Monday, November 7, 2011

Magic Monday - Inspirations..and Memes.

Over the last week, I picked books (first by accident and then by design) books that inspire. Each of these books are very different yet filled with inspiration.
'A Light in the Darkness' by Aaron Zevy really filled my heart with warmth when I read it. How a little boy can make a big difference is portrayed very well in this book. When Willy's friend's house is damaged by miscreants at night while they celebrated Hanukkah, Willy decides to help by getting the support of the neighborhood. How he does this is poignant and sweet. This is based in part on a true story. This story teaches wonderful lessons in friendship, tolerance, and importance of unity and beauty in diversity. The bright and colorful illustrations help tell the story well.
Ruby's Wish is a story that inspires on so many levels - teaches perseverance, equality of gender, respect for elders, self-confidence, love of culture and love of learning. In a China of a century ago, where joint families lived, celebrated and learned together, little Ruby's wish was to continue learning. I love her grandfather for being so forward-thinking at that time. The ending is very sweet. The vibrant, fluid illustrations are a joy to watch. Again, based on a true story. I feel so humbled to know a few Rubys too myself - my grandmother herself as well as a few great-aunts and grandmothers of friends.
The Librarian of Basra - This story by Jeanette Winter retells the true incidents in Basra. With war at the doorstep, Alia Muhammad Baker, chief librarian of Basra's Central Library, worried for the safety of the library's books and when she sought and was refused help from the government, she took matters into her own hands and home(literally). With the help of friends, she gave the 30,000 books a safe haven until war was over and a new library was built. Winter's pictures talk more about the horrors of war while the words just state a few events.
The only negative point I have to say about this otherwise really inspirational book is that it seems to portray that soldiers destroy books - I think it is war that destroys books. If  the author would have been able to make this a little more clearly(emphasizing on war rather than a set of people) with her words and pictures, it would have been way better. Still, the courage of the librarian is wonderful and will inspire kids.
A wonderful telling of the building of the Golden Gate Bridge - or the 'Impossible Bridge' as people referred to it then. Based partly on true incidents, this book
Robert believes his dad - a high-iron man (also called skywalkers because they seem to walk the skies when high up on those iron bars/cables) - is building the bridge and has the most important job - more than his friend Charlie's dad, who is a painter. And, so he believes that it is his 'Pop's Bridge'. Robert and Charlie watch the progress of the bridge being built and their dads through binoculars. An accident (which really happened) helps Robert see that all jobs have equal risks and it takes a team to build the impossible. As they celebrate the bridge being built, Robert has a sweet surprise for his and Charlie's dad. Eva Bunting's storytelling combines fact and fiction superbly while the illustrations by C.F.Payne are Norman Rockwellesque and true to the San Francisco of that time while capturing the Golden Gate Bridge in all its beauty.

All these books go towards the Picture Book Reading Challenge.

Monday Memes - It's Monday!
What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. It is a time when we share what we've read, currently reading, or what is up next on our reading list.
Completed reading: I have a lot of picture books to add here and nothing else for now - this includes all the books above in my Picture Book Entry.
Currently reading: American Rust (will have to extend my library Kindle rental on this!) and 'The Hundred Dresses' by Eleanor Estes (My son has this as recommended reading for his third grade class and brought it home from the school library - I found it interesting!)
Next to read: Maid to Match (was on currently reading sometime back but put it away as I own the Kindle edition while the others are library rentals)

3 comments:

  1. These sound like some great books. Ruby's Wish especially, sounds like a book I should get for my own collection. Thanks for the great reviews.

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  2. @Heidi GrangeThanks! My favorite was Ruby's Wish too - for the messages it had and the simply wonderful illustrations.

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  3. All these books sound wonderful! Living not too far from the Golden Gate Bridge, we love(and own)Pop's Bridge. It is a wonderful book. I look forward to reading your other picks.

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