Tag Archives: Jon Klassen

The Dynamic Duo

22 Jun

First, they gave us Extra Yarn.

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Then, they gave us Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.

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And now, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen have given us Triangle.

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See how the cover ha no title and doesn’t list the author or illustrator? The back cover tells us more.

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Between the covers zaniness of the Laurel and Hardy variety ensues.

Publisher’s Summary: Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks. . . . With this first tale in a new trilogy, partners in crime Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen will have readers wondering just who they can trust in a richly imagined world of shapes. Visually stunning and full of wry humor, here is a perfectly paced treat that could come only from the minds of two of today’s most irreverent — and talented — picture book creators.

This is the first book in a picture book trilogy. You can learn more in this video from the publisher.

 

An eerie tale

21 Oct

Like many teachers, I dislike Halloween. It makes teaching difficult for the days leading up to the holiday and, for days following, there is the candy issue. I also dislike the scariness factor.I have never liked scary stories, or too much graphic nastiness, and Halloween brings out the worst aspect of this.

So I approached The Nest,  written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Jon Klassen, with great caution.

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It is a short chapter book that is more eerie than scary, and that is Ok with me, though I still only read such books early in the day, or listen to them in the car. I did a bit of both with The Nest in part because I wanted to enjoy Klassen’s illustrations along with the text.

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Publisher’s summary:Steve just wants to save his baby brother—but what will he lose in the bargain? This is a haunting gothic tale for fans of Coraline, from acclaimed author Kenneth Oppel (SilverwingThe Boundless) with illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen.

For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.

All he has to do is say “Yes.” But “yes” is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?

This book is terrifying, but not scary in the way I hate. If you are loping for a short read to set the mood for Halloween, I highly recommend The Nest.

Digging Deep

30 Oct

In fourth grade we are all about digging deep, re-reading to find evidence to back up our ideas and opinions.

In Sam and Dave Dig a Hole  by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, two boys are digging in order to find something spectacular.

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There is humor here, lots of dead pan humor, as well as a little dog who is very wise, and a surprise ending. Here’s the trailer Mac & Jon made.

If you have a slightly more Gallic sense of humor, you might enjoy Three Little Peas by Marine Rivoal.

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Here, two little peas go on an adventure of a different sort and eventually end up underground. The artwork in this is stupendous and tells more of the story than the text does.

I have a fondness for stories about peas. Seriously. In first grade, I wrote a story called “The Pea Family” and later, in grade seven, I returned to it during a writing unit and wrote “The Pea Family and the Yellow Beans”, a story a bout cultures clashing. I used felt for the peas and beans. Very cutting edge. It was the 70’s after all.

Enjoy!

What’s Your Favorite Animal?

27 Feb

In their interactive journals,the 4th graders often ask their correspondent about their favorite animal. I usually answer “otter”, because I like their playfulness in water and the nimbleness of their hands. And they are cute.

Imagine the answers if you asked book illustrators! Here’s what you’d get:

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Eric Carle, Nick Bruel, Lucy Cousins, Susan Jeffers, Steven Kellogg, Jon Klassen, Tom Lichtenheld, Peter  McCarty, Chris Raschka, Peter Sís, Lane Smith, Erin Stead, Rosemary Wells, and Mo Willems all answer the question. Each draws their animal and tells a little bit about themselves and the animal of their dreams.

Some are simple

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some more complex

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but all are delightful.

Aside from the obvious “draw & write about your favorite animal” lesson, this book has plenty of classroom applications: author/illustrator studies, art lessons, genre writing lessons…..

All the royalties from book sale are planned to be donated to theEric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

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