You know me. Planning is not my strong suit. I'm definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal. But for today, I planned. I had a book in mind. I was all set. I ordered my copy well in advance. Unfortunately the release date was shifted. Fortunately, it still shipped in time. But... thanks to Sandy... delivery has been delayed, so today's book, which was supposed to have been Marathon Mouse by Amy Dixon, just in time for the NYC marathon and in advance of her interview here on Monday, ain't happenin'. Sad face. Apparently I am not destined to be a planner!
So instead, in the aftermath of Sandy when so many have lost so much, I've chosen a book I dearly love. I know. This makes two quiet books in a row. But after the craziness of this hurricane week it seemed like a good choice. I dare you to read it without feeling touched :)
Written By: Patricia MacLachlan
Illustrated By: Mike Wimmer
HarperColllins, 1994, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 3-8
Themes/Topics: appreciating what you have, love, family, new baby
Opening: "On the day I was born my grandmother wrapped me in a blanket made from the wool of her sheep. She held me up to the window so that what I first heard was the wind. What I first saw were all the places to love..."
Brief Synopsis: Everyone in Eli's family has a favorite place - Mama loves the blueberry barren, grandmother loves the river, grandfather loves the barn. "Where else," he says, "can the soft sound of cows chewing make all the difference in the world?" Eli knows that no matter where he goes in the world, all the places to love are right here, connected to his family, and always to be cherished. Then one day, Eli and his grandfather wait together in the barn until grandmother holds someone new up to the window, wrapped in a blanket made from the wool of her sheep - Eli's sister Sylvie - and he looks forward to sharing his joy, showing her all the places to love including his favorite, which is revealed in the end, but I won't spoil it :)
Links To Resources: here is a nice Teacher's Guide, but I also think this book lends itself perfectly to discussion of the places YOU love and why. Draw a picture of a place you love. Make a list of places you love. Talk about why you love them, what makes them special.
Why I Like This Book: I don't just like this book - I absolutely love it. The language is poetic and lyrical with a rhythm that makes it wonderful to read aloud. The art is warm, loving, and so appealing. The story is all about love, appreciation, and family. It's a quiet book, just right for bedtime or those moments when children need to settle down. It brings all the warmth and comfort of love and family to the surface, giving children a model whereby they can revel in their own experience of the people and places they love. I read this book many, many times to my kids and after all those readings, even now, it makes me teary every time (in a good way :)) Simply a gem.
Here's the only other picture that was available on the internet for a glimpse of the beauty inside:
For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.
And now, before you all rush off to read everyone's wonderful offerings for today, a teensy Halloweensie Contest update. We had an INCREDIBLE turn-out - 37 entries at the time of this writing (and I did say I'd extend the deadline to the end of today to help people who lost their power and couldn't post or link up.) If you haven't had a chance to read them, please go HERE and have fun following the links and checking the comment section for the 6 that were entered there. All these writers worked so hard, and produced such wonderful, entertaining stories I'd hate for you to miss any of them. And a couple got added late and I'm worried they didn't get many visitors :( so please, if you're looking for a little light reading over the weekend, check them out!
Now, if all you amazing PPBF bloggers would kindly leave your post-specific links below, we'll all come visit you with a piece of paper and a pencil so we can make extensive library lists :) OH! And don't miss Monday's post - with Amy Dixon, author of Marathon Mouse, and the vote for the Halloweensie Contest Winner (assuming my assistant judge and I have any luck narrowing this unbelievable field!)
Have a great weekend, everyone, and GOOD LUCK to anyone who is running the NYC Marathon (and that includes my better half! :))!!!