It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles is a wonderful addition to any poetry collection for children. Jack Prelutsky’s other books, The New Kid on the BlockIt’s Raining Pigs & Noodles is a wonderful addition to any poetry collection for children. Jack Prelutsky’s other books, The New Kid on the Block and Something Big Has Been Here were both ALA Notable Books, and given Prelutsky’s talent, I can see why. The poems in this book are very child-friendly, playful and funny. There are plenty of clear examples of onomatopoeia, alliteration and other word plays. One of my favorites is “The Knock-Less Monster” demonstrating his existence on page thirty-six.
The black and white drawings by James Stevenson are predominantly of animals and children. His artwork beautifully supports the poems, as well as helps fill the pages, especially with the shorter poems. There are four shape poems that would be great mentor texts for young poets. “I am Winding Through a Maze” is in the shape of a maze and “I am Stuck Inside a Seashell” spirals to the center of the page. Both make reading extra fun and challenging for young readers. The other two, “We’re Perched Upon a Star” and “I’m Caught Up in Infinity” take the shape of a star and the infinity symbol, respectively. In my opinion, Jack Prelutsky gives the ever-popular Shel Silverstein a run for his money. ...more
I could listen Maya Angelou's voice for hours! I listened to the audio book of Maya Angelou reading her own life story. It makes it almost too real. CI could listen Maya Angelou's voice for hours! I listened to the audio book of Maya Angelou reading her own life story. It makes it almost too real. Compelling, heart-breaking, victorious... what a range of passion this woman is able to articulately share. This book would appeal to women of all ages(adolescents and up). The art of storytelling and a one-of-a-kind voice that makes the spoken word sound like music.
The story courageously tells the story of a young, black girl who struggles with fear and disillusionment related to rape and incest. As disturbing as it is, Maya uses her pain to help fuel her strength as an adult and mother. Her feirce maternal instinct motivating her to carry a gun into a gang leader's home to protect her son is nothing short of magnificent. The tragedy that necessitates her actions is powerfully sobering. Beautiful, raw, intense. ...more
Henry David’s House by Henry David Thoreau and illustrated by Peter Fiore. I enjoyed this book because it took me back to remembering how simplistic HHenry David’s House by Henry David Thoreau and illustrated by Peter Fiore. I enjoyed this book because it took me back to remembering how simplistic Henry David Thoreau was and how it is we that make our lives complicated. The book is written as a journal from month to month. It talks about how he built his log cabin. How he communicated with nature, talking to the birds and other animals and even the plants and flowers. I loved how he built each piece of furniture in the cabin. He talked to several travelers and even once to a runaway slave.
The illustrations are beautifully drawn as a picture of what the journal was speaking of on that particular page. Each page has a flower on it representing either the time of year that page was written about or representing his mood at that time. He ends his story in winter, speaking of the pond just before it freezes. He ends his story saying we can never get enough of nature. Coincidentally, winter is approaching as I write this journal (of a sort), and I, too, must now go outside for a moment and enjoy one of the few days left of autumn.
This inspiring down-to-earth book would compliment a field trip to Botanic Gardens or a nature walk.
I originally received this book as a gift five years ago, and it has remained on our “active” shelf at home to this day. This bilingual poetry book haI originally received this book as a gift five years ago, and it has remained on our “active” shelf at home to this day. This bilingual poetry book has the Spanish version of the poem on the left side of the page mirroring the English version on the right. The colorful artwork connects both pages by completing a scene with lively Latino/a children celebrating traditional Spanish nursery rhymes. The poems were selected by Alma Flor Ada and R. Isabel Campoy. The English adaptations are by Alice Schertle, and the poster quality illustrations are by Vivi Escriva’. I would like to purchase some of her artwork for our playroom.
The poems read in Spanish are absolutely musical even being unfamiliar with their original melodies. I would challenge anyone, even a pouting preschooler, to get through this book without smiling. ...more
This book is a wonderful mentor text for 3rd graders! It gives short stories (in comic strip form) with characters that are recognizable over time. ThThis book is a wonderful mentor text for 3rd graders! It gives short stories (in comic strip form) with characters that are recognizable over time. Then it gives a series of pictures with empty bubbles for kids to write in their own funny little stories. Then it gives empty boxes for kids to be completely creative. It asks kids to draw a floor plan of their room, then a floor plan for their dream house. It shows how to draw stick figures with expression and has them answer questions about themselves and their homes. It gives a list of funny rules that a 9 to 12 year old might wish for. Of course, this is followed by promts for kids to write their own rules with illustrations to match. I would get this book as a gift for any 3rd to 6th grader and maybe beyond. The only reason I would not give it to a child younger than that is the disgusting humor and the bathroom humor, for example, "The Fart Police." Jeff Kinney knows how to sell books! If you are familiar with this series, it is exactly what you expect it to be, a workbook version of his book broken into small segments rather than one on-going story. ...more
L is for Lincoln was a very quick to read treat. I learned a lot of interesting facts about Chicago in this “Illinois Alphabet” book. The very first FL is for Lincoln was a very quick to read treat. I learned a lot of interesting facts about Chicago in this “Illinois Alphabet” book. The very first Ferris Wheel was at a Chicago Fair. The first fire engine in our state was named Quincy. Our very own Lincoln Park Zoo is the oldest zoo in the USA! Each page of this book has a few rhymed couplets to explain or describe a state landmark in alphabetical order. Also on the side of each page is a paragraph or two giving greater detail about the historical significance of what is being described. The illustrations are creative and informative, for example, the pictured Harold Washington Library has what is supposed to look like a photograph of the former mayor thumb-tacked to the building.
My children recognized this book from their classroom library and grabbed it out of the car arguing over who got to read it first. Quite impressive (the book, not my parenting)! ...more
**spoiler alert** Mississippi Morning is an important, well-written book, but very disturbing. The dust jacket suggests that it is for children ages n**spoiler alert** Mississippi Morning is an important, well-written book, but very disturbing. The dust jacket suggests that it is for children ages nine and up. I would not use this book with children under twelve. James Williams is a young white boy, maybe ten or eleven, who lives in Mississippi in the summer of 1933. He does chores around the house and barn in the morning and is free to explore the neighboring woods in the afternoon. Some afternoons James would walk into town to help his father take care of his store. While he sweeps, he notices men come to speak to his father in whispers. He doesn’t know what they talk about, but he can tell that his father’s opinion is important to the men and they treat his father with a great deal of respect. His father expresses his great pride in his son for helping so much while his wife takes care of James’ two younger sisters. James has two friends that he spends his free time with, one is a white boy named Red and the other is a black boy named LeRoy. In separate conversations, he starts to suspect that his father’s friends might be doing horrible, racist things to the blacks in the neighborhood. Given how polite his father is to the blacks that come to trade in his store, James can’t believe that he father would be racist. Houses are burned, a man is lynched, and James cannot believe that his father could be part of such violence. When James tries to discuss his concerns with his father, his father abruptly changes the subject. As the reader soon suspects, James father is a leader among the Ku Klux Klan. One fateful morning, James accidentally sees his father run back to their home while pulling the white pointed hood off his head. In that moment, the father-son relationship is irreparably damaged, if not destroyed. Neither of them can look each other in the eyes and young James loses his respect for his father as well as his innocence.
The artwork is beautifully done by Floyd Cooper, who has illustrated and even written several books for children. Floyd has earned Coretta Scott King Honors for several titles: Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea, Meet Danitra Brow, and I Have Heard of a Land (Harper Trophy). Some pages have a Norman Rockwell feel to them, with pink clouds capturing daybreak. Other pages are dark and scary, depicting hooded men on horseback, galloping away from a burning home. The illustrations powerfully support the all too true story.
Maybe I’m being naïve, but I don’t want elementary school aged children hearing about such violent images and human cruelty. A child should be able to idealize their parents as long as possible. It is important that children think for themselves, which sometimes means disagreeing with their parents’ ideas. When students learn about the Ku Klux Klan, this would be a great book to use. ...more