On a More Positive Note
At yesterday's book fair I also saw some books I liked. I'm thinking in particular of Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes. This year's Caldecott Medal winner is about a kitten who sees a giant bowl of milk up in the sky and sets out to reach it. She is, of course, unsuccessful. But what does she find on the porch when she goes home but a big bowl of milk. The illustrations are simple and in black and white. The text is simple and brief. I'm sure any number of things can be read into the story. Home is where the bowl of milk is. There's no place like home. What you're looking for in life is right on your own front porch. But what I read into it was that a kitten or kid can strike out on her own with the knowledge that she will always be welcomed back home with a bowl of milk. And that's why I bought the book for a baby gift.
In her On-line Journal Jane Yolen has frequently mentioned her How Do Dinosaurs... series. I saw a couple of them at both yesterday's book fair and the one I attended at UConn on Sunday.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a wonderful A&E program (on DVD) on the French Impressionists while I was ironing clothes. I thought, Why didn't my kids learn about these people when they were in school? The Impressionists have a wonderfully dramatic story about people striking out on their own, rejection, and perseverance. And we're talking history and art, too. So when I saw a book called Pierre Auguste Renoir Paintings That Smile by True Kelley I checked it out. It looked so good I bought it. When I'm through with it, I'll pass it on to one of the elementary education majors I know so they can add it to their classroom libraries. The book is part of a series called Smart About Art.