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.
These three picturebooks wonderfully celebrate new births and sunrises.
Written by Margaret Wild Illustrated by Ron Brooks
Published by Allen & Unwin, 2013
ISBN: 1741147549 (ISBN13: 9781741147544). Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
While I am familiar with the gritty collaboration between Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks’ in their picturebooks Fox (see my review here) and the heart-wrenching Old Pig (see my review here) – I think this is the first light-hearted book that I read from the both of them.
I love the bright colours here, and how the child’s voice seems like a refrain always, in the beginning with just three words: My daddy said – followed by the father’s recollection of how the world was introduced to this young child – from the night creatures…
… to the ancient trees, to the winged creatures in the skies, to bushes “bright with berries” – the image below made my mouth water:
I like the father’s quiet introduction of the neighbourhood to his child – how everything seems to be imbued with a new understanding and joy, as seen through the newborn’s eyes. I especially loved the last few lines on the last page – just the comforting sense of the entire world in an embrace. It is a lovely, quiet book.
Written by Isabel Minhós Martins Illustrated by Madalena Matoso
Published by Tate, 2011 (First Published in 2007).
ISBN: 1854379585 (ISBN13: 9781854379580). Literary Award: Prémio Nacional de Ilustração for Menção Especial do Júri (2007). Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Unlike the first picturebook, this one is written using the child’s voice on how things are very different compared to “the darkness of my mother’s tummy.”
It begins with all the things that the child has not seen yet, the things that the child has never done before.
Then it gradually moves towards that sense of awe and amazement with the world, the soaking in of all things brand new and beautiful, and that joy of discovery:
I think that this will be a good book to pair with the first one – as this introduces longer text, with fairly unusual art, but all in bold primary colours – perfect for infants.
Written by Douglas Wood Art by K. Wendy Popp
Published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010
ISBN: 0689861729 (ISBN13: 9780689861727). Book was borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
I love practically everything that Douglas Wood writes. We featured Aunt Mary’s Rose (see here for my review), No One But You (my review here), Miss Little’s Gift (my review here). This one most closely resembles No One But You in its gentle, soothing quality.
One can even say that there is an existential quality to this picturebook – with the repeated iterations of where does the sunrise begin followed by a few ruminations on the possible answer to this question:
Some say it begins in the treetop,
where the birds notice the first soft light
and begin to sing,
each in their own way,
with their own melody,
waking the sleepy world around them,
while the first breeze shivers the smallest leaves.
And then the reader turns the page with the seeming-definite response that, alas, it is not where the sunrise begins. While I absolutely adore the life-like painting quality of the images, I am not too certain how children would respond to it.
But then again, that is the entire idea behind exposing them to a variety of reading materials – for them to see those variations in visual expressions. The image below is one of my absolute favourites:
And so where the sunrise actually begins, I shall leave for you to discover. These are all perfect picturebooks to give to parents who are welcoming a new child in their lives.
#LitWorld2018GB Update: Portugal – Isabel Minhos Martins and Madalena Matoso are Portuguese; Australia – Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks are from Australia; USA – Douglas Wood lives in Minnesota.