Tag Archives: wordless books

Prehistoric Fantasy

13 Jan

Sometimes, strange and surprising things are buried in your own backyard! This is the Tualatin Mastodon.

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It lives in the Tualatin Library, just south of Portland. You can read a little bit about it here.

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In the 2013 wordless book Fossil, by Bill Thomson,  a boy and his dog are taking a walk and discover that strange and surprising things are buried in their own backyard. When a stone the boy picks up breaks open to reveal a fossil from a prehistoric plant, the boy gathers as many stones as he can find and begins breaking them apart. What he finds is that each fossil carries with it a little magic too. The gorgeous and detailed illustrations are sure to trigger the readers’s imagination.

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And the story you create, can change with each reading. A great book for lovers of fossils and dinosaurs.

Happy New Year

2 Sep

It has been many years since I’ve stayed up late on December 31st. I think of that as the day we change the calendar. To me, as to many groups throughout history, the New Year comes in the Fall. A new calendar year feels the same as the day before.  A new school year is full of excitement, anticipation, a little anxiety and hope. Each new school year is like a journey into a new world; the curriculum stays more or less the same, but the kids make it an adventure. There are things I can’t control, and things I can.

It is the same in the wordless picture book  Journey by Aaron Becker.

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A lonely girl picks up her red crayon, begins drawing on her bedroom wall and escapes to a world of enchantment. She begins simply at first, drawing a door, then boat, a balloon. When, after an act of courage,  she is captured by evil people, an act of friendship saves her and enables her to return home to find a true friend.

Each school year is like the arc of this story. We will begin tentatively tomorrow, take some risks, encounter some bums along the way, but will arrive at the end of the journey better people for having made it.

Why I’m glad I have basset hounds

15 Aug

Bassets are lazy. Here’s what it looks like at my house most of the time.

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Lucy is the most energetic, but she will only play fetch for 5-10 minutes, before it is nap time again. In the summer, the three of us often go take 2 hour naps. I sometimes put my pajamas on & get under the covers.  Going back to work after having the summer off can be difficult for all of us.

In her nearly wordless book, Ball,  Mary Sullivan shows what it is like at the opposite end of the dog spectrum.

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It is nearly wordless, because one word appears on almost every page:

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This is a fun book and would be great as a read aloud to show kids to teach them about voice in writing. The one word of text  is repeated forty-four times in various sizes, upper and lower case, with varying punctuation and by different speakers with equally varied visual interpretation. The size and boldness of the letters in the panel above convey a message very different from the panel below.

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There are other things I like about this book. The pictures and colors make it look like an older book and help the reader read between the lines and decipher the dog’s  emotional state.

So glad my girls are not this ball obsessed.

Friends with feathers

18 Jul

 

Flora and the Flamingo  by Molly Idle is wordless and yet a beautiful story unfolds, figuratively and literally.

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When book opens, these two are not friends. Not enemies either, but the tension is palpable.

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Then, slowly, Idle unfolds the story with flaps to lift

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and beautiful two-page spreads that illustrate the twists and turns of an evolving friendship.

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Even though this is a very pink book, boys will certainly enjoy the story. There are lots of ways to use wordless books in the library and classroom, or at home,  and this would be an excellent addition to all three.

As I was reading Flora and the Flamingo,  I had vision of the dancing hippos in Fantasia  and The Dance of the Hours was playing in my head. This book will leave you feeling just as satisfied.

Randy Ribay

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