Saturday, March 17, 2007

Just For Kids

A reader pointed out that while kids may not read the blog, gift-giving adults and parents do. We'll try to spotlight important children's books each weekend. And because it's St. Paddy's Day, we're adding a bonus book with a touch o' green.

Wag a Tail by Lois Ehlert (Chicka Chicka 1-2-3) just screams "pick me up." In vibrant color, this large-format picture book from Harcourt Children's Books is a work of art. In much the same way that the creators of South Park do their animation, Ehlert has crafted beautiful doggies out of scrap fabric and felt, sewing buttons on to serve as the eyes of a kennel full of mischievous dogs.

The photo-illustrations pop right off the page, and if you don't find yourself reaching out to touch just to see if they're real, I'll buy you a taco mexicano at La Rosita Grill. (ISBN 9780152058432)

For slightly older children, Sleeping Bear Press has enlisted the services of Eve Bunting to create S is for Shamrock. I don't know if you're familiar with this series of alphabetaries, but they are beautiful and useful.
Many of you have purchased H is for Hoosier, and Indiana alphabet. Did you know the publisher offers the same for 50 states and Washington D.C.? And they have a line of the same for the numerous sports, holidays, and other science and social studies themes.

The book is filled with facts about the Emerald Isle, and each letter of the alphabet is accompanied by colored pen-and-ink drawings by Matt Faulkner. Read the sample below. (ISBN 9781585362905)

T is for Titanic

The greatest liner ever made.
"Unsinkable" was what they said.
But she sank slowly out of sight,
one tragic, starfilled, moonfilled night.

Belfast, Ireland, was one of the most important shipbuilding cities in Europe in the twentieth century. Many of the world's largest ocean liners were built there.

It took two years to build the biggest liner of them all - the RMS Titanic. She was 11 stories high and the length of 4 city blocks. Fifteen thousand men worked to complete her. Her watertight compartments made her seem "unsinkable." The pride of Belfast, she was the crown jewel of the Harland and Wolff shipyard.

There were great celebrations at her launching on April 10, 1912. Four days later the Titanic collided with an iceberg on her maiden voyage across the Atlantci to New York. She sank on April 14th off the coast of Newfoundland with the loss of more than 1500 lives.

Mr. Thomas Andrews, the Titanic's designer and a managing director of Harland and Wolff's, went down with his ship.

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