CALDECOTT HONOR PICTURE BOOK 2011 Can colors feel? Author Sidman’s poetry fills our minds with the rhythm and movement of seasons in vivid Technicolor...moreCALDECOTT HONOR PICTURE BOOK 2011 Can colors feel? Author Sidman’s poetry fills our minds with the rhythm and movement of seasons in vivid Technicolor. Ms. Sidman’s kingly main character and his dog experience--as do we the reader--many moods, temperatures, and vividly illustrated rhythms of life as seasonal palettes change. Spring gives way to Summer’s vivid blues, yellows; and greens give way to Autumnal coloring. Even black and white each have their “dance” and let us “feel” their colors.
What is the theme? “As life and seasons ebb and flow their changing colors speak to us.” The child audience is appealed to by the themes of strolling and playtime experiences, such as building snowmen in the Winter and climbing trees and returning to school (a yellow school bus) in the Fall. Is the theme worthwhile? Almost mystical or enchanted our changing landscapes’ colors are “felt” and almost “heard” and awaken all our senses as we explore the rhythms of the earthly landscapes. Is it too obvious or overpowering? The theme is almost overpowering, definitely wistful. The writer and illustrator together create a “taken away” and vicarious learning results through this breathtaking experience. An affinity with nature including the main character’s little white spotted puppy whom she walks all the time is in every illustration. Personal Reaction. Sidman’s “Red Sings” touched my wistful side and catapulted me through lots of memories both forward and seemingly backward in time. Every word and every illustration delighted me! I carefully weighed my decision to select THIS book for my Book talk over several other contenders.
Illustrations. Both the front and back cover are as vivid as the inside illustrations. Trees, red birds singing from the treetops plus the changes in the trees hint at the colors and seasonal palettes. . The back cover uses trees in various seasons one budding, one in full foliage, the next one shows changing fall leaves, and the fourth the bare limbs of winter. What are the illustrations like? What medium does the illustrator use? I believe illustrator Zagarenski used a mixed media of acrylic paints and pen and pencil drawings. Each makes the other stand out even more so. She gives a goodly amount of detail in her drawings then broadly paints in a wide palette of changing intensity yet vibrant colors. Do the illustrations extend the text? Hmmm. Since the text is poetry illustrator Zagarenski vividly and colorfully paints her illustrations I believe in a mixed media of acrylic paints and pen and pencil drawings. Each makes the other stand out even more so. Are the words and illustrations woven together in any way? Yes, tightly woven together. Moods change with colors and seasons, and Zagarenski’s color palette is almost as free as the verse with which Sidman writes. She gives a goodly amount of detail in her drawings then broadly paints in a wide palette of changing intensity yet vibrant colors expressing waning and ebbing moods. Do they create "rhythm and movement" in any way? Yes strongly so. What colors are used and for what purpose? All of the primary colors + black, grey and white! Purple, Blue, Yellow, Red, and Red again! For example, we see how blue and green are one thing in Spring yet they evolve into other themes in Summer and Fall. What does the illustrator try to convey through his/her art? How precious each of these metamorphoses create yet another palette for the eyes, senses, and soul to feast themselves upon. These colors shift, and our moods shift with them. I do miss the stark changes in my own Midwest home town versus the paler palette changes here in the Gobi Desert. (less)
1991 CALDECOTT HONOR PICTURE BOOK MY SYNOPSIS: Many large, tall skyscrapers surround the George Washington Bridge, a lighted suspension bridge, which...more1991 CALDECOTT HONOR PICTURE BOOK MY SYNOPSIS: Many large, tall skyscrapers surround the George Washington Bridge, a lighted suspension bridge, which Harlem overlooks. Atop one of these buildings young Cassie, her brother, parents and Mrs. and Mrs. Honey enjoy potlucks, card games, and whimsy on the rooftop which they name “Tar Beach.” Here Cassie soars over the city wearing the lights of the bridge as a necklace. She learns to “fly” here and feels she can own anything! THEME: Cassie, a third grader, can envision an equality for her and her family through her nighttime magical imaginings on those nights at least when her family and their friends can “own” a piece of “Tar Beach” (Harlem tenement building’s rooftop). She shows us HOW to and that they CAN be overcome—prejudices. Is the theme worthwhile? Is it too obvious or overpowering? The theme is a powerful one! As Cassie determines through her own fantasies own that SHE can overcome anything we each feel somewhat more empowered ourselves. The child audience is appealed to by these themes of unlimited thinking and visions of a better world, an empowered world, through daydreaming (or nighttime day dreaming as in this case). As Ringgold writes and illustrates Cassie’s experiences this theme is woven together and carries us and her little brother BeBe away through Cassie’s vicarious Big-Sisterliness to learn about her very own breathtaking and inspiring experiences atop the roof on many a warm summer night. Personal Reaction. When I discovered that Ringgold chose her quilt which she also calls “Tar Beach” as an outer border of both her front and back covers of this book, it reminded me of something I recently learned—that quilt makers during the Civil War incorporated messages, directions, instructions. Faith Ringgold branched into story writing from quilt making. My delight at the author’s use of imagery served to emphasize her theme and makes me want to explore other 1991 Caldecott Medal winners because they MUST be even more better than Ringgold’s entry!
Content. What is the focus of the book? Through the nighttime magical imaginings of a young girl, Cassie, in the third grade, we are shown her world where prejudices CAN be overcome and in which she determines through her fantasies that she can overcome anything. Is the book appropriate for a particular age of student or child? What age would most appreciate the book? From early age 0 to 5 years (pre-readers) and beyond. These vivid inner city illustrations tell the message of life surrounded by high rises and the body of water bridged by the George Washington Bridge, which Cassie’s father helped to build. Does the book encourage curiosity and wonder about its topic(s)? Yes. How is it that children can “fly”? I can’t fly—or can I? Some people think this book is a good starting point for a discussion of wishes and vision. Is the book connected to any particular curriculum topic(s) in more than just a superficial way? Yes, occupations, class differences, family life, big city issues such as labor unions, and prejudice. Cassie’s father brings Cassie with him to his job site where he builds skyscrapers. What is the quality of the language? It is third grad-ish! After all, Cassie tells us that she is in the third grade. Ringgold includes many of Cassie’s own words or thoughts, such as . She flies over the George Washington bridge that she wishes she can wear as a necklace because her father helped build it. She also wishes that her father could be rich and build his own building and get the respect he deserves. In the end, she is happy that she can enjoy Tar Beach(the roof on top of the building she lives in)with her family and it allows her to daydream about so many things she would like in that world. A great book to teach students that anything is possible...even if it is in your dreams Is the vocabulary appropriate? Absolutely relevant vocabulary that includes some very “adult” concepts like, “But still he can’t join the union because Grandpa wasn’t member.” I am uncertain but believe that since the 1930’s (the setting of this book) unions now accept a diverse culture of workers’ applications. But Ringgold’s book does NOT go into The Civil Rights Act of 1962 (perhaps because this is quite a few decades prior to that! This book and its third-grade geared vocabulary encourage us to live vicariously through Cassie’s dreams and fantasies. • Illustrations. Both the front and back cover are as vivid as the inside illustrations. I loved that Ringgold chose her quilt which she also calls “Tar Beach” as an outer border of both her front and back covers of this book.—This books back cover shows simply the picture of Cassie “flying” in the sky. Her covers truly appeal to her child audience and equally delight, I feel, her adult audience. What are the illustrations like? What medium does the illustrator use? I believe illustrator/author Ringgold uses acrylic paintings. Ringgold’s rich detail and vivid, rich colors echo the vibrancy and intensity of young Cassie’s flights of fancy. Do the illustrations extend the text? Ringgold’s illustrations not only extend the text but further display her respect for children’s understandings, abilities and appreciations, a high measuring stick forCaldecott Honors and Medal winners. Are the words and illustrations woven together in any way? Yes, tightly woven together Ringgold’s prose and her city life illustrations work in synchronicity to depict the changing moods our little character Cassie feels for example, when she goes with her father to his worksite and when the whole family joins the Honey family on the “tar beach” rooftop at night. “They call him the Cat.” because he walks on steel girders many stories about the ground. Mood changing to magical at night with the vivid, intense nighttime palette of deep, majestic royal blue sky with the white lights of the bridge “like a giant diamond necklace,” she writes. Do they create "rhythm and movement" in any way? Ringgold’s paintings reflect the lack of motion of the buildings, their starkness against the day time sky and their illusory qualities in the night, starlit skies. It is then at night when the sky comes alive, and Cassie “flies” above the other buildings like the ice cream factory and daddy’s union building which she picks. “Well, Daddy is going to own that building, ’cause I’m gonna fly over it and give it to him.” What colors are used and for what purpose? Bold primary colors by night accented by the bright whites of the stars in the sky and the lights on the George Washington Bridge. What does the illustrator try to convey through her art? How magnificent a cascade of dormant colors becomes when the sky is morphed from dusk into night! Cassie almost instinctively comprehends that the limitations of her father’s half-black and half-native American ethnicity has made life harder for her father and her mother. Children can learn here that personal and cultural identity often in the past has created difficulties for people. Ringgold paints for us through her acrylic paintings an empathy for the suffering of Cassie’s family and hopefully influences young minds to consider these influences in their own future decision making. (less)
Cute book w/lessons on what NOT to send as valentines....REMINDS me of one my favorite Lady GaGa's quotes, ""I had a boyfriend who told me I’d never s...moreCute book w/lessons on what NOT to send as valentines....REMINDS me of one my favorite Lady GaGa's quotes, ""I had a boyfriend who told me I’d never succeed, never be nominated for a Grammy, never have a hit song, and that he hoped I’d fail. I said to him, ‘Someday, when we’re not together, you won’t be able to order a cup of coffee at the fucking deli without hearing or seeing me." — Lady Gaga
Nostalgic for Valentine's special memories? I was last Mon night right AFTER Children's Lit class...and went & read this one!(less)