Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Some Writer!

Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White
by Melissa Sweet
I don't remember the first time I read E. B. White's Charlotte's Web. Honestly, I don't know if I first read the book, or heard the book read aloud to me. If I were to guess, I would say it was read aloud during elementary school, probably my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Ussery. I loved listening to her read to us each day after lunch. It would have been fine with me if she had just read to us all day long.

To this day, Charlotte's Web remains one of my very favorites. I couldn't even begin to count how many times I've read this book. It is one of the very few books I will re-read. When I was a kindergarten teacher, I read Charlotte's Web to my students every year when we studied farm animals.  I am currently re-reading it because the school district I work for is reading the book as the One District, One Book for this spring. I am so excited for the young children who will be experiencing the adventures of Wilbur, Charlotte, and even that rascal Templeton.

As soon as I saw the title of Melissa Sweet's new book, Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White, I knew it would be a book I NEEDED to read. She did not disappoint. Not only does Sweet provide a glimpse into the life of this amazing author, but she also takes us through his career as a writer. It is so cool to see the original hand written notes and manuscripts.  I was fascinated by the back story on Stuart Little and the research requested of friends for The Trumpet of the Swan. The scrapbook-like illustrations create a marvelous background for White's story and give you the feeling of being in one of his journals.

My only wish is this book was currently available. The publication date has been moved back to October 2016. I think the elementary children reading this book as part of our One District, One Book initiative would find the author's life very interesting.

I enjoy reading biographies and this is by far one of the very best I have read in a long time. The fact that it is geared toward children is even better. I have never had a problem reading a book written for children, especially if it provides me the information I need in a concise manner. I don't think a biography of E. B. White could be better presented by any author. I highly recommend Melissa Sweet's Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White for all elementary and middle school libraries and for anyone who loves White's writings. This is a fabulous celebration of a "Terrific" writer.

*To comply with new guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group, HMH Books for Young Readers has provided a complimentary electronic copy of this title for review purposes. This review is my opinion and is in no way influenced by the author, the author's publicist, or the publishing company.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Welcome to the World of Mamoko

When I was a child I loved perusing the pages of Richard Scarry's Busytown books. When I began looking through Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski's Welcome to Mamoko, I was immediately taken back to my childhood.

Welcome to Mamoko
by Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski
As you open Welcome to Mamoko you are  introduced to the main characters, twenty-four of them. These are the characters you will be observing throughout the book in order to determine what happens to them. Will everyone be able to go to the town carnival? If not, why? Children will have to be very observant in order to follow the story line of each of the characters. First you should choose one character to follow through the book. Turn the page and try to find that character. Look at their surroundings. What are they doing? Where are they and what do you think they are doing? Then turn to the next page and ask those same questions.

The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000
by Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski

The World of Mamoko in the Year 3000 - Twenty-eight different characters are introduced to the reader as this book opens. From there all of the characters are seen in seven very different scenes around the community. Text is only present on the first page. The reader is responsible for telling the story. The question, "What does the future hold for Mamoko's next generation?" is posed in order to jump start the readers imagination.

Much like the ever popular WHERE'S WALDO? series, the illustrations are filled with details. In Mamoko's world as the reader turns the page a story unfolds, sans words. This is a great book for building vocabulary and observation skills. I love the fact that words are not on every page. This allows young children to read the pictures and use their words to tell the story. I highly recommend this series of books (three in all to date - The World of Mamoko in Time of Dragons is the third in the series) for children from five to eight to read independently. It would also be great as a lap read with younger children.