It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.


Previously, I have done a feature on various places of refugeThese two picturebooks take us back to a much simpler life with rolling fields, grass, trees, and a home built with one’s hands. Life in the country, perfect for our current reading theme.

IMG_1070Home Place

Written by: Crescent Dragonwagon Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney
ISBN: 068971758X (ISBN13: 9780689717581)  Published by: Scholastic, 1992
Personal copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

A young girl and her family are walking through the woods when they chanced upon a stone foundation where a house must have once stood before. As the child digs deep in the dirt, she discovers a horseshoe, a china doll’s arm, a small yellow bottle – all signifying fragments of a life once lived:


The bulk of the story is a reimagining of an African American family whose father must have sat in a rocking chair on the porch, singing ‘Amazing Grace’; a young girl unbraiding her hair; relatives coming in for dinner, and the sound of thunder outside the door.


The real star in this book is Pinkney’s paintings. The narrative is lyrical and filled with a weaving of an imagined story based on a few artifacts found in the woods – but may be a little too out there for very young children. However, it could serve as a mentor text for young ones as they set out on a journey of found objects and imagine an entire life story narrative from them.

All The Places To LoveIMG_1084

Written by: Patricia Maclachlan Paintings by: Mike Wimmer
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994. ISBN: 0060210982 (ISBN13: 9780060210984)
Personal copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

Like the story above, the highlight in this book is Mike Wimmer’s paintings that are awe-inspiring, enough that it makes me long for a time when one’s very existence is rooted deep into the earth, a house crafted with one’s own hands, and one’s sustenance readily made available from one’s garden or backyard.


Just looking at the paintings is calming – no intrusion from the world wide web or smartphones, just the birds and greens all around:


I am comforted by the stark simplicity of this life filled with love, the sound of the river, and the blue skies above.

6 comments on “[Monday Reading] Reminiscences of Home in the Country

  1. Such powerful illustrations in these stories – different style, but still both so striking and evocative.


  2. What gorgeous illustrations, especially of the grandmother.


  3. I have both of these, Myra, and they are wonderful.


  4. arelireads

    Wow, look at those lovely images on those books! ❤ ❤ Here's my IMWAYR this week –


  5. I love the gorgeous illustrations! Thanks for sharing, Myra!


  6. I am reminded that a picture book is also a work of art after looking at these,


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