February 22, 2017
The author Deborah Freedman was once an architect. Her story “This House, Once” deconstructs a house so the reader can explore how all the elements of a home come together.Beautifully illustrated by the author using pencil, and watercolors, her drawings are soft and dreamy.
Beginning with the front door, the reader is told that the door was “once a colossal oak tree about three hugs around and as high as the blue.” And there it is–the huge colossal oak with the front door in its trunk. From the door, the author next explains where the stone foundation comes from–deep underground beneath the leaves.
Each element of the house is discussed. Until it rises from the page complete. The house then dreamily remembers where each part of it came from, once.
“This House, Once” is a good choice for a one-on-one read. Each part of the house’s construction can be discussed and then discussed again as the reader sees where in the natural world the element was found.
February 22, 2017
Pictured on the cover of the new Mac Barnett book is a multi-storied apartment building. “Noisy Night” explores what is happening to its inhabitants on each floor as night falls.
We first encounter a little boy in his bed. He wants to know what is going on above his head that is producing the sounds La La La. As the reader turns the page, he or she discovers that an opera singer is practicing his musical scales. As he practices, he hears Ma Ma Ma, and he wants to know what is happening above his head. And so it goes. Each floor’s inhabitants produce another sound from Baa Baa Baa to Rah Rah Rah to Cha Cha Cha. Finally, on the top floor is an older man trying to go to sleep. He is yelling “Go to Bed!” and everyone does.
Young readers will enjoy hearing and then repeating the various sounds that each floor’s inhabitants produce. This silly story has colorful, cartoon-like illustrations by Brian Biggs, who lives in a three-story house right next to some very noisy neighbors.
February 21, 2017
“The Marriage Lie” by Kimberly Belle is the story of Iris and Will, a very happily married couple of 8 years. As the novel begins, they are trying to conceive a baby. Will is scheduled to fly to Florida for a conference. A school guidance counselor, Iris receives the news that the plane crashed and Will is most certainly dead. Or is he? As Iris begins to fill in the gaps of Wills last days, too many unanswered questions leave her puzzled. Why did Will never mention his friend from the gym who shows up at the funeral? Why does his secretary know nothing about the conference he was headed to? Did Will really steal $4 million dollars from his employer? Torn between grieving her wonderful husband and the unknown Will he hid from her, Iris isn’t sure where the truth really lies. I listened to the audio version of this novel.
February 16, 2017
Open to children ages 5-12, Roald Dahl’s estate has announced a contest for big ideas. In 100 words or less, they are challenging children to send in their creative ideas. Like the 5 Golden Ticket winners in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the contest will select 5 Golden Winners to win an assortment of 5 prizes. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” will be opening on Broadway this year. One prize is to turn the story idea into a theatrical creation. Another prize has award-winning author, Adam Gidwitz, turn the idea into a short book. A chance to pitch your story to a Hollywood director is another option. The five grand prize winners will be chosen on or about June 14th. Click above to see the rules. Good luck!