Saturday, January 26, 2008

Intro. to Children and Thier Lit.: Green Eggs and Ham

Seuss, Dr. 1960. Green Eggs and Ham. NY: Beginner Books, Inc. ISBN: 9780394900162.

For almost a half a century, readers of all ages have been entertained by Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. With effectively playful words and quirky, five-colored (red, blue, yellow, black and, of course, green) illustrations that are offset by the white pages, the readers will follow the spirited Sam-I-am through the story as he tries to get the stubborn unnamed main character to eat the famous cuisine. With only fifty different words used, this Beginner Book with a rhyming scheme that constantly builds upon itself with the repetition of “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am” and the silly suggested locations of where the characters could eat the green eggs and ham (in a house, with a mouse, with a goat, on a boat, or on a train), readers will instantly become engaged and will have any reluctant reader reciting the whimsical rhyme to the very end when the main character discovers that he truly does like green eggs and ham. With its imaginative text and illustrations, Seuss’ classic will continue to delight children and adults with a story of trying something new for generations to come.

*Ask the group if they ever had to eat something that they thought they didn’t like but actually did when they did try it.
*Have the group list which foods are green.

Intro. to Children and Their Lit.: The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Potter, Beatrix. 1989. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. NY: Frederick Warne & Co. – The Penguin Group. ISBN: 0723234604.

Beatrix Potter’s timeless cautionary tale of a “very naughty” little rabbit who ventures, despite his mother’s warning, into the McGregor garden to fill himself full of delectable vegetables and to barely escape the grasp of the gardener with his very whiskers intact has captured the hearts of readers for over a hundred years. Rich with simple yet exciting descriptions, the narrative will charm and bring the readers into the English countryside with its “voice” and use of words like “kertyschoo,” which is to describes Peter’s sneeze when he is hiding from Mr. McGregor in a water-can. The reproductions of the original illustrations of the rabbit’s escapades are beautifully clear and detailed with every delicate brush stroke made by Potter visible. The watercolor vignettes, which are paired with its corresponding text to create a single spread, not only compliment the narrative but also has the ability to tell the story on their very own. However, it is the marriage of Potter’s words and art that truly makes The Tale of Peter Rabbit a treasured and classic story for all to enjoy.

*Ask the group if Peter Rabbit should have gone into the garden or should have he listened to his mother and gone berry picking with his sisters.
*Have the group read Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, and The Tale of Mr. Tod, which also include the mischievous Peter Rabbit in the story.
*Meet the rest of Potter’s little friends by reading her remaining twenty books.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Intro. to Children and Their Lit.: Library Lion

Knudsen, Michelle. 2006. Library Lion. Illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Cambridge: Candlewick Press. ISBN: 0763622621.

When a lion decides to visit the library one day no one knew what to think. Does a lion really belong in a library? Well, according to rule-enforcing head librarian Miss Merriweather, if he wasn’t “breaking any rules” he is as welcomed as anyone. So everyday, the lion comes to the library before his beloved story hour and makes himself useful by dusting with his tail, licking Miss Merriweather’s envelops and being a backrest for reading children. The beloved lion never broke the rules until one day there is an emergency and he lets out a great RAAHHHRRR! to get attention, which meant he had to leave the library. Through the pleasantly simple and direct narrative and through Hawkes’ delightfully soft and beautiful acrylic and pencil illustrations, the reader will immediately fall in love with the lion just as everyone in the story has. As Knudsen’s words carry the story along, it is through the complimenting illustrations, which blend quietly into the off-white book pages, that the emotions of the character are expressed and the various moods of the story are provided, which range from surprise on the on the story who discovered the lion was listening to her, to the lion’s sad face when he is looking into the doors of the library, wishing to be welcomed back in, and to the love and joy on everyone’s faces when he is. Readers of all ages, including librarians, will enjoy Library Lion of how everyone is welcome to the library and that, “sometimes there [is] a good reason to break the rules. Even in the library.” And just perhaps, they will even begin to wonder, “Does my library have any rules about lions in the library?”

*Ask the group what would they think and react if they saw a lion walk through the door of their library.
*For more books about animals visiting the library read: I.Q. Goes to the Library by Mary Ann Fraser and Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A New Set of Reviews to Come!

Salutations! It’s a whole new year and a whole new course. The book reviews that you will be reading beginning this January and ending in May will be dedicated to the books for my course LS 5613. 20 – Advanced Literature for Children. I hope that you will enjoy my reviews!

On a side note: On January 14 the winners of the many prestigious awards were announced! The winners are:
The Newbery Award: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schultiz

The Caldecott Award: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Slznick

The Sibert Award: The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís

The Coretta Scott King Awards: Author Award: Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis (Author) and Illustrator Award: Let it Shine by Ashley Bryan (Illustrator)

The Pura Belpré Award: Author Award: The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biographiy of Juan Fransico Manzano by Margarita Engle and Illustrated by Sean Qualls, and for Illustrator Award: Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes and Illustrated by Yuyi Morales

The Michael L. Printz Award: The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean

For the complete of list of honor books please see the websites. Congratulations to the winners!