Saturday, November 27, 2010

27th November Lilith Norman (1927) Kevin Henkes (1960)

Lilith Norman was a librarian and an editor of the School Magazine in New South Wales. She did not become an author until her time at the magazine. She wrote mainly novels but has picture books to her credit as well. She has said, "I like to write about ordinary children trying to cope , for I believe that most of us can cope with whatever is thrown at us...". Her book Grandpa depicts a family of three generations living together until the grandfather dies. This book looks at memories and death in a compassionate way and is perfect for a family who is grieving the death of a grandparent. Noela Young's very realistic illustrations make it all the more authentic. The Paddock also offers the opportunity for genuine involvement. It encourages readers to consider the environment and their place in it.

Kevin Henkes is an American author/illustrator He is popular in my library for his 'mouse' books. Several of his best known characters are mice. There is Lilly, Sheila Rae, Chester, Wemberly, Wendell and of course Chrysanthemum. Each of these books is wonderful for Circle Time as they have so much to discuss in relation to children and how they behave. A teacher I work with often uses Wemberly Worried to reassure the worrywarts in her class. Another teacher always starts the year with Chrysanthemum. Kevin does do picture books without mouse characters and one of them, Kitten's First Full Moon won the Caldecott Medal in 2005, but for me these don't work as well.

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