Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hitting the books

First, I want to apologize for the lack of posts this week. I have been super busy with the kids and with my grandfather's passing... The funeral is this week, therefore I am hoping to get into the swing of things after this coming week.

My daughter recently got her first library card too!
I remember when I was younger, I used to love to go to the library. My brother was in school (he's five years older than I am), my mom would take me to the local library, and I would fill up my bag with books.

I got my library card at an early age and I used it frequently. I would devour books by the bagful and always wanted to go right back for more. Around the age of 11, my love of reading halted.

nkotb photo: NKOTB NKOTB-300px.jpg
Joey was my favorite
I am not really sure why. Perhaps it was my new love of boys and the phone. Maybe listening to New Kids on The Block and cutting out pictures of NKOTB from Tiger Beat magazine filled up my time too much.

In high school, I was really good at bullish**ing my way through essays and book reports. I rarely read a book. I was too busy rehearsing for a show, reading plays and learning my lines. My friends took the priority and being alone was a scary state. I recall reading and enjoying I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. The topics were adult and shocking to me. As a teenager, it spoke to me. Many years later, I read the rest of her memoirs. Her writing is exquisite. Her words flow off the page in poetic storytelling in a way that makes my brain tingle with emotion. 

It wasn't until college when I started to read for pleasure again. I began with some Oprah Book Club books and continued on reading ever since. When I became a teacher, I remembered my fondness for Children's books. 

Children's books versus Adult books are like Twitter is to Facebook. You have to be succinct, clear and get the point across in a short amount of text. There is beauty in the simplicity of the words. Every word has expensive real estate on the page. 

There is also the illustrations that accompany the book that help to make the story come alive. The illustrations have to be magical and colorful for their audience has a fast attention span. 

Recently, My husband and I were on a date. After dinner, we went to a book store (one of our favorite date night events) and browsed around. I decided to go to the children's book section and catch up on a few new titles. 

I was really looking forward to reading "The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt. I also picked up another book which looked interesting. The book about the Crayons was cute, funny and I immediately saw the value of using it to teach point of view and perspective in my future classroom. 

The other book I picked up was phenomenal. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce is a GORGEOUS book. The illustrations are unique and engaging. The story is deep, entertaining and beautiful. The book is about a man and the circle of life as told in the "circle of books" (in other words, how you can own books but when you go away from them, they make magic in another person's heart)  

I vowed to purchase the book and find out more about the author. When I began to do research about William Joyce I became excited. He has several websites, the one for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is Not only was The Fantastic Flying Book of Mr. Morris Lessmore made into a short film that earned an Academy Award, he is the author of the famous Rolie Polie Olie series. He is also the man behind the movies, Epic and Rise of the Guardians

He has a new series out now, The Guardians of Childhood, that chronicles the backgrounds of each of the holiday icons like the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. His website,  is informative and entertaining as well. If you are unfamiliar with his work, check it out, no matter what age you are, you won't regret it.

To keep up with my profession and because I enjoy them, I try to alternate my reading between adult books, Young Adult Novels and Children's Books.

Do you have a favorite Children's book? Were you an avid reader as a child?

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