Green Pants and Yellow Sun…

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It’s late Sunday afternoon, and we just got home from celebrating our son’s college graduation.  It was a festive weekend – Elizabeth Warren was the keynote speaker, we spent time in a favorite bookstore, and my son introduced us to an amazing donut shop!

In the spirit of a busy weekend, here are five book notes…..

  • Today’s New York Times Book Review includes the Spring Children’s Book section – 8 pages of ideas, including a review of Nicole Helget’s middle grade novel, The End of the Wild, a novel I reviewed for School Library Journal.  I was especially happy to see a paragraph about a very funny new picture book called Green Pants, written and illustrated by Kenneth Kraegel.  It’s about a boy who wears the same green pants all of the time, but then he’s asked to be in a wedding and wear black pants!
  • Sometimes, as we know from the fidget spinner craze, kids are happily engaged by low-tech activities.  One day last week, I had a group of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade kids in the library and just for fun (and a bit of an experiment) I put three decks of sequencing picture cards on the floor and invited the kids to play with them.  Here’s the result:

  • I’m reading two books right now, but am only half-way through each of them. It’s easy to move between them because they are so dramatically different: Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro is a poetic and thoughtful memoir about marriage and time. It’s about how many people make a life-defining commitment when they are quite young, and over the course of time, people continue to grow and inevitably change.  Shapiro reflects on how marriage accommodates the impact of time. This is my favorite passage so far:

“When chronology is eliminated, when life is shuffled like a tarot deck, it’s hard to keep track. Was that the summer before last? Whose dining room, what candlelight?  I can locate us in time only in one way: by watching our boy growing up.”

  • I’m also reading, The War I Finally Won, the sequel to the Newbery Honor-winning book, The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.  The new book will be published in early October, but a friend who knows of my deep love of the first book loaned me an advanced reading copy of the new one, an act of generosity for which I will be forever grateful.  As soon as I opened the first page and re-joined Ada on the British home front during WWII, I experienced the sweetest kind of reading happiness.Eric Carle’s new book, What’s Your Favorite Color?” is an essential book for children’s libraries and art classes. Carle, along with some famous friends, shares favorite colors – each illustrator get a two page spread to celebrate their favorite color and the results are spectacular.  Not surprisingly, Carles’ favorite color is yellow – he draws wonderful sunshine!  I looked for blue (my favorite color) first and Bryan Collier’s picture of a child with blue balloons is lovely.

A sidenote: the picture cards I like to use are the eeBoo Create and Tell A Story Cards —

Inly’s Summer Reading List is ready to go – I’ll begin posting sections of it here next week….Happy Reading!

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