It is late in the day and my mind is fried. I have been on the computer all day reading and reviewing arts grants. It is wonderful and overwhelming at the same time. I can’t think straight but have seen more visual art, heard more wonderful music in 2 minute clips and read more resumes that I can begin to count. Great fun but my eyes are a blur.
So as I sat down to think I realized I have not written my post today. It was my goal to be sure to do this all summer. I have been a reading nut and to not share it seems awful. So here goes – you are not getting the usual – only a quick review just the fact man!
Pictures Books: In all my craziness this summer I have decided I must learn to draw to I am looking at a few great picture book artists that I can copy from just to get a feel for the pencil in my hand.
My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohman (Caldecott Medal) was the first one I looked at. He uses great big bold images with a great story to go with it. He has lots of open space and primary shapes made me think I can have fun with drawing.
I moved on to Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan which is another book with bold images. Tan has both simple monster images and detailed background images that leave me just wanting to look at the pages all day – forget about drawing I just want to look at the composition of his work. The story line is simple and yet very powerful. A great book to explore with kids and adults.
I am also copying from Ben Hakte over at Art and Adventure. I am so excited about his new release – Julia’s House of Lost Creatures. You will know him by his Zita graphic novels which I have yet to read. I know they are going to the book pile this week.
Middle Grade books –
I excitedly finished The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern. I was quickly pulled into Maggie’s family with the first line of “Beep, Beep, Beep My Dad won’t stop beeping.” We follow a year of growing up and growing together as Maggie slowly discovers what is happening to her father. This is a family you come to love and care about with all their oddities but it all makes perfect sense as you learn the whole story.
After the River the Sun by Dia Calhaun is another short but great story of a young boy seeking a home now that he has lost his parents. This is a great partner book to The Secret Hum of Daisies that I wrote about last week.
Eckhart is on his way to live with an Uncle he has never met and he knows his mother did not get along with but it is living with him or in foster care – what choice does he have? He is into video games, and violin music. His Uncle lives in the mountains on an old orchard with no phone, no internet and no interest in being with people. We watch as these two people struggle to get to know each other, to understand each others pains and losses and to re define what is family.
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Hohn was also in the stack for reading this week. This book has a great twist in that Ellie has a long lost cousin who comes to visit only to find out that he might just be her Grandfather. Can that be? How does it feel to deal with your Grandfather when he is going to school with you? Eating lunch with you? On the other hand he has a lot of science knowledge that might just helpful. Hohn uses humor and a bit of craziness to explore growing up, friendships and immortality.
I am on the road this next week to visit family – so will see what pops up on the reading list. It will be a surprise for me as well as you! See you next week.
Happy Summer Reading!