Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.
Over the last few months (maybe longer than that!), there have been talk of changes happening in my library — new procedures, new projects, new software, and even a new building! It has been a roller coaster ride, and the employees knew that these changes would have to be implemented at some point. There are, generally speaking, people who don’t like change — reject it, even. Sometimes, however, you just gotta roll with the punches. After all, change is the only thing constant in this world.
The Summer Reading Club (SRC) at the Wayne County Public Library had its kick-off party last Tuesday, May 31st. I brought home around 30 picturebooks that were mostly picked from the “feature” shelf in our children’s department. The two books I have with me were from said shelf and I thought that they would be the perfect books to share today.
Words by: Kyo Maclear
Pictures by: Matte Stephens
Published by: Kids Can Press (2013)
There was something mysterious about this book that I just had to take it home. I’ve not seen this book before and I showed it to a friend who happens to be one of our children’s librarians. She was as intrigued as I was. The cover is definitely one that would appeal to young readers.
In Mr. Flux, Kyo Maclear tells the story of a little boy named Martin who lived with his family in a nice but very predictable town. Everything in town was in order. The street where Martin lived never change. It always had the same square houses, and same number of trees, pets, and cars. Everything was in order — until a man named Mr. Flux arrived in town. And, with him, Mr. Flux brought change. Will Martin and the other folks in town be able to accept it?
This book was inspired by the 1960s art movement called Fluxus, and the character of Mr. Flux was loosely based on the man who was behind it all: George Maciunas. He described the movement as “a fusion of Spike Jones, gags, games, Vaudeville, Cage, and Duchamp.” Fluxus artists believed in art expression without limits. They encourage people to create art every chance they get.
This picturebook collaboration by Kyo Maclear and Matte Stephens can teach children a thing or two about change:
You can make change or it can make you.
Change is to keep us on our toes. Change is to make us look more closely.
Sometimes change is BIG and sometimes it’s small and sometimes change is JUST CHANGE and that’s fine, too.
My Cousin Momo
Words and pictures by: Zachariah OHora
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers (2015)
I just read Ame Dyckman and Zachariah OHora’s HORRIBLE BEAR the other day. It was a riot! I loved it, of course! Anyway, I came in to work the next day and My Cousin Momo was featured in the children’s department. Another OHora masterpiece? Love the coincidence! The title tickled my funny bone, and I could not resist Zachariah OHora’s signature retro art!
In this book, a flying squirrel named Momo decided to visit his cousins. His cousins were very excited. After all, having a flying squirrel for a cousin was super cool! To the cousins’ dismay, Momo wasn’t as cool as they had anticipated. Momo’s idea of “superhero” was strange and he didn’t know how to play Acorn-Pong and hide-and-seek properly. Momo’s visit was turning into a disaster. Will Momo and his cousins ever have fun?
My Cousin Momo teaches children a valuable lesson on diversity and accepting others. Momo may dress funny and his idea of fun may be different from his cousins’ but these things don’t mean the end of the world for them. This book reminds young readers to give people a chance and make them feel welcome, no matter how different they may be.