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.
I chanced upon these two recently-published picturebooks during my usual weekend visit to the library, and I just know that I need to feature both given our current reading theme.
Written and Illustrated by Grahame Baker-Smith
Published by Templar Publishing (2018)
ISBN: 1787410145 (ISBN13: 9781787410145). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Grahame Baker-Smith is back with this picturebook that celebrates the rhythm of the outdoors, the transformation of a jar of water emptied into a stream of pool that has joined the river and the larger universe of water that is out there, both evident and invisible to the eye.
While this one seems to have a touch of Aaron Becker in it (think Quest) with the touch of the magic in the art, the reader is also keenly aware that the awe-inspiring illustrations are grounded in the blues and greens of the outdoors, if one would only see and truly listen to its rhythm.
While I marveled at the gasp-inducing art, there is also the expansiveness in the storyline that loops back into itself in the end, forming a cohesive, coherent whole that would make the contemplative reader think about the drop of water on her windowpane – and where it may have come from. We are, after all, a part of something infinite.
Written by David Almond Illustrated by Levi Pinfold
Published by Candlewick Studio (2018)
ISBN: 0763695971 (ISBN13: 9780763695972). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Based on a real life narrative situated in Kielder Water in North Northumberland in the United Kingdom, the story speaks hauntingly of homes lost, displaced plants and animals, and everything else that “can never live here again.”
The Afterword noted that when a great dam was constructed in the late 70s and early 80s, many homes and families were affected and relocated, the entire village abandoned.
However, before the valley was filled with water, a father and a young girl went around the whole area, providing the place a final gift of music and beauty.
With a fiddle, a song, and a dance – the spaces echoed – not with abandonment – but with the promise of that which is yet to come. Truly a haunting and poignant ode to all that is lost but never forgotten.
#LitWorld2018GB Update: Grahame Baker-Smith, David Almond and Levi Pinfold are all from the United Kingdom.