Thursday, June 29, 2017
Although the story takes its time to getting started, when the action picks up, readers are sure to be pulling for Mona as she slowly makes a home for herself at the hotel. The details of this woodland wonderland are thoughtfully imagined. In the hotel, chairs are crafted from twigs and lined with moss, pots bubble with acorn mash and sweetgrass stew, and Mona wields a tiny broom, a dried dandelion turned upside down.
A sequel, The Greatest Gift, is the second book in the series.
Heartwood Hotel: A True Home
by Kallie George
illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Hyperion 176 pages
Labels: animal fantasy, chapter books, Heartwood Hotel: A True Home; A Kallie George; Stephanie Graegin
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Susanna Reich has undertaken to write a picture book biography about Pete Seeger's long and eventful life, a formidable task. In his 94 years, Seeger experienced the Great Depression, fought in WW II, was blacklisted during the McCarthy years, agitated for civil rights, protested the Vietnam War, and worked as an environmentalist to clean the Hudson River. In Stand Up and Sing!, Reich guides the reader through Seeger's many accomplishments, the common thread tying them together being his love of music. The book moves along at a brisk pace, but Reich does slow down to highlight some of the especially dramatic moments of Seeger's life. For instance, Seeger's experience at the 1949 Peekskill Riots, when mobs attacked him and his family, is given its own spread. Reich ends the episode with a telling detail--Seeger kept two of the rocks that were thrown at him and cemented them into his fireplace, a reminder of "how important it was to stand up for his beliefs--and to never stop singing."
Adam Gustavson's moody illustrations capture Seeger's unruffled personality and evoke the grittiness of the times. An inspiring foreword by Peter Yarrow will perhaps resonate more with adult readers than children. An Author's Note and Selected Sources complete the book.
Stand Up and Sing!
Pete Seeger, Folk Music,
and the Path to Justice
by Susanna Reich
illustrated by Adam Gustavson
Bloomsbury 48 pages
Published: March 21, 2017