Thursday, February 4, 2016

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

This book is incredibly powerful and beautifully written. I requested a desk copy of this book from my English Department to consider for my Young Adult Literature course. Other reviewers have said it -- this book is a must read, for so many reasons. Obviously the message is important and timely, that's a given. But what is even more remarkable is the way the book came to pass with these two authors, a black man and a white man, collaborating in a unique way. Each author providing the voice of the two main characters has produced a book that I'm not sure could have been as effectvely written by one single author of either race. Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, I can assure you my future students will be reading your work, talking through its essential message, and, since many of them will become teachers, I predict this book will become a work talked about in so many classrooms in years to come. Thank you for this book that needed to be written by two authors like you!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

Delicate wispy drawings evoke the stillness and quiet of a walk in the woods through the snow. This is a lovely almost mystical variation on a Red Riding Hood type tale. Kikko makes some surprising new friends and attends a most unusual tea party as she tries to follow her father through the forest to grandmother's house. Loved the choice of the last illustration in book. This book is beautifully drawn with the occasional splash of color against a stark background that is never dreary or foreboding. A special book for a winter's day reading!

Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting by Brian Gordon

Okay, seriously? Can I only give this one 5 stars? That's not fair! This collection of cartoons by Brian Gordon is absolutely laugh-out-loud funny. He takes us to the dark side (and the brighter side!) of parenting. Any parent or grandparent who doesn't see themselves in this book, well, in the words of Brian Gordon, is a big fat liar. One warning -- although some of these cartoons would probably make kids laugh too, this is a book for grown-ups. Gordon does use language you probably don't want to explain to your toddler, including the f-word, the s-word and more. But this was one of the most refreshingly honest looks at the trials and tribulations and joys of raising kids that I have seen in years. Buy this book for parents you know and for those who don't know what they're in for!