Saturday, January 24, 2009

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?

Well, were in that stage when Maya pretty much wants to read one book, and one book only. For the last couple of months it's been Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?, by Eric Carle. She asks for it by name; "More Brown Bear, Brown Bear."

It's no wonder. This simple book has it all. There are, of course, animals. And there's repetition that Maya's already picking up on. And she's even just getting started on learning her colors with the end pages. In fact, Maya often forgets to read the book, choosing to just point at colors.

Oddly, aside from bear and dog, which were the first animals and animal noises she learned, Maya is really taken with the teacher. Before the holidays we were in a bookstore, and she started to say, "Teacher, teacher." Sure enough there was a poster of Brown Bear, Brown Bear showing the teacher.

So, I now can join Nicole in saying I have a side gig. Next week I'll start doing a pajamatime storytime at our neighborhood library as a volunteer. Patty and Maya showed their support by sewing for me a beautiful felt night cap. Now I'm off to find some bunny slippers.

Wabi Sabi

It's Caldecott/Newbery time again. Here is my pick to win the Caldecott this year. Wabi Sabi, by Mark Reibstein and illustrated by Ed Young, is clever in both word and image (though for the award the committee must think only about image).

The book is verticle, which makes it difficult to hold open for a long time but is mighty clever. I suppose that is because Japanese is read verticly, isn't it? But the book does read left to right.

Wabi Sabi is the story of a cat with the titular name who goes on a journey to understand it's meaning. It's very complex, so this is definately a book for older readers.

The kicker for me, a fan of haiku, is that there are two poems on each page, one in English and one in Japanese. The translations for the later are in the back and do not adhere to the 5-7-5 format, which is an English adaptation. Both poems are actually part of the story. It's like a Sunday NYT crossword.

Ed Young uses a variety of media, mostly collage. But also photographs, drawings, etc.

All in all and absolutely beautiful book.

We are the Ship

I would be happy if We Are the Ship won, too. Kadir Nelson is quickly becoming a favorite artist. He got a nod last year, but theoretically that shouldn't matter.
More later.