Washington State has produced a couple great children’s book author/illustrators (including my very, very favorite, Doris Burns), with the latest being from Olympia– the excellent Nikki McClure. She is famous for her intricate, yet deceptively simple looking paper cut illustrations in her titles for very young children. Her first attempts at paper cut illustrations gave birth to a little, homegrown book that was distributed locally in 1996. Apple is the new reprint of that effort, now available to the masses! It is lovely, and begins with the play on words: “Fall”… as you see an apple falling from a tree. The book continues with a single word on each page, documenting the life of the apple as it goes through autumn and is composted into the ground before giving new life the following spring. The book would make a great springboard to inspire budding artists or writers with the art of paper-cutting. Here is a great little tutorial on that. The little write ups in the back about the life of apples and about composting are just as excellent as this juicy, little morsel of a book itself and I highly recommend it for your early reading pleasure.
“It’s a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another one till you have read an old one in between.”
… and weird kids love Joyce Sidman, self included. Especially when she’s paired with the talented Beth Krommes. I really enjoyed reading Sidman’s recent article entitled Why I Write Poetry. Take some time to explore Sidman’s website where you can hear her read some of her poems, get ideas for poem starters, and read submissions from children everywhere… it’s a nice place on the web! And here is a little trailer preview of the 2011 award winning book Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature for those who are unfamiliar.
This is theoretical because we’ve not actually checked this book out. It was on our holds queue and I was devastated when I couldn’t pick it up. Truth be told, we are currently blocked from the county library system. Apparently they don’t tolerate a $40 bill. See, when your library charges 25 cents/day/book for overdue items, this really, really adds up when you are checking out 30-40 books at a time. Now, there is no excuse really, we live within walking distance to our local library. But the trouble is when we “lose” a book (it’s under a mattress or behind the piano) and another user has holds on it, it is unable to be renewed… and accrues late fees. Couple that with an unfortunate incident involving a wiggly boy, a large glass of water and a $20 book, and your account quickly goes into the delinquent status. (As I type we are racking up fees for one errant book: Babar Visits Another Planet— because it is unable to be renewed since our account is delinquent and it is nowhere to be found) Meanwhile, the library keeps sending me notices that I have holds to be picked up which agonize me that I can’t pick up until our account is paid off–maybe next payday. But I digress.
I am certain that A Butterfly Is Patientis a fantastic book in the same vein as this author’s other two mentioned books here: An Egg Is Quietand A Seed Is Sleepy. I loved how the other two books wove readers into a spell of story and science and found the illustrations and prose delightfully engaging… these would certainly be worthwhile books to invest in full price for both the sake of its beauty and its academic merit. A Butterfly is Patient was released this May and after a 30 second perusal at a small bookstore on the Oregon Coast, I was convinced it merited mention even if I’ve not read it in its entirety yet. So look for it and its predecessors as soon as you’re in the mood for delight!
I mentioned this book in my Top 10 list for spring, but we don’t actually own it. Yet. After going through the library books that we’ve gotten this week, it looks like pretty standard fare (except for the fact that this branch had a Tin Tin book that the boys haven’t read yet… so that was exciting. But Tin Tin really does deserve his own post.) so I’m going to have to choose this as our book of the week. I need to just buy it already as we’ve checked out this (and it’s companion An Egg Is Quiet) enough times to convince me that there really is long-term relationship possibility here that needs to be assessed. The boys have loved finding which seeds we recognized in this book and are eager to identify monocots and dicots now. I had some old navy beans from last week’s soup that we covered in a wet paper towel and put them in a plastic baggy to see what would happen. A few days later, they began sprouting and shell shedding and now are ready to plant. Probably the easiest and most beginner-friendly science experiment ever. So without further ado, I can not recommend enough A Seed Is Sleepy.