Monday, November 14, 2011

Magic Monday - Treasure Trove of Stories

A wonderful treasure trove found and stories that  touch your heart, teach you facts and entertain!The treasure trove I am talking about is online - International Children's Digital Library
(A Library for the World's Children). I am finding delightful reading gems here and looking forward to discovering more. I have reviewed a few today - 'The Quiltmaker's Gift', 'Ciconia Ciconia', and 'The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal'

Their mission statement  - "The ICDL Foundation promotes tolerance and respect for diverse cultures by providing access to the best of children's literature from around the world."

  1. The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail De Marcken -  Really a gift of a story. I am going to buy this for my home library. This is the story of a greedy king and a gifted quiltmaker. The king has a palace full of treasures he made sure he received from his subjects and guests from all over the world but he feels he can only be happy when he acquires a quilt made by the talented quiltmaker - who makes beautiful quilts not to sell, but to give away to the ones who need it the most. The king tries various methods to obtain a quilt and when he fails in face of the firm convictions of the quiltmaker, he must make a difficult decision. What he does next makes the rest of the story. With out-of-the-world vivid, detailed, and colorful illustrations, the story tells the reader the pleasure you receive when you give (even your most valued possessions to someone who needs it more).  I would happily spend as much time re-reading the story as I would just looking at the illustrations. I am also looking forward to reading 'The Quiltmaker's Journey'
  2. Jazz Fly   by Matthew Gollub and Karen Hanke -  "ZA-baza, BOO-zaba, ZEE-zah RO-ni" - Are you lost? Well, so was the hero of this story, the Jazz Fly. He tries to find his way to town by asking various animals in fly speak ("ZA-baza, BOO-zaba, ZEE-zah RO-ni"). They do not speak fly and answer in their own language. He finally manages to reach town to make music and all goes fine until Queen Bee says,"I need a change else this is the end for the band". How Jazz Fly rocks the evening and saves the band makes the rest of the story. This story illustrates that  Jazz is fun; Music is magic - even for bugs. The Jazz Fly scats through the book and before you know it, you are at the last page. My daughter got it home from the school library - unfortunately, they did not include the CD in the book (guess it is in the library to use during school). I am looking forward to hearng the CD as well. Fun to read aloud and fun to repeat many times over. And the illustrations are great too, a right fit for the theme.
  3. Mommy's Little Girl by Ronne Randall and Kristina Khrin - My little girl loves this book - she fell in love with it even before she saw the cover because one of my friends (who is her favorite aunt-friend!) gave it to her when she was two (she is now five). Once she knew the title, it was 'head-over-heels' for her. The book itself is charming and every mommy's little girl will enjoy reading this book and seeing a bit of herself as the little girl in the book does chores with mom, has fun with mommy (a picnic, reading a book), dresses up in mommy's clothes and more. Sweet book with bright flowing illustrations. 
  4.  The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing and Julie Durrell - This was another gift - again loved by my daughter for the fact that she got it from her preschool teachers with a personalized message written for her as she left preschool to enter Kindergarten. This book rings true for many parents and kids starting off school (no matter that they are used to going to preschool or a daycare before that). With fun rhymes and colorful illustrations,  the book conveys the preparations for the big day, the 'I am officially a big kid now' feeling, the transition from home or preschool environment to a school, and the feelings of both adults and kids at this time. The last two pages are a hoot and so cute! My daughter loves reading it even now though she is been in Kindergarten for a few months already!
  5. Ciconia Ciconia by Andrea Petrlik Huseinović - I have to yet read this one to my kids. I read it yesterday in the online library I discovered. It illustrates the concepts of 'East or west, home is best', the sadness of war, and also information about Cigoc (fascinating!). The story is told by a stork who is forced to leave home in Croatia because of war. The stork looks for a new place to call home and it explores city after city and finds nothing like its 'lost paradise'. Just as it decides to give up, it finds an unlikely savior in the most unlikely of places and returns to a place it can finally call home with the horrors of war far behind and the happy sounds of school children nearby. It is a bittersweet story with colorful illustrations that fit the mood of the words. I also learned of a facinating city in Croatia called Cigoc (the Village of Storks!). What the author/illustrator says about herself - "When I was small I lived in a world I would draw. When I grew up I noticed that the world I lived in differed from that I created on paper. I have decided, therefore, to draw forever."
  6.  The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal  by Idries Shah and Rose Mary Santiago - This is a folktale told here beautifully with colorful and humorous illustrations. A brave young boy who loves to explore reaches a village where he discovers the villagers terrified of a "terrible, dangerous monster". When he decides to check out the monster for himself and realizes what it is, he has to convince the villagers that their fear of the unknown is completely unfounded and that the unknown can be wonderful, and in this case, delicious!
    I found out that the author has written many other books and am adding them all to my list now. (Note: I also read another wonderful story by him which I will review next week - 'The Boy Without a Name') 
All these books (six!) go towards the Picture Book Read-to-me-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: 'The Book Thief' (Kindle rental) 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)

NOTE: American Rust (will have to extend my library Kindle rental on this!)


  1. So many good recommendations. I am particularly drawn to Ciconia Ciconia. Probably as I have been to Croatia and have Croat friends.

    Very happy to read that 100 dress is recommended reading for you son's 3rd grade class.

  2. @JoannaThank you. I am finding great new reads on these online digital libraries and from my blogger friends recommendations..

  3. HI
    Thanks for stopping by Book'd Out - I hope you are enjoyng the Book Thief - happy reading!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd out


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