Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A New Bear


Paddington by Michael Bond
Illustrated by R. W. Alley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: 2007
ISBN-13: 9780061170744
Read at Barnes and Noble

Most people who know me know that I love bears! Boyd's Bears, FAO Schwartz Bears, Winnie the Pooh...oh, how I love bears. Paddington is an adorably illustrated bear. Alley created a huggable bear that anyone one could love. And I do!

I'm not sure about the story though. Bond certainly brought a a well-mannered bear that any mother (or nanny) would love. But to me, the story is rather bland. Oh, don't get me wrong...I thoroughly enjoyed reading this quaint story. However, I was waiting for a really great plot, and it came up empty. Where was the conflict? Where was the character development? I was a little disappointed to say the least.
So why am I blogging about this...well, I am involved in several Reading Challenges for the year. One is a picture book challenge, and one is a birthday challenge. Bond's birthday is in January, so it served a dual purpose. Besides, I wanted to read it.
I think it would be a great bedtime story, but I wouldn't use it in my classroom to teach story elements.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

And so it begins...
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 

Poem by Robert Frost
Illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 
Reissue edition (September 24, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0525467343

Struggle...that's all I can say about deciding which book I would blog about first. Many books came to mind, but for some reason - maybe it's the time of year - I chose this beautiful picture book. Picture books are my favorite, and I love Robert Frost's

Susan Jeffers took the much beloved poem by Frost and created a magical ride through the forest. The black and white is highlighted with muted colors on each page to engage the reader in what one could only image the woods may look like on a snowy evening long ago! The pops of these muted colors on each page draw attention to the old man riding through the woods. Other objects and animals have been given color too in order to add accents as you read. 

The old man frolics in the woods creating an atmosphere of pure joy in the white snow. He pulls a seedling from his sleigh and plants it, then looks at a much larger tree leading the reader to believe that he must have been planting seedlings for years in the woods. Then a smile of wonderment comes as he looks at snowflakes - Jeffers drawing each with a different pattern! He makes it to a homestead, but then he immediately moves on as the woodland animals watch him leave.

The pictures flow so stunningly with Frost's poem. Jeffers has opened this poem to readers of all ages. She has allowed us to truly visualize what Frost may have been thinking as he wrote.

This is definitely a book to share and read aloud. Teachers and parents can introduce younger children to poetry using this book. Enjoy the beauty that Susan Jeffers has added to the lyrical poetry of the great Robert Frost.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Beginning of It All!

The time has come to start on a new adventure. I love children's literature, so I am going to try to write a blog highlighting some of my favorite books and stories.

It may take several days to get this up and running, so please be patient. 

I hope you will come back to visit again!