Perfect Picture Book Friday/Circle Unbroken
As my friend Vivian Kirkfield explains, today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of writers who contribute a picture book review and related resources. Parents and teachers can find the best of the best in picture books…a little synopsis, a thoughtful review, and an activity and/or resources to extend the learning experience. This is a great way for parents and teachers to preview a book before they take it out of the library or spend money buying it.
And also what I’d like to do is give these web sites to you:
Thirty days to find readers outside your network. This is good for me to know. I am trying to reach these readers. I’ve been doing school visits for both kindergarten and first graders at different elementary schools. (I am so excited about this!! :)) Now to reach out to other readers and find other ways of finding readers. http://www.30daybooks.com/31-ways-to-find-new-readers-outside-of-your-network/
And then there’s the cycle of life and the cycle of a writer. Interesting stuff. http://alaynekaychristian.wordpress.com/
OK then, on to PPBF, do you have your chocolate and coffee?
Title: Circle Unbroken
Author/Illustrator: Margot Theis Raven and E.B. Lewis
Publisher: Melanie Kroupa Books, 2004, ages 4 to 11
Themes: Nonfiction, craft, inter connectiveness, relationship between grandmother and granddaughter, generations, heredity ,traditions, teamwork, self-esteem, self-worth, self-acceptance, relationships, comfort, reassurance,perseverance, patience, love, hope, history,growing up, family, educational, DIVERSITY/MULTI-CULTURALISM/RACIAL DIVERSITY, CULTURE, COOPERATION/WORKING TOGETHER, COMMON CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES, slavery, African-American,
Resources: A reading guide can be found here: http://us.macmillan.com/circleunbroken/MargotTheisRaven
Gives web sites and lesson plans, one which is for students to draw what they read but don’t see like the African bush school and the African wedding.
What the first three sentences say: “Now , you’ve asked me, child, how I come to sew. Well put yourself in Grandma’s arms, and listen to a circle tale, from long, long ago…
What the Jacket Says: “Now you’ve asked me, child, How I come to sew…” With these words, a grandmother begins to weave a story, going back generations to her old-timey grandfather’s village in faraway Africa. There , as a boy, he learned to hunt and fish, to make ropes and nets and traps—and baskets so tightly woven they could hold the rain.
Even after being stolen away to a slave ship bound for the strange new land of America, he remembers the things he learned. Working in the rice fields of a plantation from “day clean to sun-go-red,” he remembers—and passes these memories on his children.
Now, as Grandma teaches her grand-daughter the intricate art of sewing sweet-grass baskets,s he knows
“And when your fingers talk just right
That circle will go out and out again—
Past slavery and freedom, old ways and new,
And your basket will hold the past—
Just as surely and tightly
As my arms now hold and circle you…”
With powerful images, this story of the preservation of the art of the sweetgrass baskets of the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry spirals through time and expands in meaning until it becomes a triumphant song—one that tells a rich story of a craft, a culture, and a people.”
Why I love it: Wow! This story brought tears to my eyes. The beautiful prose bordering on poetry was enough to impress me. But along with the promise of generations before passing on love in the form of basket weaving as a metaphor for the love that circles around from grand-parents to their grand children was almost too much. There were many levels in this book. The message of love being passed on in forms of craft, arms circling round children, and passing on blessings was unmistakable. The art was stupendous. The full page spreads are breath taking. And leaves me feeling like this picture book surpassed all expectations.
As two reviews say:
“Clear poetic words and exquisite watercolor illustrations depict how the small circular basket holds the big circle of African-American history….Lewis’ astonishing pictures combine the panoramas of upheaval and war with portraits of individuals in small circles weaving and passing on their heritage in craft and story.” — Booklist, Starred Review
“Raven’s text masterfully frames several hundred years of African-American history within the picture-book format. Lewis’s double-page watercolor images are poignant and perfectly matched to the text and mood.” — School Library Journal
Do you think you will like this book? Why or why not?
Have a safe and lovely weekend, y’all. Xoxo
Below find photos of a sweet grass basket I gave my sister, Johanna Ash, one year after camping across the States and stopping both to buy the basket and again to give it to her in Texas.
That’s all folks!! Xoxo