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.
Every year, National Public Radio releases their own Best Books list. Today, I’m happy to share two wonderful picture books that made it to NPR’s Book Concierge: [NPR’s] Guide to 2016’s Great Reads.
A Child of Books
Authors/Illustrators: Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
Publisher: Candlewick Press (2016)
Book blurb: Woven together by a simple story line, the one-of-a-kind illustrations in A Child of Books provide an unforgettable reading experience that will inspire and encourage readers of all ages to explore, question, and imagine timeless stories of their own. ♦
The book opens up with an image of a little girl sitting on a wooden raft and holding a book.
I am a child of books. I come from a world of stories
and upon my imagination I float.
The girl sails her raft across a sea of words and invites a young boy to join her for some adventures. They climbed over the mountains of make-believe, got lost in the forests of fairy tales, and slept in clouds of songs.
Included in the dedication page is a quote by Muriel Rukeyser: “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” Through stories and imagination, A Child of Books reminds readers that we live in world of endless possibilities. I enjoyed reading excerpts from beloved tales and nursery rhymes as they transformed into a sea of words, a mountain of stories, and a cloud of songs. Sam Winston’s typographical landscapes complement Oliver Jeffers’s whimsical artwork. It’s the perfect book for readers, storytellers, and wordsmiths. ♦
The Sound of Silence
Author: Katrina Goldsaito
Illustrator: Julia Kuo
Publisher: Little Brown and Co (2016)
Book blurb: Join Yoshio on his journey through the hustle and bustle of the city to find the most beautiful sound of all. ♦
While on his way to school one rainy morning in Tokyo, Yoshio sees a koto player who played songs that tickled Yoshio’s ears! Yoshio asks the koto player what her favorite sound is.
“The most beautiful sound,” the koto player said, “is the sound of ma, of silence.”
The koto player doesn’t say anything else, which leaves Yoshio wondering: where can I find silence? The book follows Yoshio to school and back home as he searches for silence.
In the Afterword, author Katrina Goldsaito explains that the Japanese concept of ma is the silence between sounds. The Sound of Silence celebrates that beautiful “space” between sounds that is ever-present in our lives. I love how the book ends, how Yoshio feels the stillness inside him and realizes that silence had been there all along. Reading the book, I came to realize that the older I get, the more I appreciate the sound of silence. ♦
In Case You Missed It…
Revisit these IMWAYR posts that featured picture books from NPR’s Best Books of 2016:
- The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan
- Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
- Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Elizabeth Zunon
Also included in NPR’s Best Books of 2016 are the following:
- Ida, Always
- The Night Gardener
- They All Saw a Cat
- Thunder Boy, Jr.
- Leave Me Alone
Stay tuned for reviews on these books!