#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. Kathryn hosts the adult version of this meme at Book Date. Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers host the kidlit rendition. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.
I didn't manage to write a blog post last weekend because my sister was in town and we went to the Canadian Quilt Show that was in Vancouver this year. We were in awe at the quality of work that was on display and managed to make it through the entire vendors' exhibits without purchasing a thing. Of course that was only because nobody had the rulers we were looking for.
I've also been busy on some sewing projects. I'm finishing up a couple of matching linen cowboy shirts for my one of my daughter in law's birthday. Linen is a bitch to work with because it frays almost immediately. Every edge must be enclosed. I'm also trying to get a couple of matching overalls finished for my two grandchildren who turn one this week. It's hard to imaging a whole year has gone bye. I'll post pictures next week.
While weeding the picture book collection of the library I was working in, I discovered the following three books by Keizaburō Tejima. All three were published in the late 1980's. I put a note in the data base asking that if they ever decide to get rid of them to call me and I will pay for them. Not only are the woodcut illustrations just stunning, the beautifully written prose is deeply philosophical.
My public library has one of Keizaburō Tejima's titles so I'm waiting for it. Then I'll see where I can find everything else he has created.
Try and find copies of these books. They will be worth you effort.
Try and find copies of these books. They will be worth you effort.
Swan Sky by Keizaburō Tejima
The art on the cover drew me in. Then I opened the pages and got lost. It’s the story of swans getting ready to go on their annual migration but one year there is one swan who cannot go. Her family remain behind with her until they can no longer put off leaving themselves. They leave but the next day they return.The ending is not what I expected until it happened, and then I said to myself, but of course.
Woodpecker Forest by Keizaburō Tejima, Susan Matsui (Translator)
Stunning woodcut illustrations tell the story of a young woodpecker who must learn to live by himself. His first night by himself is a coming of age tale that others take a novel to relate.
Fox's Dream by Keizaburō Tejima
This book is just stunning.
A fox wanders through a winter forest and sees different images in the snow formations in the trees.
I had to stop and read this section of this book out loud to the other teacher who was in the library with me.
"And in a tree near the very end of the forest, the fox sees a family of ice foxes. He closes his eyes and remembers a spring when the wind was warm and the earth smelled of new grass and wildflowers. He remembers his family and the nearness of his mother. He remembers leaping with his brother and sister in the warmth of a gently sun. But when the fox opens his eyes, the forest is still covered with snow, the fox family is still made of ice, and the fox is still alone."
When the Moon Comes by Paul Harbridge & Matt James (Illustrator)
Here we are nearing the end of spring and beginning of summer, and I found this glorious book about winter.
It’s the story of a group of children who wait for the beaver pond to freeze over. Then, on the night of a full moon they trek out to it, build a huge fire, scrape the snow off the ice, and skate. They play hockey until it gets late and then warm up at the fire before returning to their homes.
I have had then pleasure of skating on wild ice like this, although not, alas, under a full moon. It is truly spectacular to glide across this magical ice in the middle of a untamed spaces, and then warm up with hot cocoa and roasted hotdogs cooked over a roaring fire.
Matt James artwork will make you long to be there with these intrepid skaters, no matter how cold and wet you will get.
Moo Moo in a Tutu by Tim Miller
Moo Moo and Mr Quackers are sure to delight fans of Elephant and Piggy. It’s humorous and witty, although the faces are not as expressive.
The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein
I would give this book 5 stars on the beauty of the illustrations alone, but it's also a compelling story about a young man who disobeys his father to save the life of a whale trapped in their fishing net.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes & Gordon C. James (Illustrations)
Just Wow! This book is as beautiful and bold as everyone says it is. It's a picture book that sets you down in that barber shop with a collection of interesting characters. Barnes wordsmiths all those small details so you are there with our hero getting his fresh cut as he imagines how he will look and swells with pride.
As someone who has always had long hair, and thus, rarely getting cuts, I was delighted to learn so much about what goes into getting such a short style!
Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick & David Serlin
I could have sworn I made notes on this book right after I finished it, but I can't find them anywhere. I loved it. There is so much sweetness in the illustrations. I love the patterned text that will make it simple for beginning readers to be successful. I was delighted to discover the guide at the end of the book with information about the details in the illustrations. I think I read this book at least three times before I returned it to the library.
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
I enjoyed this one as much as the first in the series. I admit that I was confounded that Roz didn't stay on the farm where she seemed to be happy, but by the time I finished this book, I understood that there were much bigger things in her future.
Sunny by Jason Reynolds & Guy Lockard (Narrator)
I liked this one well enough, but I wonder if I would have appreciated it more if I had read it with my eyes. It isn't that Guy Lockard's narration wasn't remarkable. It was stunning and listening to the afterward comments by him and Jason Reynolds was a highlight for me.
Sunny is an interesting character to say the least. I like that he came up with the courage to follow his own dream and not one that seems to predetermined for him. Sunny is homeschooled and we learn what he studies, but I kept waiting for something about what he was reading and though I waited and waited, I don't remember anything.
The Rizzlerunk Club: Best Buds Under Frogs by Leslie Patricelli
I didn't really start to appreciate this until I was at least 1/4 of the way in. Eventually I was giggling to myself at the antics of Lily and Darby. Then, while there were high jinks, the book became serious and we readers get a front row seat to see what girl bullying looks like. I appreciate that it is mostly resolved by the end of the book, although I am left wondering about Iris. I sure hope that if there is a sequel we will get to know her better.
The Boat People by Sharon Bala & Athena Karkanis (Narrator) (adult title)
This is one of the Canada Reads books from this year. It's a powerful story of a group of Sri Lankan refugees who arrive on a boat seeking a safe haven in Canada. There are three story lines wending their way through the plot. Mahindan, a widower, is one of the refugees who has arrived with his 5 year old son. It isn't easy to read about the things he was forced to do to survive. Priya Rajasekaran is a Canadian of Sri Lankan decent whose Tamil family fled Sri Lanka near the beginning of the persecution of their people. Grace Nakamura, an adjudicator with the Immigration and Refuge Board, is reminded by her mother, Kumi, of the injustices the Japanese faced from their internment during the second world war. She makes connections to the plight of the Tamil, but Grace resists seeing it.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This book has much to teach all of us about gratitude, sharing, and reciprocity. These are all critical things if we are going to ensure our existence upon the planet. Ultimately we must defeat the Wendigo of greed and selfishness that leaves us empty, and find a new way of democratically being in the world. It’s going to be hard for many of us to start thinking of all the plants and animals as our equals, but without it we are in serious trouble.
I loved this book so much that I plan to purchase a copy to own.
I'm listening to The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall. I'm reading Ravensong by Lee Maracle for bookclub. I've been reading Restart by Gordon Kormon during my breaks at work, but it is to slow to get into the book this way, so I'll focus on it when I'm finished Ravensong.
I've got three books that have to be returned to the library on the 15th: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, and Sit by Deborah Ellis. I honestly am not sure if I will get to any of them, but am ready to take recommendations for which one I should focus on.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MustReadIn2018 15/25 1 in progress
25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 7/25 1 in progress
Goodreads Reading Challenge 198/333