Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Favorites (Continued)

Continued from the Previous Post...

Picture Books

From Spain

Sebastian's Roller Skates
Written by Joan de Deu Prats
Illustrated by Francesc Rovira

This section - with over three dozen titles to choose from - was also a challenge for me to narrow down to just one book. Sebastian's Roller Skates really jumped out at me, however, in that it really can work with just about any reader (of any age, gender, background, etc).

Sebastian not only masters a new skill (roller skating, of course) but he also gets over his fear of public speaking and builds up his confidence to the point of finally being able to speak to Esther - a girl from school - which he never thought he'd be able to do at the beginning of the story.

We all have our little quirks (perhaps it is public speaking) that makes us feel not-so-confident or not as comfortable doing (maybe roller skating is one of them) so this book does really speak to readers of all ages and encourages us to try something new - even if it does require a helmet.

Picture Books for Older Readers
From Australia

Written by Margaret Wild
Illustrated by Ron Brooks

I need to tred lightly when discussing this title, because it is dark, sad, and ultimately, a tale of deception. I don't want to give away the storyline for those who have not read it, but it is certainly a book that will haunt readers and have you thinking about friendship, temptation and betrayal long after the book has been closed.

Several middle school teachers - upon first reading Fox - mentioned the story's similiarities to Shakespeare's Macbeth and several of these teachers use Fox in their classroom as an introduction to this classic work.

Whether you're dealing with playground disagreements or boardroom arguments, this book is an emotional and startling look at the realities of life and working or dealing with others.

First Fiction
From Australia
Jack Russell: Dog Detective
(Book 4): The Lying Postman

The Lying Postman is - by far - my favorite book from the Jack Russell series. Involving a new postman to Jack's route, and a "he said," "she-said" situation, Book #4 in this canine caper series keeps readers guessing until the end as to whether or not the postman is telling the truth.

Also introduced in this mystery is a new character - Ralf Boxer - a little chihuahua who surprises Jack with his courage and shatters every stereotype that Jack has regarding these small dogs.

Gift Books
From Australia

Could You? Would You?
by Trudy White

Trudy has made a fine book for readers of all ages with Could You? Would You? I've personally used this book as a discussion starter with both my four-year-old son and with adult friends. Others that I know have used this book in writing workshops to help get through writer's block.

Be careful though - many of these questions will bring up childhood memories which may have you longing for the times when you could cuddle in a sheet-made fortress under the stars or thinking about what you'd like to do with the time you have left.

What's your favorite Kane/Miller book?


HipWriterMama said...

I loved Could You? Would You? Thanks for the book recommendations. I'm going to search out Fox--it sounds like a good book for talking about friendships with my girls.

Sondra Santos LaBrie said...

Could You? Would You? is going to be featured in The Martha Stewart Show this afternoon. I hope you get a chance to check it out.

And yes, Fox is a great discussion-starter for issues of friendship with young people. Please let me know what your daughters think of it!