Just as Saturday mornings on TV during the 50s and 60s, PWR reserves Saturday mornings for kids. This is my recommendation for kids for 6/18/22:
I found this book at my local library when I was looking for a book with a compound word in its title for a challenge. It turned out I had a title with a compound word on my TBR shelf (Mt TBR Challenge), so I used that one for the challenge (What’s in a Name challenge), killing two birds with one book.
I did read this book though, and decided to use it for a Saturday Mornings for Kids review since it was too good not to share. Basically, it was written and illustrated (LOVED the illustrations!) to teach the concept of compound words.
SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATIONS–MARVELOUS!
Late again! It has been an eventful, productive day, but I failed to post one of my much anticipated things in a long while.
This past spring, one of my favorite children’s authors paid me a visit at my home in Alvin. She brought her fabulous kids and we had a lovely visit. She even stopped and brought lunch–now, that’s the kind of company to have!
Alda P. Dobbs wrote the Bluebonnet nominated The Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, a wonderful tale of a Mexican ten-year-old, caught up in the Mexican Revolution. Her adventures are based on stories Alda’s great grandmother told her when she was young.( Use the search box to find my review of this excellent book.) In September, 2022, Alda Dobbs will publish the sequel, The Other Side of the River. She signed a copy of the book for me, and I greedily read it in one weekend.
I am always happy to tell people that I have a friend who is a well-known, well-respected children’s author, but even happier when she and her lovely kids come to see me. Soon I will review On The Other Side of the River, so you can pre-order and plan the time for a pleasant weekend of fantastic reading.
Being only certified to teach sixth grade through twelfth, I never taught fifth grade during my almost twenty years in public schools. I have, however, taught fifth graders in Sunday school for a couple of years. Candace Fleming, author of The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School, describes the adventures and misadventures of “almost sixth-graders”in a way that can only be captured by someone who has taught elementary school, or who has had kids in fifth grade, or who has a remarkable memory of her fifth grade year of school.
Mr. Jupiter’s fifth grade class has a definite reputation. They are remembered vividly if not fondly, as a group by their first through third grade teachers, some of whom, thanks to these “characters” are no longer teaching or are on “medical leave.” Mr. Jupiter was their fourth grade teacher, and now, when no one can be found to take on these “special” group of fifth graders, he moves up to teach fifth grade. Readers are carried on a journey of “the zaniest school year yet.”
The book is appropriately arranged in fables, complete with morals, chronicling the stories of individual student’s experiences during their fifth grade year. Evidently, a budding attraction between Mr. Jupiter, then their fourth grade teacher, and Miss Turner, the librarian, blossoms into a full-fledged romance during the course of the story. Perhaps it would be even more fun to meet these kids during their fourth grade year before reading this 2010 publication. However, the Fifth Graders works well as a standalone. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
KEEP ON READING KIDS!
Saturday mornings were mornings not to disturb parents who were sleeping in, grab a bowl of Frosted Flakes in our Tony the Tiger bowl we received from sending in cereal boxtops, and to sit down in front of the TV to watch cartoons. That was the 50’s and 60’s go-to plan. TV programming was tuned in to this phenomena, running cartoons from 6:30 a.m. until the 9:00 a.m. news. This blog dedicates Saturday mornings toward the same “target audience.” Here is a recommendation for the kid or grandkid in your life:
In Gutsy Women, Roenfanz presents gutsy women poets and authors as the daily readings for Thursdays of every week. She heads up her article about Gwendolyn Brooks with a quote: “Poetry is life distilled.”
Brooks lived from 1917-2000, and was “one of the most highly respected, influential, and widely read poets of the 20th century.” In 1950, she was the first African American author to win a Pulitzer Prize ,” which she did with Annie Allen. ” [She] was the Illinois’ poet laureate (from 1968-2000) and the first Black woman consultant to the Library of Congress.”
“After working for the NAACP, Brooks developed her writing in poetry workshops,” publishing her first collection A Street in Bronzeville, in 1945. Her poetry showcased the plight of the Black, urban poor. In later years, she traveled extensively as an activist dealing with “the problems of color.” Her poetry influenced many young, Black poets of the 21st. century.
This book has been a delight to me, allowing me to read about “gutsy women” of my era, and those who came before. Each day upon reading the short piece on a woman, I think, “You go, girl!” and am inspired to attempt to be “gutsy” in my own life. Thank you, Rosemary, for such a lovely daily “read.”
AGAIN, I’m late, but today is because I’ve been enjoying my out-of-town company and taking some time out to do fun shopping. Saturdays on PWR are like the TV programming on 50’s and 60’s Saturday mornings, reserved for the kiddos.
Today’s book is not something I’ve read, but something that showed up in my LFL that I want to read soon.
This 1987 publication by Louis Sachar, described by School Library Journal as “unusual, witty, and satisfying” had me at the cover–
This cover reminds me so much of the sixth grade boys I taught “back in the day” in my first teaching career. I remember the boy who wanted to “look in the girls’ bathroom” so badly that he removed the cover off the vent in the boys’ bathroom, crawled into the ceiling crawl space, and fell through, landing in a classroom in another “pod” when he explored the school from above. I am sure this is going to be a fun read.
Late! Again! Please bear with me, for I have a wonderful author who writes for middle schoolers, and adults whose sense of humor has remained at middle school levels, including yours truly.
I RECEIVED A WONDERFUL GIFT IN THE MAIL!
Virginia Jones, a former online student whom I came to love as a friend as well as be impressed by as a student, sent me a set of books by a beloved children’s author in Britain, equivalent in popularity to of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series here in the U.S. Stationed in England, she calls me often to check on me and tells me about her latest academic adventures. She is an amazing individual and a good friend. She follows my blog, and when she told me about this British author, I thought I should feature Williams on my Saturday Mornings for Kids post. Never did I dream she would provide me with the means of doing so.
My sense of humor has never progressed beyond middle school, and for that I am not embarrassed, but grateful. This series made me laugh out loud at the “proper British tones” in which it is written and nearly choke at the outrageously funny illustrations. Here’s one from my favorite book in the box, Awful Auntie.
When I googled the author of this hilarious set of books, I discovered I already “knew” him from watching “Britain’s Got Talent” on TV. There, he is a judge for unusual acts trying to hit the big time in Great Britain. My estimation of this “celebrity” has now climbed sky-high after reading his books. Out of five stars, I would have to give this series a 6.
This Caldecott Honoree is a lesson in being proud of one’s heritage even if others don’t understand.
Written by Andrea Wang and illustrated beautifully by Jason Chin, the book tells the story of a drive that enabled the girl’s parents to stop by the side of the road and pick free watercress. Seeing a busload of her school friends go by, the girl is embarrassed by her parents and their family’s scavenging. As mom prepares the watercress, the girl imagines her friends making fun of her and her frugal parents . Her mom reminds her of how as a child in China, she had nothing to eat during a time of great famine, and tells her daughter she would have been glad to have the watercress. Ashamed, the girl tries the watercress and finds it delicious. The whole family is aware of memories, and as they eat the watercress, they make new memories of their own.
The lovely illustrations, including the expressions on the characters’ faces, carry the story along, letting the reader know at all times what the girl and her family are feeling. It is an inspiring book, one which carries a message and teaches a thoughtful lesson.
Late again! Yesterday was a very full, very busy day, and I am just getting around to recommending this wonderful book for kids and adults alike.
Clara’s dad, Marc owns a very special cafe in Flowers, Kansas. Clara knows that the Van Gogh Cafe is where magic happens. Many special events happen that involve the whole town and that change the whole town: like the wayward sea-gull’s appearance, the possum’s visit, or the magic muffins which arrive just when they are needed most. Lively, warm, and magic, each chapter’s vignette adds to the revealing conclusion which helps the reader learn that the secret of the magic at the Van Gogh cafe is L.O.V.E.
Today’s recommendation comes from books I read that were novels in verse, which were Cybils nominees.
This is what was written about Rez Dogs.
****Four starred reviews!****
From the U.S.’s foremost Indigenous children’s author comes a middle grade verse novel set during the COVID-19 pandemic, about a Wabanaki girl’s quarantine on her grandparents’ reservation and the local dog that becomes her best friend
Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation. She’s there for a visit when, suddenly, all travel shuts down. There’s a new virus making people sick, and Malian will have to stay with her grandparents for the duration.
Everyone is worried about the pandemic, but Malian knows how to keep her family and community safe: She protects her grandparents, and they protect her. She doesn’t go outside to play with friends, she helps her grandparents use video chat, and she listens to and learns from their stories. And when Malsum, one of the dogs living on the rez, shows up at their door, Malian’s family knows that he’ll protect them too.
My opinion:As an adult who loves good poetry, I loved the format of this 2021 publication. Each poem continues Malian’s story all the while using verses, rather than paragraphs. For example, when she first sees Malsum, a stray dog outside, she consults her grandfather,
” ‘Can I go outside and
see what he does?’ Malian said…
‘Seems to me
if you step outside
and then move real slow
whilst you watch what he does
you’ll be ok.
But just in case,
I’ll be right behind you…’ “
As Malian stays through the pandemic with her grandparents, she learns from them about her Native American heritage, many parts of which are hard to read and were things I knew nothing about including government programs to sterilize Native American women in order to reduce their numbers, and even the diseases the Native Americans were first exposed to by white settlers which wiped out a large part of their population, freeing up to land to ownership by whites. I always knew our government had given Native Americans a “raw deal” pushing them back, westward, and taking over their lands, finally containing them on reservations, but I had never considered their “side” of things. This children’s book was an eye-opener and gave me an empathy for Native Americans I’d never felt before. In this area, especially, the author did an excellent job. It is a book parents or grandparents and kids need to discuss after reading, and one teachers should read for themselves as well. I highly recommend Joseph Bruchac’s Rez Dogs.
Just as Saturday mornings’ TV programming was aimed at kids, full of cartoons and entertainment, Saturday mornings on PWR is aimed at kids of all ages, making recommendations of good books to read. Today’s selection is How to Prevent Monster Attacks, written and illustrated by Dave Ross. My copy, which was donated to my Little Free Library and has seen better days, was published in 1984 by Minstrel Books. It is chock-full of humor and wonderful drawings.
My favorite chapter is Chapter 5, “How to Defend Against Monster Attacks.” It gives illustrated advice like, “Garlic will keep vampires away…Unfortunately, it will keep most friends away too,” and “To stop Frankenstein-monster attacks, carry a needle and thread. That way you can offer to sew on any loose parts. (Then stitch his feet together.)
This is a delightful book for any youngster old enough to make fun of monsters through junior high. It is guaranteed for a laugh.