Archive for October, 2013

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, Peter Brown, Picture Book of the Day

I’m Wild for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild!

Kids of all ages probably feel that rules and social norms are confining. Think of all the rules preschoolers have to learn! Adults feel that same way too. I feel that way a lot and I’m in good company.  Author and illustrator Peter Brown says this is his most autobiographical picture book to date!

I’m wild for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild! There’s nothing trite about this picture book. The illustrations are gorgeous too! I love how there’s a spot of orange on each page spread that is really striking against the browns and greens on the rest of the page.

I tried to nominate Mr. Tiger Goes Wild for a Cybil but, alas, I was too late. Someone else had beaten me to it. I’m hoping it will get recognition in the Caldecott picture books category. What picture books are you rooting for to win a children’s book award?

 

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Mr. Tiger lives in a very proper urban setting. It’s all “Good day to you” and “Indeed it is”, pinky finger crooked and all. He didn’t like it at all so he had a better idea. He went wild. Native wild. Birthday suit wild! His friends were SHOCKED! So he went to live in the jungle. There was just one thing. He missed his friends. So he returned. And he found that they had all gone a little wild in his absence. Perhaps it was his influence? And now, Mr. Tiger felt that life was just right! [picture book, ages 3 and up]

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Friday Fun Blog Hop

Friday Fun Blog Hop!

I’m excited to be co-hosting the Friday Fun Blog Hop along with my four other lovely cohosts:

Emily of Love, Pasta and Tool Belt
Rebecca of Caravan Sonnet
Shannon of Smile and Write
Jess of Sleepless in DIY Bride Country

Our hosts are:
Rebecca Stead Guys Read Other Worlds, Liar and Spy, how Rebecca Stead writes boy characters

Rebecca Stead on Grokking and Other Matters

I’m thrilled to welcome Newbery winning author Rebecca Stead today as my guest blogger courtesy of Walden Pond Press since Guys Read: Other Worlds, edited by Jon Scieszka, is out today and includes a wonderful short story by Rebecca Stead.

Rebecca Stead, Liar and Spy, Guys Read Other Worlds, Leslie College

I met Rebecca though the Random House Read and Play Community along with Newbery winner Clare Vanderpool on a webchat a few years ago. Rebecca came to Boston as a visiting scholar at Leslie College and I was thrilled to meet her in person. She’s very nice!!

Rebecca Stead, Leslie College, Liar and Spy

Jacqueline Davies introduced Rebecca and after she read a few chapters of Liar and Spy, she took Q and A. One student asked her if it was more difficult for her to write boy characters. This is her answer:

Her latest book is Liar and Spy. I think the only reason why she didn’t win a Newbery for that is because she won the Newbery for When You Reach Me three years ago. Her debut novel is First Light.

It is a honor and priviledge to have her today writing about grokking, science fiction and what inspires her. Read more…

chapter book for young girl

20 Gentle Chapter Books for a Young Girl

My reader Natalie has a young daughter who has been reading enthusiastically at a young age:

My daughter  read first books of Penderwicks and Half Magic, but I should look into their sequels to return her to a more gentle universe 🙂

My daughter is probably a little unusual since she is reading since she was 3, and it’s truly her favorite thing to do. We still read theme-based picture books (we really loved several of the kite books you recommended, by the way), but she is reading a lot of long books on her own.

She is a big fan of myths and legends as long as they don’t involve mummies and zombies – these are two things she is terrified of. She went crazy this summer about Percy Jackson and the Olympians – each book took her about 3 days to read, and then she reread all of them several times. Now she is reading through Famous Five by Enid Blyton. Last summer she read through Secrets of Droon, and, of course, she read all Magic Tree House and Magic School Bus chapter books.

I’ve arranged this list in the order of easier to more difficult books. So the 10th book is where I’d start your daughter and then I’d work down to the first book.

Readers, what other gentle chapter books for a young girl would you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

 

Old Fashioned Chapter Books for a Young Reader

10. My Father’s Dragon series by Ruth Stiles

My kids usually get this as a read aloud in first or second grade. Teachers love this  old fashioned fantasy easy chapter book series. [easy chapter book, ages 6 and up]

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Domestic Violence books for kids

Domestic Violence Books for Kids

My mom friend Sarah Perry heads up The Second Step, a non-profit in Newton that provides comprehensive support services to survivors of domestic violence. She reminded me that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.

I don’t think about Domestic Violence much but when I researched books for kids on this topic, the titles alone broke my heart. And when I went looking for them at the library, my entire list was not on the shelves. Strange, huh?

I’m glad that there is a month every year that raises awareness about domestic violence because it’s under my radar in my day to day life. Luckily, there are brave souls out there who fight on behalf of victims of domestic violence.

One such stand out is actor Patrick Steward. I knew him from my obsession years ago with Star Trek: The Next Generation where he played Captain Jean Luc Picard. Watch this video below in which he answers a question from a brave soul about violence against women and what matters most to Patrick Steward.

 

Patrick Steward and Domestic Violence

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Asian furniture designers, Asian designers, Asian artisans, interior design, modern Asian furniture

Asian Furniture Design and Asian Furniture Designers

I’m been researching Asian American and Asian furniture designers and artisans. Grasshopper and Sensei is enjoying the finds I am discovering and now she’s even talking about being an architect or furniture designer someday when she grows up. It’s not just the beautiful forms I’m searching for; it’s also the stories behind the designs.

Take George Nakashima who is a recent discovery for me. A Japanese American, he was forced into concentration camps when his youngest was just 6 weeks old. He and his family ended up settling in Pennsylvania where he started building his compound, one stone at a time. Today, he is considered the father of the American Craft movement.

His pieces tell a story of time, the uniqueness of each tree, and the artisan who brings that story to life. They have a timeless quality that really appeals to me. You can really fall in love with his work.

George Nakashima

George Katsutoshi Nakashima (Japanese: 中島勝寿 Nakashima Katsutoshi, May 24, 1905 – June 15, 1990) was a Japanese-American woodworker,architect, and furniture maker who was one of the leading innovators of 20th century furniture design and a father of the American Craft movement.

I love this dining room table and the chairs as well. George talks about bringing the soul of a tree to life. What a wonderful way to think about furniture making! Read more…