Friday, February 25, 2011
1. I, Matthew Henson; Polar Explorer by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Eric Velasquez
I find Matthew Henson's life story fascinating and when this book came out I was so happy-I thought for sure kids would pick it up just for it's cover. I've read this one aloud several times and once you read it to kids they love the story. Matthew, at just 13, walked himself from D.C. to Baltimore to find a ship he could work on and each page reveals another step he took to become Admiral Peary's right hand man and fellow explorer of Nicaragua, Greenland and eventually the North Pole. Gorgeous illustrations.
Talkin' about Bessie; The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes; illustrated by E.B. Lewis. This book is especially unique because it tells Bessie's story from many different perspectives. Here's the beginning of the "school teacher's" memories: "When it came to knowledge, Bessie was a miser, hoarding facts and figures like gold coins she was saving up to spend on something special." This fictionized account helps to explain how Bessie became the first female licenced pilot of African descent.
Robert Burleigh; illustrated by Mike Wimmer. This book is easy to read outloud with a small amount of text to tell thestolen base story but each page includes a baseball card with added historical information. A sample: "Jackie's mother decided to take her family from rural Georgia to Pasadena, California. All aboard! Things were better for black people in California than in than in the South. But not by that much. The family found it difficult to rent a house. Food was scarce. The children were called insulting names." Reading this to older kids it would be easy to add in these extra bits of critical information.
Willie Perdomo for the amazing Bryan Collier's collage-style illustrations and it's easy to read style-told from the point-of-view of a young girl who admires Langston Hughes.
Have a peaceful weekend.
Love yourself and your family.