I haven’t read the adult book from which this picture book came, but I’m familiar with the story. The collage-type pictures here are darling and the story itself is a tearjerker in a good way. For this reader and maybe others, it begs the question, “What can I do in my community?” And that’s a good question to ask.
Well, yesterday was my last day at the public library. I wonder if I’ll ever work in one again? (Hopefully I’ll volunteer.) My favorite part is doing readers’ advisory. It helps me grow as a reader, myself, to see what other people find interesting. And although I know you aren’t supposed to just push books you like (hey, I have even suggested Twilight and the Warrior Kitties series), I have boosted the check outs for several of my favorites:
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, by John Grisham. I see on blogs that a lot of people didn’t like this, but I was wholly satisfied. It was suspenseful to the very end.
Kate DiCamillo’s The Magician’s Elephant, or any of her other titles. The nearest and dearest to my heart really is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, but I don’t recommend that to just anyone. I think you have to be ready for it – having had some sort of loss in your life – to really appreciate it.
Scat by Carl Hiaasen – or any of his other children’s books. I absolutely love the “Easter eggs” that are included for those who have also read his adult books (let’s hope and those readers are adults – a bit risque for kids). I like that his themes of Florida, environmental protection, and the bad guy getting it in the end are consistent no matter the level, and I also like that he doesn’t talk down to the young reader. He’s just fantastic and I’ve read all his books.
My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen is one of the few autobiographies for children out there. Truthfully, it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, and certainly one of the top two children’s books I’ve read (with Love That Dog by Sharon Creech). I recommend it to the kids looking for a dog book, and there are plenty. It’s a very popular Dewey section!
Flotsam by David Wiesner is just a fabulous picture book – for children or adults. The pictures are exquisitely detailed and I love that there is such a detailed storyline without any words. I used this book in my student teaching with 5th graders, having them write a story to go along with the pictures. Wordless books are great for kids learning to read because they can interact with the book without tripping on the print. This has definitely been my favorite picture book, until . . .
Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Leo and Diane Dillon (took out the reference to an “old black man singing in the West” – not offensive so much as unnecessary),
Alas, this is my last storytime at the public library. I’ve accepted a position as a K-12 teacher-librarian and begin in July. But in the meantime, I need to finish my practicum, pass my cataloging class plus my three summer classes, and my comprehensive tests. We’re trying to find a house to buy, getting ready to sell ours, and everything else, so for once, I can (sort of) concentrate on my classes. I’ll miss doing storytimes, but my school has a preschool, too, so I fully intend to do storytime, if even once a month. I can’t wait!
Author interview can be found here.