Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas- Illustrator Study

We all know the story of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Normally, the story is told in a song. It goes on and on about what a suitor is giving to his maiden on each of the twelve days before Christmas. We hear this song over and over again as the Christmas holiday approaches. It seems to be a favorite of just about everyone. Jan Brett makes the song come alive in her book, The Twelve Days of Christmas. It goes through each of the twelve days and illustrates exactly what the suitor says he is going to bring his maiden in the song. Not only does the reader get the joy of singing along, but they also are able to see the love story unfold as the gifts are presented. People do not normally read too much into to the words when they are singing the song. It is amazing to actually see the amount of gifts that are bought during these twelve days. I think that this book would be fantastic for children because they may not know what some of the things that are being sung about are. I know that when I was growing up I did not know what a partridge was. Seeing the illustrations in this book would allow the song to come to life for anyone who is reading it.

The Mitten- Illustrator Study

The Mitten is a story that I have loved ever since I was a small child. It used to be one of my very favorite books that my mother would read to me. A lot of this had to do with the fact that I loved the illustrations in the book. It is a story about a boy named Nicki who loses his mitten in the snow. The animals of the forest find the mitten and they wander in one by one. The best part of the story is the borders that Jan Brett is so famous for. The border of this story is Nicki wandering through the woods with no idea that he has even lost his mitten. It is almost as if there are two stories in one because we can watch Nicki and watch as the animals pile into the mitten. The illustrations make the pages look as though they are pictures taken of actual animals. They are so detailed that just looking at them makes you instantly feel that you are feeling the change in temperature from the cold winter air to the inside of the warm mitten.

Christmas Trolls- Illustrator Study

Christmas Trolls is the story of a girl named Treva. Treva loves Christmas. She wants everything about the holiday to be perfect. She spends time finding the perfect tree, the perfect decorations, and the perfect presents. Treva is busy getting ready for Christmas when she begins to realize that things are going missing. She soon see the little creatures that have been stealing from her. She follows them into a forest and finds that they are two trolls. She soon finds out that these trolls have not experience the joys that Christmas brings because they do not understand the holiday. The pictures in this story are amazing. They are so realistic that you feel as though you are in the forest experiencing exactly what Treva is. Each of the pictures also has a Christmas border outlining the page. The borders are just as intricate as the pictures themselves. Having such great illustrations makes this story even more enjoyable than what it would have been if it had been drawn by someone else.

Oh, the Places You'll Go- Author Study

Oh, the Places You'll Go is the Dr. Seuss book that is used by the most diverse ages of people. It is a story of the various experiences that people will have in life. It talks about how you will experience good times, and you will experience bad times. There will be times where you feel that you have everything figured out, and there will be times that you feel lost and lonely. There will be times that you know exactly which way to go, and there will be times when you feel you have went the completely wrong way. The story ends by saying that no matter what, there will always be a mountain for you to move in the end. You just have to persevere to move that mountain that is waiting for you. This is a book about success. It is a book that shows that everyone is going to experience some trials and tribulations throughout their life. This is a good book for young kids because it is a great message and it is written in a rhyme. It is an even better book for an adult because they are able to read more in to it to get the true meaning. I never had realized how true everything in this book really is. Oh, the Place You'll Go will be a book that I will read dozens of more times throughout my life. It is an inspirational story that remind the readers that failure is okay, because, in the end, you will always ultimately succeed if you work hard enough.

The Cat in the Hat- Author Study

The Cat in the Hat is another one of Dr. Seuss' famous books. It is the story of a mischievous cat who comes to the house of two children. The children are bored so they count on the cat to entertain them. Little did they know, the cat in the hat is about to get them in a world of trouble. He invites creatures into their house that end up destroying everything. It is total chaos and the children realize that they are going to be in huge trouble if everything does not get cleaned up before their parents arrive home. They are forced to tell the cat in the hat that everything needs to be cleaned out and the house needs to be put in the same order that is was when he arrived. Luckily, the children get everything back to normal just as their mother is pulling in the driveway. This story also contains a lot of rhyming, which makes it ideal for young readers. Not only do they enjoy hearing rhyming, it makes it easier for them to remember the story. This story shows kids that sometimes being bored is better than getting yourself in to trouble. Those two children will probably think twice before complaining about having nothing to do.

Green Eggs and Ham- Author Study

Green Eggs and Ham is one of the most popular Dr. Seuss books that has been written. Almost everyone has heard the story of Green Eggs and Ham at some point in their life. The story starts off with Sam-I-Am asking someone if they like green eggs and ham. They respond by saying that they do not like green eggs and ham. The story goes on with Sam-I-Am asking if they would eat green eggs in ham in all different situations. The person continuously responds by saying that they would not eat green eggs and ham anywhere because they do not like them. In the end, the person tries the green eggs and ham and loves them. He says that he would eat them in any situation and thanks Sam-I-Am. This is one of the best books for a beginning reader to have. The book is so repetitive that it can easily be memorized, but also gets young children used to seeing the same words over and over so they can get familiar with them. The story also contains a good message about not saying that you do not like something before you try it. Young children can be very picky eaters and reading something like this may encourage them to try new things and then decide whether or not they like them.

Selvakumar Knew Better- Nonfiction: Biography

Selvakumar Knew Better is the heartwarming story of how a dog saves a little boy's life during the tsunami of 2004. Selvakumar knew that something was right before anyone else knew what was going on. The Ramakrishnan family was going about their daily business when a rumbling noise filled their village. Papa climbed on the roof to see what was going on and spotted a giant wall of water in the distance. He shouted for the family to run. Unfortunately, Dinakaran misunderstood his father and ran into the house to hide. Selvakumar went to coax Dinakara out of the house. He eventually got him to flee by nudging and dragging him by his collar. Selvakumar guided Dinakaran all the way to the top of the hill where his family was waiting for him on higher ground. If it had not been for Selvakumar, Dinakaran would have lost his life along with the many others who were tragically killed in the tsunami. The fact that this is a true story makes it even more touching. This combines the historical information of a past event with a story about the courageous efforts of man's best friend. This is just one of the many stories that people have from this tragic day.