Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some January Book Companion....

I've learned that during the tough winter months here in Ohio, you have to look for positive things in order to survive. So here's my reflection on that: yes, it is cold; yes, it's no fun how soon it gets dark but I AM getting a lot of great reading done while sipping my hot cup of coffee and relaxing on my couch. So, I'm thankful for the time to read, for the cozy place I have to remain warm and for the wonderful books in my hands. Now, having said that, I would like to share with you a couple of picture books that have been on my lap the last couple of days.

     MirrorMirror by Jeanni Baker is one special book. Here is the story of two families, two boys living in two different places. One family lives in Australia and the other family lives in Morocco, North Africa. Their lives are so different from one another yet so similar in so many small and big ways. Regardless of where a family is from, there are some things that remain universal. Now the challenge for the reader is to figure out the author's message relying solely from the pictures provided. Yes, it is a wordless picture book. The author and illustrator of this book shares her experiences making this book, starting with drawings, then turning them into collages. An absolute piece of art. The author explains that the idea behind Mirror stems from her own experiences traveling as a woman by herself in remote Morocco. Absolutely worth taking your time to create your meaning of this book by paying attention to the details. 

Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit Ernest, The Moose who Doesn't Fit by Catherine Rayner is a great picture book that knows how to capture the readers' attention through its illustrations. So what can a Mooose do when he is so so large that he doesn't even fit in the book where he is being portrayed. After some not successful trials, a little friend has a perfect idea so that Moose can not only fit but also shine as his true self. This books leads to wonderful conversations in the classroom such as predicting the possible solutions, exploring themes, and of course, discussing the craft and art of writing and illustrating this book!

Up and Down The newest book by Oliver Jeffers is out. I must confess that I really didn't know much about Oliver Jeffers and his books until I discover The Heart and The Bottle which I loved from the very beginning! So what is Up and Down all about? Well simply put, it is about two dear friends who are inseparable! They enjoy each other company and do everything together until one day penguin decides he wants to fly. This feels like a mission to penguin, something he must conquer by himself. So he sets out to find out the possibilities of flying but that's when he realizes that he needs his friend for things to make sense....because you know....there's nothing like the supporting arms of a best friend! 

The Rabbit Problem Oh I love Emily Gravett!! She never disappoints and wait until you see what she has created with her newest picture book! Amazingly creative, this book is a journey through the 12 months of the year and the problems that these adorable rabbits face each month, until they get to December....
Each page is featured as a month of the year, with the statement of the problem and the unique illustrations that provide the perfect balance and combination of fun and wild imagination! I can see this book being a big HIT with the children! 


Cathy said...

I just purchased Up and Down last night. I'm adding the others to my library bookbag. Mirror looks especially interesting and perfect for our study of cultures. Thanks for sharing. You are right, getting through winter is tough. You've reminded me to look at the positive side. Winter slows life down a bit. Perfect time to read by the fire.


Betsy Parkes said...

I just stumbled across your blog and LOVE your book suggestions for January. I hadn't heard of any of them, and am excited to pick them up at the library. My sister, who teaches 1st grade, was just asking if I knew of a book that had the months of the year as part of the storyline. The Rabbit Problem could be just what she is looking for!

Thanks for the great post. I've bookmarked your site so that I'll remember to check back often.

Betsy Parkes

katied said...

I love Oliver Jeffers too and these suggestions are great. I can't wait to get my hands on The Moose who Doesn't Fit. Stay warm!