Monday, December 22, 2014

Colonial Voices Hear Them Speak by Kay Winters

      Colonial Voices Hear them Speak

  • [Cover]
     How can we possibly understand Colonial American history? How can we, in the age of computers, cell phones and instant messaging understand even a bit of what our foremothers and forefathers lived? Sometimes, when visiting local historical sites in Virginia Beach, Jamestown, Yorktown or Colonial Williamsburg, seeing costumed interpreters, we may get a brief glance.
    However, in this beautifully illustrated collection of poems, we sense the depth of experience of the people in the roles they played in the late 1700's in Boston. First person narratives share the realities of life of the working folks, such as the shoemaker, the midwife, the blacksmith's slave, and the errand boy for the printer. The teacher reminded me of one of our VBPL storytimes. The children gather around the school mistress and the text says: " Abigail knows the words! We clap! My heart sings! This reminds us that learning to read is such an essential skill, especially in times of great change and social upheaval.

     This is a marvelous book for families with children of all ages, and most important, it can awaken the curiosity in readers to want more connection to history. Daring Women of the American Revolution is another brief book for young readers that spotlights women in that era. Adults may want to delve into American Heroes: profiles of men and women who shaped early America, a daring collection of essays about a diverse group of people who founded our country, including those who "went against the grain".

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ten Thank-You Letters

by Daniel Kirk

Pig is busy writing a thank you note to his grandma when Rabbit rings the doorbell and wants to play.  Luckily, Rabbit decides he wants to write to his grandma, too, so they both sit down and get to work.  Pig writes and writes and tells Grandma everything about his recent experiences, but Rabbit keeps interrupting Pig for paper, stamps, and envelopes in between letters to the President, his teacher, the mailman, his favorite author, and many others! 
Pig is very patient with his friend until he realizes that Rabbit has taken the last of his supplies, and he doesn’t even have one stamp left to mail his letter to Grandma.  But Pig doesn’t need to worry! Rabbit surprises him with a special note that makes everything better!

Brimming with friendship, caring, and gratitude, TenThank-You Letters is a perfect read for the holiday season. Children will recognize the positive power of kind and thoughtful words and will want to write their own thank you notes after reading about Pig’s and Rabbit’s experiences.  If your child does not yet know how to write, have them tell you what or who they are thankful for, and write down what they say.  And don’t forget to send your thank you letter before all the stamps are gone!

If you like this book, also try An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton.