Traditional fairy tales get passed down from generation to generation and for the most part each generations tales are extremely similar. This traditional Thursday I chose a “twisted” fairy tale that features a brand new spin on a not so new tale. Goldilocks and Just One Bear gives those of us familiar with the original story of Goldilocks a sense of closure. For younger readers they get a fun tale that tells us just how confusing the big city can be for a lone bear. Full of beautiful illustrations and an extremely informative view on the young bear’s perspective, Leigh Hodgkinson creates an experience for readers and their parents that will cause major flashback stories.
Given the disparaging quality of the news, it is good to have positive literature around for kids. This book tells the story of someone who came from less than optimal circumstance and ended up as one of the country’s most influential leaders. This someone is Elizabeth Warren. The book tells us about her childhood and how she learned the value of hard work in order to support others and those you care about. She took these lessons and used them to earn a spot as one of America’s leading voices against bigotry and close-mindedness. This book is a great pick up for parents looking to give kids a figure to look up to in regards to striving for success and achieving it fair and square.
Posted by Jacob
Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe was the 2017 Caldecott Medal Winner. This story is one of the most visually stunning as well as most powerful that is available for young readers in libraries and book stores across the nation. This book gives readers a glimpse into the life of one of the art industries most influential minds: Jean-Michael Basquiat. Javaka Steptoe is the son of 2 time Caldecott Honor recipient, John Steptoe. The second Steptoe provides a beautiful look into the early beginnings of Basiquiat’s life and some of the troubles he faced on his way to stardom. What is truly special about this book is that to pay respect to Basquiat’s beliefs about how art should be created, each page in itself is constructed like a piece of art. The coloring and textures on every page reflect the erratic and almost haphazard tendencies of Basquiats own pieces. With hand drawn imagery as well as collage style backgrounds all juxtaposed on frilly frames readers will be entranced as they follow the story of one of the most amazing artist to ever exist.
The cover is already a masterpiece and every page after is no disappointment. Do no hesitate to gift a child with the experience to learn about how a child very similar to them overcame some of humanities hardest known trials and then became one of its biggest influences.
Posted by Jacob
I read “Hello Lighthouse” by Sophie Blackall. This book is a heartwarming and beautiful story about a lighthouse keeper’s life tending to the lighthouse that he lived in. With frequent repetition of the phrase, “Hello! Hello! Hello! Hello, Lighthouse!” and the text about the family that makes a home in this lighthouse this story is touching and amazing to learn about. Before reading, I had no idea about the hard work and countless restless nights that it took keepers to tend to lighthouses that they were placed in. This story was not only amazing to read, but taught me so much in terms of the lives of these keepers. Their tedious work of waking up like clockwork to keep boats safe and the detailed records of everything that happened made this job no easy feat. There was almost no contact between those who lived in the lighthouse and the outside world back on shore. Once a month, supplies such as food, items to tend to the light and letters or visitors were brought over on a small boat and hoisted up on a rope over the steep rocks to this lighthouse.
While I cannot relate to their living situation, I greatly admire after learning about their daily lives from this book and am curious to learn more about lighthouse keepers. The author’s note at the end was especially informative and useful to answer my questions about what I had just read, and allowed me to deepen my curiosity about the history of lighthouses. While this is a topic I have never considered before, reading this book opened my eyes to the reality and beauty that there is in living this way, and I am sure that many children would be fascinated while reading. This story would pique students’ interests about lighthouses and their keepers, and I predict that reading this story in the classroom setting could provoke an extremely interesting conversation and potentially instigate further research about lighthouse keepers.
The illustrations in this book were calming and detailed. The tall structure of the book allowed for the true height of a lighthouse to be demonstrated to the reader. You were able to see into each room of the lighthouse, as well as those who occupied them, what jobs there were to be done in different places, the dangerous rocks that surrounded and the blue ocean with crashing, beautifully destructive waves. The format of these illustrations let me notice what was happening both inside the lighthouse and out, and demonstrated just how useful the lighthouse is to save boats from crashing and shine out still even during fog and storms. I would definitely use this book in a classroom, and I highly recommend reading it to experience the beauty of the lighthouse for yourself.