and beginning reel.

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The End

Written by Cathy Ogren and not illustrated by Cathy Ogren

The children went off to enjoy the warm summer days, but wherever they went they carried their favorite book and read happily ever after.

They read happily ever after because …

The librarian stepped forward and gave the students books of humor, adventure, mystery, and fantasy because …

No matter what magic the teachers did, the children were bored because …

By the end of the year, the teachers were tired because …

Each morning the students dashed through the school doors with high energy and exhausted the teachers because …

Parents told their children to “Go forth and challenge your teacher, and your teacher will challenge you!” because …

Everyone knows the job of a teacher is to keep students motivated and stimulated, which is not always easy because …

Students learn in a variety of ways because …

Variety is the spice of life because …

The librarian knew what would spice up a child’s life, and she knew by the end of the school year, the teachers would need a well-deserved rest because …

Once upon a time a resourceful school librarian endeavored to teach her students to love reading and books.

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To all the wonderful teachers in the world:  Enjoy your quiet moments and look forward to exciting years filled with new challenges!

The Sound of Music – Forty-Three Years Ago

August 17, 2012

Woodstock! I’m not talking about Charles Schultz’s feathered comic strip character. I’m talking about a place where artists like Sly & The Family Stone, The Who, Joan Baez, and Carlos Santana sang songs that included  “I Want to Take You Higher,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Evil Ways.” Woodstock was a Who’s Who of rock, blues, and folk legends. Word got out that it was the place to go – the place to be.

Beginning on August 15, 1969, an explosion of young people descended upon a sleepy town in upstate Bethel, New York. It was a time of political unrest and the peak of the Vietnam War. For three-plus days, hundreds of thousands of people showed up to listen to music mixed in with rain, mud, sex, and drugs. Advertised as the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, this music festival made history.

The unexpected crowds caused a multitude of problems. There was a colossal traffic jam, long lines for toilets, insufficient food, and rain – rain that turned the field into a muddy mess. No matter. Those that were there grooved to the music. Richie Havens’ “Freedom,” Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” and the unique voice of Janis Joplin filled the country air. Can you feel the beat?

That was forty-three years ago. It was a time and a place that will never be repeated. Even if you weren’t alive, their unforgettable music still resonates today for all to appreciate and enjoy. In honor of this historic event, celebrate these legendary artists by rocking out to their music. And while you’re at it, check these out.

A Documentary:  Woodstock: Three Days of Peace & Music 

A Young Adult Novel:  Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing written by Ann Angel

A Picture Book:  Jimi:  Sounds Like a Rainbow:  A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix written by Gary Golio and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe


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