Monday, June 28, 2010

29th June Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944) Lydia Pender (1907 - 2005)

Antoine de Saint-Exupery is the writer responsible for the biggest-selling French language book, The Little Prince. He was an aviator as well as an author whose short life ended on a flight that he did not return from. His novella, written while in America is interesting because of the way in which the narrator changes from third to first person, it combines plot details from his life such as being in the Sahara Desert, he illustrated it himself and despite having stereotyped characters, it has very profound messages for life and worthy themes.

Lydia Pender is an Australian author who wrote poetry and picture books, most of which are out of print. But, a library may have some. We have The Useless Donkeys, a story set on a farm owned by the Quigley family. Mr Quigley wants to get rid of the family donkeys because they are useless, but the children don't. The farm is flooded and the donkeys are useful. The illustrations by Judy Cowell do a wonderful job of convincing the reader of just how wet it is. Another book we have by this duo is Barnaby and the Rocket. This story is set on Cracker Night, Australia's name for a night when children used to have bonfires and fireworks. This is no longer allowed in private homes and so this book serves as an example of what children did in the past, perfect for a unit of enquiry such as history detectives.

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