Saturday, October 3, 2015

4th October Jo Witek (4/9/68)

It isn't Jo Witek's birthday today, but I have just learned that it was her birthday a month ago and she isn't already on my birthday list, so I am adding her now. Also I have just bought her new book ready to use in the library with my preschoolers this coming term. It is called Brave As Can Be.

Jo Witek is an author, journalist and screenwriter who lives in France. Her three picture books available in English are illustrated by Christine Roussey, a French illustrator who also lives in Paris. The three stories, Hello in There; In My Heart  and Brave as Can Be feature the same small girl.

In each book she 'tackles' big issues for preschoolers, getting a new sibling, feelings and being brave. The sibling title doesn't work as well with a large audience, but is better one on one with a child who is awaiting the birth of a sibling. The feelings title is very popular in my library. It includes multilayered die-cut pages featuring decreasing rainbow coloured hearts, big white expanses, and a cute girl who explores her emotions stated as similes... "My heart is like a house, with all these feelings living inside." My heart "is as heavy as an elephant", "like a plant reaching toward the sky".  It has wonderful vocabulary for empowering young children when talking about emotions.

Jo's new book on bravery empowers young children to confront  scary situations head on, but in a playful manner. No doubt there will be more winning titles to come!

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