Shelving books and year end inventory do have their benefits beyond the obvious. Without fail each time I look through the books on the shelves in either the elementary or middle school library media centers I find those special volumes about which I have forgotten. Today I became reaquainted with four very special books by gifted authors and illustrators.
The secret remedy book: a story of comfort and love by Karin Cates and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin is heart-warming in every way. Lolly's wish of visiting her Auntie Zep without her family finally comes true; she is so excited! But after they leave much to her surprise she misses them and starts to cry. Auntie Zep has the perfect solution--
The Secret Remedy Book. After locating a special key, a trunk in the attic and the book itself, together they complete each remedy. But in order for the remedies to work all must be completed before the first hoot of an owl. Each remedy is delighfully pictured by our own Michigan Halperin in her signature style. Her illustrations invite closer examination as the reader views stories within the story. At her web site Halperin offers extensions for teachers not only for this book but for some of her others.
Patrick McDonnell creator of the award-winning comic strip Mutts has also found his nitch as an author of children's books illustrating them with his Mooch and Earl characters. The Gift of Nothing and South are on our shelves. With simple expressive drawings and spare text he manages to convey messages of friendship, compassion and love. Don't miss his web site about Mutts. It is loaded with potential classroom applications especially having students create their own comics. (Hmmm...working on remembering that web site about comic creation for students...now where is it? Stay tuned.)
Author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds of The Dot and Ish fame (wonderful books about self esteem and art) penned So few of me in 2006. Needless to say the message is timeless and for all ages. No matter what we do or how hard we work wouldn't it be easier if we could clone ourselves? The words have hardly left Leo's mouth when another Leo shows up to assist him in his never-ending supply of things to do. Before the tale ends there are ten of Leo! Peter Reynolds will have you smiling as he presents Leo with the perfect answer which each of us should practice each and every day. [Please note: when I went to Reynolds' web site it seems that he has another book which we should have, The North Star.]