This inspiring picture book by author Laurie Ann Thompson tells the moving true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young man born with a severe disabil This inspiring picture book by author Laurie Ann Thompson tells the moving true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young man born with a severe disability in rural Ghana who nonetheless bicycled across the entire country, raising awareness for disabled people throughout Africa and around the world.
The book opens with a touching tableau--a beautiful baby boy has been born, but with only one strong leg. We can see the despair in the father's posture and the fear in the mother's eyes as she looks at the baby's father. Disabled children in Ghana were not only considered worthless-they were considered a curse, and the baby's father soon abandons the family. The mother's hope is seen in her naming the baby "Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." Emmanuel's mother refuses to allow her child to become a beggar, as was the custom for disabled people in Ghana; instead she helps him to become self-sufficient, hopping to school, two miles each way. When his classmates scorned him, he saves money to buy something no one in the school had--a real soccer ball, and earns their respect by learning to play on just one leg. When his mother falls ill, Emmanuel moves to the big city to earn money to support his family. Sadly, his mother dies, but he honors her memory by dreaming up a way to show that disabled people could do anything--a bike ride around his country--nearly 400 miles. Support for what others deemed an impossible project came all the way from America, along with the equipment he needed. We see Emmanuel riding across the country, surrounded people cheering, including disabled countrymen. Thompson concludes this inspiring story as follows: "He completed his astounding journey...in just ten days. But Emmanuel's success goes even further than that. He proved that one leg is enough to do great things--and one person is enough to change the world."
In her first picture book, author Laurie Ann Thompson admirably succeeds in her mission of teaching children about social justice issues, a campaign she began in her young adult nonfiction book, Be a Changemaker, a how-to book for young social entrepreneurs. Thompson's tale is enhanced with mixed media illustrations by award-winning children's illustrator Sean Qualls (Before John Was a Jazz Giant and Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat among others). He uses a "primitive" style of illustration, relying on collage and paint to convey the emotion of Emmanuel's story.
An author's note explains that Emmanuel has continued to achieve great things, competing in major athletic events, carrying the Olympic torch, and starring in a documentary about his life, Emmanuel's Gift, which I will be putting on my Netflix queue. He continues to work to help disabled people, particularly in Ghana, realize their full potential.
This is a wonderful book to share with elementary school children; for older children it can be paired with viewing the documentary. ...more
Jane Eyre meets Goldilocks and the Three Bears in this enchanting tale of an impoverished governess hired to take care of young Theodore in a creepy,Jane Eyre meets Goldilocks and the Three Bears in this enchanting tale of an impoverished governess hired to take care of young Theodore in a creepy, huge manor house in which portraits follow you with their eyes, strange footsteps follow you down the hall, and objects disappear from rooms without a trace. Filled with tropes from gothic novels, this book is hard to put down. It is sure to please tweens and even teens who enjoy fairy-tale mashups, whether TV series such as Once Upon a Time and Grimm or books by Shannon Hale, Adam Gidwitz, and others. Coville skillfully weaves in not only the bones of the Goldilocks tale but characters from other beloved stories such as The Three Pigs, the Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe, and the Bremen Street Musicians, in this enchanted world in which humans and talking fairy tale animals have co-existed peacefully for years. But when a mute, filthy, starving little girl with golden hair is taken in by the kindly bear family, prejudice against the talking animals from the human community comes to the forefront. Will Goldilocks be able to stay with her new bear family? And what will happen to the kindly governess, Ursula, who has fallen in love with Mr. Vaughan, another member of the Bear family's staff? The novel is full of the vocabulary and images of the olden days, in which even young proper bears must wear corsets and not spend time alone in the company of a young male bear. If you've read Jane Austen and other 19th century novelists these touches are especially endearing....more
fascinating--written by a former attorney who is herself an introvert, Susan Cain doesn't do her own research but rather compiles information from lotfascinating--written by a former attorney who is herself an introvert, Susan Cain doesn't do her own research but rather compiles information from lots of studies by both management experts and psychologists. Important for any manager to read to understand our society's biases toward extroverts and what introverts can add to the equation....more
If you're a Jack Reacher fan, skip this one. It doesn't even sound as if it was written by Lee Child. Maybe he has a ghostwriter working with him? TheIf you're a Jack Reacher fan, skip this one. It doesn't even sound as if it was written by Lee Child. Maybe he has a ghostwriter working with him? There are so many things to criticize I won't even go there, but don't read it if you love this series like I do!...more
British author/illustrator Alex T. Smith returns with a winter-themed addition to his beginning reader series about the adventures of a genial dog namBritish author/illustrator Alex T. Smith returns with a winter-themed addition to his beginning reader series about the adventures of a genial dog named Claude and his best friend Sir Bobblysock (yes, Sir Bobblysock is actually a sock, an unusual sidekick--or perhaps it makes sense since dogs love to chew socks?) This is the fourth book in the series.
In Claude on the Slopes, we are introduced to Claude, a small, plump dog who wears shoes, a sweater and "a rather nifty beret," and resides with Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes and his best friend Sir Bobblysock at 112 Waggy Avenue. In each book, Claude and Sir Bobblysock take off on adventures. One day they go to the library, where they visit Miss Hush, the librarian, who has to remind Claude to use his "nice Indoor voice." Claude is in for a real adventure when he experiences snow for the first time, and winds up at a winter sports center, where he experiences snowball fights, sledding, and snow sculpture and skiing. When he forgets he's not supposed to use his loud outdoor voice out in the snow and accidentally triggers an avalanche, his magic beret, which seems to hold everything you can need, helps Claude save the day.
This beginning reader is perfect for fans of gentle humor such as Poppleton by Cynthia Rylant or the Amanda pig series by Jean van Leeuwen. The cartoon-style artwork, done in black, white, grey and red, adds to the humor of the stories. As is typical with beginning readers, the author uses a format of brief chapters which can be read independently if a child is not yet ready to read the entire book at one sitting. The book would also make an amusing read-aloud, although the small size of the volume make it better suited for reading with a small group than a classroom....more
British poet Brian Patten and British painter and illustrator Nicola Bayley combine forces in Can I Come Too?, an exquisitely illustrated picture bookBritish poet Brian Patten and British painter and illustrator Nicola Bayley combine forces in Can I Come Too?, an exquisitely illustrated picture book suitable for the youngest children, in which a tiny but adventurous mouse sets out on a quest to find the biggest creature in the world.
In his gentle and lyrical text, Patten turns to a familiar and beloved pattern for children's books, the cumulative tale, much as P.D. Eastman uses in Are You My Mother or Deborah Guarino uses in Is Your Mama a Llama, to mention just a few. Here, our mouse heroine meets a succession of larger and larger animals, asking each "Are you the biggest creature in the world?" A friendly frog, a rainbow colored kingfisher, a sleepy cat, an otter, a badger, a dog, a goat, and a tiger all admit they're not the biggest creature in the world, but ask politely if they can come along on the adventure. When the story is read aloud, children will enjoy chiming in on the oft-repeated refrain, "Can I come too?" Finally, the motley group of animals, led by our intrepid mouse, meets a polar bear, who knows just where to find the biggest creature in the world. They all follow the polar bear to the ocean, where they encounter an enormous and majestic whale. Satisfied, the sleepy animals spend some time watching the whale frolic in the ocean, and then return home, where Mouse curls up and muses, "I might be tiny, but I've had a very big adventure."
This is a calm and soothing story that would be perfect for bedtime reading for young children; snuggled in a chair or bed an adult and child could not only enjoy the text but also have time to observe the intricacies of Nicola Bayley's meticulously detailed illustrations, rendered in colored pencil. Her style brings to mind celebrated American illustrators such as Michael Hague and Jan Brett. ...more