Monday, January 16, 2017

Magic Monday


Participating in memes, as well as having a theme for each day of the week (in my About the Blog page), has helped me blog more regularly in the past. So, in an effort to renew the daily theme (and this might evolve as time progresses) and continuing on my UBC journey , here is my first Magic Monday post of the year - where I review kidlit. 

Kathy Stinson and
Annick Press Ltd. , Children's Fiction
Pub Date 14 Mar 2017   


GoodReads Description: As a young student of the violin, Joshua Bell learns about an international competition to be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He chooses a piece of music, which his teacher suggests may be too difficult, but Joshua is determined. It’s a piece of music he loves. At the competition, Joshua experiences the usual jitters. Once his name is called, he strides to the stage and begins to play, but almost immediately, he makes a mistake. As he is about to walk off the stage, he asks the judges if could try again. They agree, and this time, the playing is impeccable. Dušan Petricic’s brilliant illustrations full of movement and color, capture the sounds made by Joshua’s violin, from the missed notes to the swirling, uplifting strains of the perfectly executed piece. Children will readily empathize with Joshua’s misstep, but they will also learn that there is always a second chance

My thoughts:  Music inspires; it transports you to a different world. This book portrays that with playful illustrations that seem to dance across the pages with grace and energy. The words dance right along with them all the while telling a wonderful, inspiring story. A piece of music speaks to Joshua, with visions of dancers when he sees the notes, and though he is told that this is hard, he works hard at it and learns the piece to play in a competition. His perseverance and his passion shine through, even in the face of failure. Knowing it is based on a true incident makes it all the more inspiring. The book ends abruptly and I wish the end notes which explain what happened were actually written in as part of the story itself with more illustrations! That would have made this perfect.
This is definitely a book to read to or with children, to teach that you can get up, and succeed even after a failure; and to instill a love of the arts; and to inspire.

Rating: B+
Reading Level: 5-8 years suggested (Read to younger kids; read with everyone else :) - my teenage son enjoyed reading this with me as well!)
Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley/Annick Press for the digital ARC of the book


Ingrid Chabbert
Kids Can Press 
Pub Date

A small boy longed to roll and play in the grass like his father had when he was a child. But the boy lived in a concrete city without any grass or trees. Instead, they had roads, walls and lots of other ugly things. Then one day the boy and his friend discovered a sapling hiding behind a low wall. When they hear that a condominium is being built right on the spot where their tree is growing, the friends know they have to dig it up and replant it in a safe place.

The Last Tree is both a story of hope and of despair.  The pictures and the words work together effortlessly to tell the story, both adding on to the other. The illustrations portray a bleak, gray world where the only bright spots are a few meager patches of green to indicate some plant life. But the joy and happiness that those few patches do bring to the characters in the story will bring a smile to your face in the midst of looking into a possible such future of all bleak grays and very little greens. Their efforts in trying to save the possibly very last tree shine a bright ray of hope. Will they succeed? You can read to find out!

This book reminded me of a short story I read years ago in a children’s magazine in India called Target. My efforts to find that story or a copy of the magazine have been in vain so far but I will keep looking. That story was titled ‘Grandpa, what’s a tree?’ or maybe it was just ‘What’s a Tree?’, where a little boy in a dystopian earth (hopefully never) asks his grandpa what a tree is.That story was the first time I realized what the ramifications of our actions could be on earth and natural resources.
This book will be a good classroom read for discussion.

Rating: B
Reading Level: 5 - 8 yrs
Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley/Kids Can Press for the digital ARC of the book

Linking these books to What are you Reading? From Picture Books to YA at Teach Mentor Texts and to NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge


Here is my list for IMWAYR,
Books read:
The Dance of the Violin (NetGalley read - review above)
The Last Tree (NetGalley read - review above)
Poetry for Kids: Emily Dickinson (Edelweiss read - review coming soon)
The Room of Many Colors - A Treasury of Stories for Children
A Pattern for Pepper (NetGalley read - review to come)

Books I am reading/planning to read this week:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (my copy)
A Wrinkle in Time (my copy)
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay (library ebook)
Dingus by Andrew Larsen (NetGalley read)
 

6 comments:

  1. What interesting and delightful book selections! I love trees and music and what could be better than books that convey that love to kids!

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  2. The Dance of the Violin looks like one I might enjoy. Thanks. Have fun with A Wrinkle in Time. It's in production now as a live action movie for next year. I can't wait to see it.

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  3. I adored The Last Tree and want to read more from this duo. I've got this new Kathy Stinson on my device but haven't found time to read it yet. Happy reading this week.

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  4. Great reviews, I love The Last Tree! Thanks for sharing all the books.

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  5. The tree one sounds very similar to that doctor zeus story. Sounds like a good read.

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  6. You have really great titles that are yet to be published - I am immensely jealous - I put both titles in my Goodreads to-read/to-find list. :) - Myra from GatheringBooks

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Love to hear from you! I do read all your comments and do reply whenever I can.. but I will definitely hop on over to visit you...