Children’s titles by Brian Floca

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I attended a book conference on Friday and had the pleasure of participating in a discussion of the speaker’s works. We had reviewed four of the author/illustrator’s titles. They are as follows:

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Moonshot: The flight of Apollo 11. This won a 2010 Sibert Honor Medal for best informational picture book published in the U.S. It details the flight from before takeoff to the time after arriving home. It brings back a vivid memory for anyone who was lucky enough to have seen the original lunar landing back in 1969. The text is simple and the illustrations are wonderful.

index.aspxLocomotive is the next title, this time studying a different form of transportation: train travel across the U.S. and the buliding of the trans-continental railroad.This book is a delight to the senses. Floca’s use of vignettes and full page spreads, along with many different typefaces befitting that era and his playful use of words draws the reader right into the story. During his research, Floca was able to drive a locomotive from that era, and also made a journey by car from Omaha to San Francisco to share a train rider’s experience of that first journey. Locomotive won the 2014 Caldecott Award and was a Sibert Honor book.

Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring and Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas are the last titles, which address the ballet that debuted at the Library of Congress in 1944, and an elephant seal inNew Zealand that insisted on living in the city of Christchurch along the Avon River, despite repeated attempts to return her to ocean waters. Don’t miss either one!index.aspxindex.aspx

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