The One and Only Ivan
The mighty silverback gorilla, Ivan, is the famous ape at the Exit 8 zoo in Washington state. But sometimes being a gorilla is not as easy as it seems...especially when you've been a cage for over 9855 days. Check out the book trailer and pick up this moving story for your 8-12 year-old, or even for yourself! Anyone will enjoy this book about art, friendship and courage. And it may even garner a Newbery Award come January 2013...
French Ducks in Venice
Our guest blogger and children's librarian, jan gillespie, is back with a delightful picture book for all ages: French Ducks in Venice by Garret Freymann-Weyr and illustrated by Erin McGuire
"No, the ducks are not French and no, this story does not take place in Venice, Italy, but now that we have your attention, this is a wonderfully magical and beautifully illustrated tale about friendship.
Siblings George and Cecile, the ducks, live in Venice, California, but think of themselves as French ducks, but of course. They have a very good and important friend, Polina Panova, who is Russian. She conjures dresses made of thread, silk, and velvet and most important…... pieces of the night sky, and strawberry jam.
Now to George and Cecile, Polina is a princess and her prince, who makes movies almost as wonderful as her dresses, decides to go away, life on the canal changes, and so does Polina. What are two steadfast and affectionate French ducks to do? All broken hearts mend with time.
From an acclaimed YA author and a talented debut illustrator comes a storybook classic full of light and hush, wisdom and whimsy, about patient friendship and the healing power of time."
Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!
Today is the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth. One of the great writers of the English language is being celebrated all over, with the British council staging a read-a-thon to the Royals honoring him in a memorial service at Westminister Abbey. Check out National Public Radio's piece on Dickens here--it's a lovely tribute.
My thoughts run back to the first time I was won over by the characters of Dickens--in Lionel Bart's Oliver! musical (my father's favorite)--in which I played a street merchant and orphan in Hagerstown's Nettle Creek summer theater (which is sadly no more), and later in high school with the story of Pip in Great Expectations and astoundingly enough, David Copperfield. Frankly, I was surprised at how compelled I was to finish such a humongous book in my busy high school years. But Dickens' characters are some the best creations ever, and he always gives us plenty to think about. His stories are just as modern now as they were when he wrote them.
How will you celebrate Dickens? We will be discussing Great Expectations at our Classics Challenge book club on March 22nd at 6:30 pm. Won't you join us?
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