In reading Lloyd Alexander’s picture books, I observe three things: 1) he is well-versed in a broad range of folklore traditions, 2) he loves cats, and 3) he’s a great storyteller. While his stories contain more Story than Truth, they are cleverly written and worth sharing. How the Cat Swallowed Thunder, illustrated by Judith Byron […]
One ordinary Friday morning in January, a famous musician in disguise descended into the busy Metro station in Washington D.C.to share the glory of his music with an unsuspecting public. Joshua Bell, a virtuoso violinist, played his priceless instrument with skill and passion. Hardly anyone noticed in the rush. A few children gazed curiously while […]
There didn’t used to be a Presidents Day; instead, Americans observed Lincoln (Feb. 12) and Washington (Feb. 22) separately. But since those two had thoughtfully arranged to be born in the same month, and achieve the rank of Best President, and we didn’t want to slight the other 42 (I guess)—why not just slide them […]
Many of our cultural Christmas celebrations are just that–cultural, not biblical. That being said, we can be Christians and still enjoy many of our cultural celebrations for what they are: cultural celebrations. No doubt, our regular readers here are investing time and energy to teach the real Christmas story. And, no doubt, many of you […]
I live in a fairly mild climate. Hardly has the first frost melted when cashiers and postal employees start saying, “I’m ready for spring.” Come on, people! It’s not like we have to chop our own wood and stoke our own leaky furnaces any more. I like winter (within reason)—it gives land and trees a […]
It’s time for another Librarians’ List! Since it’s picture book month, we’re indulging our list-making hobbies and bringing you yet another list of our favorites. Last week, we looked at Retro Reads, books published before 2000. Today, the list includes our favorite hot-off-the-press titles, all of which have been published this year (we’ll see how […]
Today I’m going to demonstrate a close reading of one version of a classic fairy tale. My favorite book to use in demonstrating the illustrative power of a picture book is the Caldecott-award winning Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky. I wish I could include some images in this post to show all our dear readers […]
2013 has given us lots of excellent diverse picture book titles: books about minority cultures, folktale retellings, and books by (or illustrated by) people of color. Some of them offer snapshots of a different culture without much commentary. Others show people (or animals) developing character and using hard work to fight opposition or simply to […]
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Be sure to come back tomorrow for a fun and helpful post we know you’ll love! As Betsy indicated in last Friday’s post, wordless picture books have a unique place in the development of a child’s sense of story, sequence, and detail. And they seem to be coming into their own more and […]
We’ve been spending quite a bit of time this month looking at newer picture books–many of them published in 2013. But today we’re taking a look back to some favorite Retro Reads (published before 2000). The books below are in no particular order and many will be recognizable to you. The best way to learn […]
For our purposes, wordless books are either entirely wordless or have very little text. A classic example is Peter Spier’s Noah’s Ark which begins with a centuries-old poem on page 1, and then proceeds with no further text. Mercer Mayer’s Four Frogs in a Box series is another absolute must in anyone’s wordless book education. […]
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- Easter devotional: Why Easter? March 24, 2014
- Meet Lulu and Freddie: 2 Terrific Chapter Book Characters (+ a Giveaway) March 5, 2014
- Ukraine: Lessons in Liberty and Compassion, Pt. 2 March 15, 2014
- Adventuring with Wilder Good, Gannon & Wyatt, and a Giveaway! March 25, 2014
- Retro Reads: Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain March 12, 2014
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