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Category Archives: Children’s Lit

E.B. White: Some Writer!

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E.B. White: Some Writer! is some biography. A book for children, say grades 4 and up, is well researched and well written. Barbara Gherman’s biography is based on White’s letters and papers as well as on interviews with his relatives.

The biography begins with an overview and then proceeds to describe E.B. White’s life from grade school onward. The tone is delightful and readers get a sense of White’s shyness, his sense of adventure (within the US – traveling abroad was too much for him), his family life, love of nature and writing career. White, whose friends called him Andy,

The book contains many photos of White, his parents and family, which helps readers get to know White in yet another way.

As Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little and his essay’s are among my favorite writings, I enjoyed learning more about the man. He’s as sincere and caring. He deeply cared about his friends, family and quality writing. The book was a fun, insightful read, which I highly recommend.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2019 in book review, Children's Lit, contemporary, non-fiction

 

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Brightly

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If you need help finding a book for a child or teen, Brightly is a site that’s sure to help. Used by librarians and teachers, Brightly offers reviews and lists of books for every sort of reader, e.g. 20 Early Chapter Books for Boys, 14 Best Books for Kindergarten Graduation Gifts, 7 Picture Books that Celebrate Great Teachers, Books for Star Wars Obsessed Kids, and more. It’s easy to search by age or interest. The site publishes new articles regularly. In addition to book posts, Brightly offers articles on parenting with topics including social media and kids, communication and dealing with perfectionism. It’s a terrific resource.

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Posted by on May 17, 2019 in book lovers, Children's Lit

 

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Fortunately, the Milk

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Sounds like an odd title, right?

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman is a charming and quick read with zany illustrations by Skottie Young. When the narrator’s mother is away, the kids are left with a dad who forgot to get milk for the breakfast cereal. To please his kids, dear ol’ dad trots down to the corner store to get some and the children feel like he’s taken forever to return.

When he gets home, the father returns with a long, zany tale of time travel to explain the delay. It’s an entertaining read probably best enjoyed by kids in the lower grades.

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2019 in Children's Lit, fiction

 

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The Pink Refrigerator

5113jn92IcL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Written and illustrated by Tim Egan, The Pink Refrigerator is a charming book that tells the story of a mouse with the love of the cosy and familiar that reminds me of a Hobbit. Dodsworth owns a second hand store and loves running his store and living a predictable life where the main form of recreation is television.

One day Dodsworth acquires an old, pink refrigerator. He plans to sell it but becomes intrigued by its magic. You see, one day Dodsworth goes to the fridge to get rid of it, but he’s surprised by a note that says “Paint Pictures.” Inside the fridge there are all the supplies needed to paint.

Day after day, the fridge challenges Dodsworth to get outside his comfort zone and do something new and creative. Before you know it, Dodsworth’s transformed. It’s a cute, cosy tale that inspires.

What would you want a pink refrigerator to help you do?

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2019 in Children's Lit, fiction

 

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Leaf

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A beautiful, wordless book, Leaf by Daishu Ma captivated me. In this environmental tale, a young man discovers a mysteriously glowing leaf which propels him on a journey in search of understanding. Along the way he explores a city that reminded me of a set from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, without the bleak vibe and a scientist who studies extinct plants.

Though Ma’s palette includes only yellow, gray, blue and a touch of white, the illustrations are mesmerizing. The book doesn’t preach, but does take readers on a magical journey that’s sure to bolster one’s appreciation and wonder at nature.

SaveSave

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2018 in book review, Children's Lit, contemporary, graphic novel, postaweek

 

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Wabi Sabi

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Written by Mark Reibstein and illustrated by Ed Young, Wabi Sabi is a poetic book about Japan. Here Wabi Sabi is a cat, who’s puzzled by her name. She sets off to find someone wise enough to explain her inexplicable Japanese name.

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Brown Wabi Sabi consults wise Snowball

The idea of a hero seeking answers to a perplexing question is nothing new in children’s literature. You see it in the The Wizard of Oz, Are You My Mother? and a slew of others. What I liked best in this journey was Reibstein’s inclusion of classic haiku like:

An old straw mat, rough
on cat’s paws, pricks and tickles . . .
hurts and feels good, too.

Young’s collages illustrate the book and do offer the messiness of wabi sabi, a cultural term that according to I wasn’t wild about the collages. Perhaps I’d have preferred water colors or another medium, which could include mistakes and thus illustrate the concept. Young does communicate wabi sabi, I just wasn’t a big fan of this style.

I’ve been told that wabi sabi refers to beauty that’s got imperfections such as age or wear.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2018 in Children's Lit, fiction, postaweek

 

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2018 Reading Challenge

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I’ve made up a reading challenge for myself. I have done Goodreads.com‘s challenges where I read a certain number of books per month. This time I’m adding some themes and other specifics to spice things up.

Susan’s 2018 Reading Challenge

January – read a memoir and another book that’ll help me change my outlook (i.e. achieve a resolution)

February – read a 19th century novel and a religious book

March – read a book written by a Russian author

April – read a play by Shakespeare and commentary in a Norton Classic edition

May – read a detective story

June – read a book of historical fiction

July – read a travel book

August – read a humorous book

September – read a book by a Japanese author

October – read something scary

November – read a book a friend has recommended

December – read a children’s book and a story or book with a Christmas theme

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in book lovers, British Lit, British literature, Children's Lit, fiction, French Lit, humor, non-fiction, play, Travel Writing

 

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