Anansi the Spider: A Tale From the Ashanti, is a short picture book about the beloved Ashanti folk-hero, Anansi the Spider and his six sons. The tale Anansi the Spider: A Tale From the Ashanti, is a short picture book about the beloved Ashanti folk-hero, Anansi the Spider and his six sons. The tale is a pourquoi story describing how the moon was discovered and came to be placed in the sky. It begins by introducing Anansi and his six sons who all have different, specific gifts such as, “River Drinker,” “Road Builder,” and “Cushion.” One day, Anansi the Spider goes on a journey only to find himself in great peril. Fortunately, one of his sons has the ability to sense trouble and alerts all the other sons to come to Anansi’s rescue. With the help of each son and his own individual, unique talent, Anansi and sons are able to maneuver through the string of dangers and arrive back at home safely. As a reward for saving him, Anansi the Spider wants to present a “globe of light “ he discovers to the son who assisted him the most. Unable to determine which son is most deserving, Anansi consults Nyame, the Ashanti “God of All Things” to assist in the matter. Nyame, also unable to determine which son to give the prize to, decides to take the “beautiful white light” and place it in the sky for everyone to enjoy and see, thus explaining how to moon was born. ...more
My Friend Rabbit is a story about Mouse and his mischievous friend, the rabbit. Mouse enjoys being with and playing with Rabbit, but it seems like whaMy Friend Rabbit is a story about Mouse and his mischievous friend, the rabbit. Mouse enjoys being with and playing with Rabbit, but it seems like whatever or wherever he is, trouble is sure to follow! In this particular instance, Rabbit and Mouse are playing with an airplane and when it gets trapped at the top of a tree, Rabbit devises a plan to retrieve it – using stacked animals as a ladder. One by one, Rabbit piles animals on top of each other until the plane is just within reach. Needing just a little more height, Rabbit grabs Mouse and adds him to the pile. Unfortunately the plane is still slightly out of reach, and as Mouse leans for it, the animals become unstable and all come crashing down. The story ends with Mouse and Rabbit finally retrieving the airplane, but nevertheless, once again stuck in a Rabbit-induced predicament. ...more
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a brilliant story about a little orphaned boy who inherits the position of train station timekeeper after both his fatThe Invention of Hugo Cabret is a brilliant story about a little orphaned boy who inherits the position of train station timekeeper after both his father, and later his guardian uncle, pass away. The story is largely focused around a curious and unique machine that is initially discovered by Hugo’s father, but then is later re-discovered by Hugo himself. As Hugo strives to understand and repair the machine, his path becomes intertwined with other members of the train station, weaving them all together as they embark on an adventure to uncover the mysteries that lie within and behind the machine....more
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a picture book about Philippe Petit, a tightrope walker that successfully walked between the World Trade CentThe Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a picture book about Philippe Petit, a tightrope walker that successfully walked between the World Trade Center Towers in New York City. The story takes place in modern day and recounts Philippe’s actual walk, the events leading up to the walk, and the repercussions after his walk was completed. The text in the story is very informative in terms of the logistical aspects of the walk. It recounts dimensions such as how tall the towers were, how thick the tightrope line was, and the distance between the two towers. These technical facts provide the reader with perspective and aspect, further increasing Philippe’s fascinating and remarkable adventure.
The illustrations of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers extends the text by reemphasizing the towers and the actual walk. In several of the earlier pages, Philippe has not yet decided to walk, but is simply being introduced to the reader. Even in these pages, the illustrations feature the two towers as a way to foreshadow the upcoming event. Similarly, after Philippe decides to walk, the two towers are still featured in the background of the scenes. This tactic strengthens the text by personifying the towers in a way that almost creates them into actual “characters.”
The use of space is also a characteristic of the story that is used to create emphasis. On two occasions, Gerstein features fold-out pages that create a larger palette in order to emphasize the grandness of the feat. Also, towards the end of the book, the use of space adds significance to the text. On the page that features the line, “Now the towers are gone,” the white space works to bring power to the words. As the reader reads that line – singled out, standing alone – the reader’s breath is almost taken away. ...more
My favorite part of the book is the "Afterward" where the author recounts which parts of the story are true, and which are not. I was moved when she tMy favorite part of the book is the "Afterward" where the author recounts which parts of the story are true, and which are not. I was moved when she touched on the fact that most people in the Danish Resistance, and Resistances in general, were composed of the "very young and very brave." I flourished in this fact, because too often, society has deemed the young, "hopeless and lost," when in fact it is sometimes the young that are the most determined to make a difference in the world and fight for justice, honor, and truth. Lowry continues to relate the book's character, Peter Neilsen, to an actual Danish Resistance member during World War II. She leaves the reader with an excerpt from a letter the boy wrote the night before he was executed by the Germans:
"...and I want you all to remember - that you must not dream yourselves back to the times before the war, but the dream for you all, young and old, must be to create an ideal of human decency, and not a narrow-minded and prejudiced one. That is the great gift our country hungers for, something every little peasant boy can look forward to, and with pleasure feel he is a part of - something he can work and fight for." ...more
I read this book as a child and recently revisited it for a class assignment.
Once again, a story about self-discovery and finding a place and a senseI read this book as a child and recently revisited it for a class assignment.
Once again, a story about self-discovery and finding a place and a sense of belonging.
The story reminded me a lot of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman in regard to the main characters both not knowing or possessing a proper name. Both stories use this element to help showcase character growth and development throughout the story, especially in the end, when both characters possess the maturity and knowledge to understand that a name is not what defines them, but rather they are what defines their name.
"The wink and the comment about her curls, though Beetle didn't know it, were also gifts from the generous merchant, and they nestled into Beetle's heart and stayed there."
"I need an apprentice who can do what I tell her, take what I give her, who can try and risk and fail and try again and not give up. Babies don't stop their borning because the midwife gives up."...more
I enjoyed The Graveyard Book's magical, alternate reality as well as its colorful, genuine characters.
While reading, I definitely could relate to theI enjoyed The Graveyard Book's magical, alternate reality as well as its colorful, genuine characters.
While reading, I definitely could relate to the sense of "living" and a "life of fulfillment."
"Bod said, 'I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want,' he said, and then he paused and he thought. 'I want everything.'" ...more
Amazing how so much emotion can be packed in only a few pages.
Raw. Heart wrenching. Beautiful.
With the recent departure of my very good friend for dAmazing how so much emotion can be packed in only a few pages.
Raw. Heart wrenching. Beautiful.
With the recent departure of my very good friend for dental school, Thompson's words certainly hit home. A sorrowful love story illustrating the tired and true adage, "If you love something, let it go."
"What does a breathtaking view of the ocean mean without you?"
"Dandel. I'm a turtle. My home is on my back. And yet I feel the most real home I'll ever have is the space where our roads merged and traveled along together..."