Several days of rain have kept us indoors this week, but have greatly encouraged the new container gardens of herbs and tomatoes that the kiddo and I planted. With that in mind, I chose Mark Doty's poem "Heaven for Stanley" for Poetry Friday. It's a short poem about so many things, including gardens—and the friendship between two poets of different generations.
Yesterday we came home from the library with a backpack full of books from the J (children's) science section; subjects include lasers, leprosy, nuclear energy, and the planet Venus. These will be added to the pile in Junior's room of titles on battleships, amoebas, snake care, and chemistry. Sure, we still read books together like Cornelia Funke's Ghosthunters series, but clearly, now that he's "almost ten," the kiddo has more and more of his own interests to pursue.
N.T., my husband and a big fan of contemporary fiction, introduced me to one of my favorite books of this year: The Housekeeper and the Professor. The write-up at the blog Feminist Review captures Yoko Ogawa's "careful meditation on memory and communication" well. Lisa Bower writes,
The premise of the novel is seemingly simple: the plot revolves around the relationship between a housekeeper and a once-famous mathematician, the latter of whom was in a car accident that left him brain damaged. This man's short term memory is shot; it lasts for only eighty minutes. Armed with only decades-old memories and his formulas and theories, the novel shows that despite such loss, affection and love are still possible. Math becomes the language that penetrates this man's mind and allows him to make sense of a world that has changed without him knowing it.
Translated from the Japanese, it's a really lovely book that also features the housekeeper's ten-year-old son, a baseball lover, who also finds a way to meet the professor where he is. I look forward to reading more of Ogawa's work, like The Diving Pool. N.T. also highly recommends The Secret Scripture, by Sebastian Barry.
It's a book—a funny new picture book—written by Erica S. Perl and illustrated by Henry Cole. The trade journal Kirkus calls it "an unhinged piece of slap-happy rhyming."
I also got a kick out of the school librarian at 100 Scope Notes who asks, "How do you feel about a raucous storytime? Are you pro or con? Cause that’s what you’re going to have if you pull this one out during read-aloud."
I'm so happy that the publication and blog tour coincided with Chicken Spaghetti's fourth anniversary.
To enter the giveaway contest, leave your name in the comments, and later this afternoon (around 5 p.m.) I will enlist the help of my two backyard hens in choosing a winner.
Meanwhile, catch up with more information on the book at these blogs:
5/4 = Natasha Maw's MAW BOOKS BLOG
5/5 = Tina Nichols Coury's TALES FROM THE RUSHMORE KID
5/6 = Pam Couglan's MOTHERREADER
5/7 = Kimberly Willis Holt's A PEN AND A NEST
5/8 = Terry Golson's HEN BLOG
5/11 = Elizabeth Bird's FUSE # 8
5/12 = Shelly Burns' WRITE FOR A READER
and tomorrow at
5/14 = Andrea Beatty, Julia Durango and Carolyn Crimi's THREE SILLY CHICKS.
We have a winner: Sherry K.! Sherry, send me an email (c_spaghettiATyahooDOTcom) with your address. Thanks for playing along, everyone.
Yep, that's right. It's been four fine years of blogging about my adventures with children's books and reading—and chickens.
"Toad, Toad, wake up. It is May now."
"What?" said Toad.
"Can it be May so soon?"
"Yes, said Frog.
"Look at your calendar."
Toad looked at the calendar.
The May page was on top.
Why, it is May!" said Toad
as he climbed out of bed.
Then he and Frog
to see how the world
was looking in the spring.
Happy May, and happy reading, as always. Stay tuned tomorrow for a book giveaway.
Children's Book Week starts today, May 11th, and runs through Sunday, May 17th. It's sponsored by the Children's Book Council, a consortium of publishers. The event's web site says,
Since 1919, Children's Book Week has been celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes-any place where there are children and books. Educators, librarians, booksellers, and families have celebrated children's books and the love of reading with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book related events.
1. The shortlist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Awards (Canada) was announced.
2. Paper Towns, by John Green, won an Edgar award for best young adult mystery, while The Postcard, by Tony Abbott, took the "best juvenile" category. Sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America, the prizes honored a number of books for adults, too.
http://blogs.scholastic.com/kid_lit/2009/05/nonfiction-monday-a-taste-of-asia.htmlhttp://kidslit.menashalibrary.org/2009/05/04/slither-and-crawl-eye-to-eye-with-reptiles/Nonfiction Monday takes place right here today. Many of the children's book blogs post about nonfiction for kids on Mondays, so leave a link in the comments if you're participating. I will update throughout the day.
My contribution is an older post about Bianca Lavies' Gathering of Garter Snakes; you'll likely find the photo-filled picture book in the public or school library. Lavies was once a National Geographic photographer, and her snake pics are excellent. She writes about a place in Manitoba where thousands and thousands of garter snakes spend the winter and all exit the pit at about the same time in the spring. Read the post here.
Lots of intriguing nonfiction recommendations await readers today:
1. A Day in the Salt Marsh, at In Need of Chocolate
2. Mermaid Queen, at A Fuse # 8 Production
3. In the Trees, Honeybees, at Wild About Nature
4. On the Texas Trail of Cabeza de Vaca, at Lori Calabrese Writes!
5. The Dirt on Dirt, at SimplyScience Blog
6. Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, at The Miss Rumphius Effect
7. Mermaid Queen and The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, at Kelly Fineman's Writing and Ruminating
8. Pavlov's Elephant, at Check It Out
9. Jackson and Bud's Bumpy Ride: America's First Cross-Country Automobile Trip, at A Patchwork of Books
10. Dino Dung, at Book Scoops
11. Beatrix Potter, at Wrapped in Foil
12. Slither and Crawl, at Kids Lit
13. Life-Size Zoo, at Picture Book of the Day
14. A Taste of Asia, at Kid Lit Kit
15. King George: What Was His Problem?, at Biblio File