Award-Winning Beauty, Art, Music in Literature Books Early Readers Features Genre It's Monday What Are You Reading Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Launch of October – December Reading Theme: Breathing Beauty, Art, Music in Literature

... and two picturebooks on The First Drawing and 88 Instruments.


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. 

We have also decided to announce the Literary Voyagers who will be receiving the following titles for the Literary Voyage Around The World Reading Challenge by end of the year. For those who still like to join and link up, it’s never too late to do so.

Meanwhile, here is the linky for October-December. Do share your reviews of books from around the world.

Today, we are launching our new reading theme until end of the year: Breathing Beauty, Tasting Art, Feeling Music in Literature. Essentially, we are hunting down titles that will fit the following criteria:

  • visual and performing arts as featured in books (dance, music, theatre, painting, sculpture, film-making, architecture – among others)
  • lives of high creatives and portrayal of artists
  • ruminations on beauty, creativity, arts
  • creative process and product

To launch our reading theme, I have two books that feature themes that we hope to explore in greater depth in the coming months.

88 Instruments

Written by: Chris Barton Illustrated by: Louis Thomas
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2016
ISBN: 0553538152 (ISBN13: 9780553538151). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

A young boy was brought by his parents to a music shop that has 88 instruments. However, he was advised to only select one instrument – within reason, of course.

The young boy proceeded to try out the various instruments to help him decide – and there were quite a number of them – from the grooviest, to the tiniest, to the breeziest and the slideyest:

As he tried out a variety of sounds, it was the random plink of the piano that caught his ear:

One could use this picturebook to demonstrate how a child begins to fall in love with an instrument: and it starts off with one clear plink. I also chuckled at the clever twist in the end. While I am not a huge fan of the art, I still thought that this was a good primer to young readers who love music.

The First Drawing

Written and Illustrated by: Mordicai Gerstein
Published by: Little Brown and Company, 2013
ISBN: 0316204781 (ISBN13: 9780316204781). Literary Awards: Vermont’s Picture Book Awards: Red Clover Nominee (2015)Massachusetts Book Award for Children’s/Young Adult Literature (2014). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This book begins with a reference to some of the oldest drawings discovered in a cave in Southern France, more than 30,000 years ago. Along with the ancient drawings is the footprint of a child and that of a wolf.

Inspired by that image, the unparalleled Mordicai Gerstein proceeded to create a narrative of what it must have been like for this young boy to have shared his creative vision, at a time when nothing of the sort has been invented as yet:

I felt for the young boy, as everyone around him scorned, mocked, ridiculed his seeming wayward and overactive imagination – until he managed to truly make them see what is in his mind’s eye:

I especially enjoyed reading Gerstein’s Author’s Note found at the end of the book, detailing what drawing means to him and what it could mean to young people everywhere, from 30,000 years ago until the present time.

#LitWorld2018GB Update: United States of America

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

11 comments on “[Monday Reading] Launch of October – December Reading Theme: Breathing Beauty, Art, Music in Literature

  1. These books are wonderful. I have been away for some time now due to my husband’s cancer diagnosis. He has gone on to be with the Lord this past June 7th. Maybe this theme will be just the right flavor to get me back doing what I love on my books/reading blog. I love the 88 Instruments. Looks great!! Glad I dropped by tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really like the 88 Instruments book!my students just had the option to join the school band – this would have fun been a fun one to share while they were deciding.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 88 Instruments looks adorable. Music is a huge part of my life and made a point to make it a big part of my girls’ lives as well.

    My roundup!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so happy to hear of 88 Instruments. I’m ILLing a bunch of children’s book that feature music or instruments for a college course I’m teaching this semester. Hoping we can get this one in time. Thanks for sharing, Myra!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lindabaie

    I have seen both at my library & just have never picked them up. I will now, Myra. I know one granddaughter who will love 88 keys. She plays the guitar, but is really interested in other instruments, too. Thanks!


  6. Sarah Sammis

    Instruments. My daughter started with ukulele. Moved onto violin. Now she also has a guitar and got a keyboard as a hand-me-down. Of those the only one I know how to play is the keyboard.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jana Eschner

    88 Instruments is an awesome book to share with young readers, especially those that are picking out an instrument to play in the band. I’ll have to check out the other books on your list, they look great. Thanks for sharing. Have a terrific week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gerstein is an amazing storyteller!
    Looking forward to this series 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My library has a copy of Orchestranimals. I used to read it to children whenever I could get a chance. I hope you can find a chance to read it, although it’s pretty old. Our copy is from 1989.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This reminds me of how much I loved The First Drawing. Need to find another copy so I can share it with my students.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: