Monday, August 29, 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016
Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
Monday, August 15, 2016
Last week I took on the challenge of listing my top 10 picture books in the meme Picture Book Top 10 for 10th Event. I encourage you to pop by and browse through some of these lists. It's good fun to see what makes these lists and how creative educators are.
As always, I struggled to list only 10 and decided to focus on a theme versus just my favourites. The theme focused on some of my favourite Canadian authors and illustrators instead was sort of a compromise. Only 10 writers but I sometimes included more than one of their books. I guess that might be considered cheating rather than a compromise -- but really who's counting?
But taking part in this meme is a really fantastic endeavor as I'm able to glean a number of titles of picture books that are favourites of other teachers and librarians. They are often generous enough to include bits of information about how they use these titles, too.
I wanted to wrap up this experience by listing a few of these new titles that I'm now eager to bring into the Doucette Library for the upcoming year.
Here are my top 10 choices:
Explorers of the wild by Cale Atkinson
There by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
Running the Road to ABC by Denize Lature
More-igami by Dori Kleber
Okay, one more to keep the cheating even:
Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
I've been a long time fan of this author-illustrator and am particularly partial to her series about Stella and her brother Sam. Stella is an older sister who is more than willing to answer and reassure Sam about the things he wonders and worries about. I love the whimsical illustrations and the affectionate relationship that comes across between these two characters. I would also recommend her book Any Questions? which addresses the many questions children often ask authors about writing books.
I love the trilogy he wrote about a Cree family living in Northern Manitoba. The series includes Caribou Song (2001, 2013), Dragonfly Kites (2002, 2016) and Fox On the Ice (2003, 2010). Each book lets the reader look into a very different way of life that engenders a love of the land and family. The focus on a First Nations family 'shows' us how they lived without having to 'tell' us. These are bilingual books written in Cree and English.
I love this author for his storytelling ability, hands-down. Whether you are reading his books or listening to him as a presenter you will be easily caught up in the characters and places he's introducing us to. Two of his picture books for older readers that I often showcase for student-teachers are What's the Most Beautiful Thing About Horses? and A Man Called Raven. Van Camp is very much into incorporating traditional Native perspectives and values into his stories. He's is a Tłı̨chǫ writer from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories.
I love his retro-style illustrations and the concepts behind Along a Long Road and A Long Way Away. Lots of playful language and interplay between words and images. Whereas Young Frank, Architect plays with the idea of differences in perspective. This one is a good one for units about building things in elementary science and STEM classrooms.
This Northwest Coast artist illustrates traditional stories like Raven Brings the Light and Cloudwalker that relates how the three largest salmon-bearing rivers in British Columbia came to be. The artwork is simply stunning with vibrant colourwork incorporating Northwest Coast iconography.
The eighth Canadian author I'd recommend is Rukhsana Khan.
I first read The Roses in My Carpets back in the late 90s. Her story of refugees living in a camp and yearning for a better life resonants even more strongly for me now than it did back then. Others of her books that I promote in workshops with students are books that feature everyday concerns for children such as learning tolerance and sharing with a younger sibling (Big Red Lollipop) and overcoming fears (The Ruler of the Courtyard).
Many of his books appear in my workshops because his strong storytelling shows us life in Canada as a Chinese immigrant. Many of his stories are historical and are great to tie-in with the social studies curriculum in Grade 5. The Ghost Train and Roses Sing on New Snow are two that I use frequently.
So, how about it? Have I given you a few new Canadian authors to check out? Or maybe I just reminded you of some books that you might just have to revisit. New or old these authors and illustrators are well worth becoming acquainted with.
PS. I know this 'looks' like more than 10 but count'em. There's really only 10 authors. Just don't count the number of actual books, okay?