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.
Since the word brotherhood has been overused throughout history, I am referring to our shared humanity here as sisterhood under the stars and the skies as portrayed in glorious picturebooks.
Written and Illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
Published by Caterpillar Books (2017)
ISBN: 1848577419 (ISBN13: 9781848577411). Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Using ingeniously positioned cutouts, Teckentrup has created a lovely story that shows just how creatures, big and small, share the same sky:
There is a rhythmic quality to the narrative that would appeal to younger readers, a chorus of the things that connect us, bind us together – different creatures breathing the same air.
While the message is one that has been shared before, what makes this unique is the overall layout and design of the book along with the whispered message of similar storms weathered, and same games played – wherever we happen to be in the world.
Somehow, Teckentrup managed to make the message sound new to me, despite my hearing this repeatedly in other stories.
Written by Marion Dane Bauer Illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Published by Candlewick Press (2018)
ISBN: 076367883X (ISBN13: 9780763678838). Literary Award: Coretta Scott King Medal for Illustrator (2019). Borrowed from the NIE Library. Book photos taken by me.
This is a book that refuses classification: it is a celebration of every single living thing that is around us – how it formed into existence, as told in lyrical verse, that is unapologetically sacred but also truthful.
It has condensed something complex into something accessible. I would not call it magical, although it has resonances of the fantastical in it – but more the beauty of science, the poetry in creation.
When humans finally entered the pages, it was stardust giving birth to stardust: showing human beings’ intimate connection and kinship with ferns, sharks, daisies, galloping horses – and always, always, the stars:
You took a big breath
of the same air
by woolly mammoths.
You cried tears
that were once salty seas.
once the carbon in a leaf.
I don’t know when was it that I felt just how small I am – a mere speck in the universe; yet that feeling was accompanied by a sense of magnitude, the profound knowledge of my connectedness with everything around me – that feeling was evoked once more, when I read this glorious picturebook. Find it, read it, and revel in our shared sisterhood.
#WomenReadWomen2019: 22 of 25 – Germany (Britta Teckentrup was born and currently lives in Germany)
United States of America (Marion Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes)