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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Bits and Pieces from the News -- 2021


July 2021


Madeline has always been one of my favorite characters - so spunky and yet not nasty.  These new books will help, I hope, generate some new love for Bemelmans's original titles.  

Information about the forthcoming books at https://www.stevensalerno.com/spotlight

And about Ludwig Bemelman at https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/1912/ludwig-bemelmans



Baptiste, Tracey. (2021, July 19).  Celebrating Floyd Cooper.  brownshelf.com.  https://thebrownbookshelf.com/2021/07/19/celebrating-floyd-cooper/. ; 

Italie, Hillel.  (2021, July 17).  Floyd Cooper, acclaimed children’s illustrator, dead at 65.  ABC News.  https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Entertainment/wireStory/floyd-cooper-acclaimed-childrens-illustrator-dead-65-78902576. ; 


And


Hillel, Italie and Dwyer, Kayla. (2021, July 17).  ‘An international star’: Award-winning Easton Children’s book illustrator Floyd Cooper dead at 65.  Mcall.com.  https://www.mcall.com/news/nation-world/mc-nws-floyd-cooper-obituary-20210717-wkmmvd4uovdkjl2s6gmqfdnpvi-story.html


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Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, July 17).  Bits and Pieces from the News - 2021. McBookwords (Blog). 
https://bit.ly/news-childlit2021

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Friday, April 30, 2021

May 19 - A Day to Honor Nicholas George Winton - WWII Hero

May 19 - The Anniversary of the Birth of Nicholas George Winton

Nicholas George Winton was a banker in 1938 when he found himself in Czechoslovakia facing hundreds of refugee children fleeing from the Nazis with no place (and little hope) of being saved.  With ingenuity, some machination, and unconventional actions he saved 669 children from death camps.  All were transported to England or Sweden, where host families raised them, as most if not all of their parents perished at the hands of the Nazis.


Read: Peter Sis's book Nicky & Vera (Norton Young Readers, 2021).
(A book for ages 6-9 but needs to be read by all who can read - children, teens, adults, and elders)

From the publisher:nicky & vera; picture book; peter sis

Learn more about this hidden hero of World War II:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, Jan. 31). Nicky Winton - A Hero Hidden in Plain Sight.  McBookwords (Blog). http://bit.ly/WWII-hiddenhero 


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Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, May 1). May 19 - A Day to Honor Nicholas George Winton.  McBookwords (Blog). http://bit.ly/May5-NGWinton

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Four & Twenty Dinosaurs


One of my very favorite poetry fun takes some advanced planning but so much fun with most age groups. Get a copy of Four and Twenty Dinosaurs by Bernard Most - still available as a paperback.

  1. Make a list of the nursery rhymes that are parodied in the book.
  2. Then put the book on your own shelf for a bit, and find standard editions of the nursery rhymes that Most used in his book.

  3. For the younger kids you will want to repeat the poems so they are well familiar with them - and can recite them with you. So reread, reread etc. over a period of a few days/weeks. Practice encouraging the listeners to chime in on the recitation of the poems.

    Sing a song of sixpence,
    A pocket full of rye;
    Four and twenty blackbirds
    Baked in a pie.
    When the pie was opened,
    They all began to sing.
    Now, wasn’t that a dainty dish
    To set before the King?

    The King was in his countinghouse,
    Counting out his money;
    The Queen was in the parlor
    Eating bread and honey.
    The maid was in the garden,
    Hanging out the clothes.
    Along there came a big black bird
    And snipped off her nose!

  4. With older kids most likely (hopefully) they will be familiar with the poems you will will just need to activate their schema regarding the poems.
  5. Then one day pull out Four and Twenty Dinosaurs and without introduction read aloud the poems encouraging them to chime in on the familiar rhymes -- pause only when the twist is coming.

Listeners will soon get the idea and will start to anticipate the twists and might even come up with some great ones of their own.

Be ready to write either as a group or individually some additional innovations of the familiar nursery rhymes. Schedule a poetry jam.  

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Cite this post:
McElmeel, Sharron L. (2021, April 15). Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  McBookwords (blog).  http://bit.ly/Blackbirds_Most


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McBookwords: http://www.mcbookwords.com




Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Earth Day - and One Little Bag

Earth Day - and One Little Bag

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22 with events worldwide in support of the environment and to raise awareness for the environmental protection and care of our planet.  

Gift the awareness of Earth Day to others by sharing a reading of Henry Cole's One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey (Scholastic, 2020).

And giving any participants one little brown bag (similar to the one in the book) and a small journal to record their own bag's amazing journey.

Cite this post:
McElmeel, Sharron L. (2021, April 1). Earth Day - and One Little Bag.  McBookwords (blog).  http://bit.ly/earthday4-22


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McBookwords: http://www.mcbookwords.com





Saturday, February 27, 2021

Maxine and the Greatest Garden

 Maxine and the Greatest Garden 











If you want to call for your own autographed copy - contact
the Book Bin https://bookbinnorthbrook.indielite.org/
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Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, February 26). Maxine and the Greatest Garden.  McBookwords (Blog). http://bit.ly/maxine-garden.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Gee's Bend Quilts - African American Quilts



Gee's Bend Quilts - African American Quilts: A Tradition

In a little Alabama, community (population 275 according to the 2010 census) the African Americans have become noted for their unique and colorful quilts.  The town is officially, Boykin, but colloquially known as Gee's Bend.  There is one road into this community that sits directly across the river from Camdem, and southeast of Selma, Alabama.  Surrounded on three sides by the bridgeless Alabama River, Gee's Bend remains isolated.  The community of Boykin at one time had at least 700 inhabitants.  The horseshoe area was named Gee's Bend after Joseph Gee who had arrived in the area, from North Carolina, in 1816 where he established a cotton plantation using the labor of 17 enslaved African Americans.

The residents traditions was tied to the cotton industry -- and colorful, brightly geometrically designed quilts emerged.  Interest in the quilts of Gee's Bend seemed to grow.  Once discovered, the quilts were south for exhibits in prestigious museums across the United States.  In Gee's Bend they have their own showcase, the Gee's Bend Quilting Collective.  The quilters recycle feed sacks, fabric remnants, recycled work clothes, and create artful quilts born of innovation and creativity.

The residents traditions was tied to the cotton industry -- and colorful, brightly geometrically designed quilts emerged.  Interest in the quilts of Gee's Bend seemed to grow.  Once discovered, the quilts were south for exhibits in prestigious museums across the United States.  In Gee's Bend they have their own showcase, the Gee's Bend Quilting Collective.  The quilters recycle feed sacks, fabric remnants, recycled work clothes, and create artful quilts born of innovation and creativity.

Now the Gee's Bend Quilters have an Internet presence.  At least nine quilters have a site where each offers hand sewn quilts (prices range from $4500 to $15,000+).  With the help of a non-profit, NEST, the Gee's Bend Quilters are able to offer their traditionally created quilts to those who wish to own one of their creations.  https://www.buildanest.org/geesbend/

Share this history of Gee's Bend Quilts, study the patterns of the quilts shown online, and compare to other traditional quilts made in other cultures/communities.

Read these two books about the Gee's Bend Quilters.


Rubin, Susan Goldman.  (2017) The Quilts of Gee's Bend.  Henry N. Abrams.
This photo picture book follows the journey of the community's quilt tradition from 1845, when Mark Pettway brought his family to Gee's Bend to the present when some of his African American descendants continue the tradition of taking scraps, flour sacs and other fabrics and making them into quilts both practical and beautiful.  Rubin's book combines history with the beauty of a decades old artistry.

Irby, Tanular A. (2020).
Pearl and Her Bee's Band Quilt.  Illustrated by India Sheana.  Learning Advantage Network Diversified.  During a play date three young girls travel back to grandma's house in Gee's Bend, Alabama, and learn about the history of the beautiful quilts made by Pearl's grandmother.  Pearl dreams of making her own quilt.  The author of this book is the granddaughter of Gee's Bend quilters, Pearlie Kennedy Pettway and Jensie Lee Irby.


McKissack, Patricia.  (2016). Stitchin' and Pulliin": A Gee's Bend Quilt.  Illustrated by Dozbi A. Cabreera.  Turtlebooks, 2016.  Originally published by Random House in 2008.  A collection of poems about Gee's Bend, the quilt making community.

Check out Gee's Bend website sharing their quilts and their community.  https://www.buildanest.org/geesbend/
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Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, February 12). Gee's Bend Quilts - African American Quilts.  McBookwords (Blog). 
http://bit.ly/AL-geesbend. 


Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Purple Puffy Coat by Maribeth Boelts

The Purple Puffy Coat by Maribeth Boelts

A new book by Iowa writer Maribeth Boelts.  She clearly knows that one needs a puffy warm coat on blustery days like we are having in Iowa today.  So when it is almost Stick Bug's birthday, his friend Beetle must give him his birthday present early.  Of course, the present is in Beetle's favorite color - purple.  Soon it becomes clear that the coat is the present that Beetle really would have liked but it's not quite what Stick Bug would have chosen.

The coat, however, doesn't really suit Beetle either - but it is her favorite color.  But Stick Bug has a solution.  A great solution it is.

You must read this book of friendship and ingenuity, and learning to pay attention to what makes others happy; not just what makes you happy.

Learn more about Maribeth Boelts on her website at https://maribethboelts.com/ 

Daniel Duncan's illustrations are as bright and warm as Boelts's cozy story of friends Stick Bug and Beetle.  Duncan lives on the outskirts of London where he spends his days in an old stable turned studio, working on illustrations for children's books.  Learn more about Duncan at https://thebrightagency.com/us/publishing/artists/daniel-duncan 


Boelts, Maribeth. (2020).  The Purple Puffy Coat. Candlewick.


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Cite this blog post:
McElmeel, Sharron. (2021, February 9). The Purple Puffy Coat.  McBookwords (Blog). 
http://bit.ly/purplepc

Books reviewed on this blog are often received for free from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Other books are purchased by McBookwords for the express purpose of generating a review for those interested in literature. Only books deemed exceptional are given space on this blog.