Friday, January 28, 2011

30th January Lloyd Alexander (1924 - 2007)

Lloyd Alexander was an award-winning American author who was best known for writinf fantasies such as the Prydain Chronicles which began with The Book of Three. These chronicles are set in an enchanted kingdom which is something like Wales as he was researching Wales mythology for another book when he had the idea for these. He wrote novels and only two picture books which were also about Prydain, none of which are suitable for my clientele or in my library, but if you teach older children and you like fantasy or want a change from Susan Cooper or Madeleine L'Engle you will enjoy Lloyd Alexander.

Back to yesterday when it was Allan Baillie's birthday. He may well have been born on exactly the same day as Rosemary Wells, but he writes for a very different audience. Most of his books are novels for older readers, such as his Little Brother and China Coin, but he has done picture books. However even his picture books such as Dragon Quest and Drac and the Gremlin which have minimal text and appear simple are not. They are deceptive because they require higher order thinking skills to get to the theme and to fully understand all that they have to offer. I particularly like Rebel! a picture book of Allan's, which is based on an actual event. I have used it very successfully with older classes. It is set in Rangoon and looks at how a school child outwitted a dictator. This book needs to be discussed before, during and after reading and then it will have a lasting impact.

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