More new books

Three more new books that I absolutely love:

The True Story of Stellina by Matteo Pericoli

This one has received rave reviews in many different journals, including Horn Book Magazine.  So I was expecting great things from this book, and it more than delivered.  It’s a very sweet, unsentimental tale of a baby finch in New York City that falls out of its nest and is taken in by a young woman, after she watches and waits for many hours for the finch’s mother to claim her baby.  The young woman and the finch live happily together in a NYC apartment, and eventually Matteo Pericoli and the young woman get married and the finch, Stellina, continues to live with the two of them.  Stellina lived to be eight, and Pericoli’s retelling of her life story is beautiful and touching.  His prose is spare and lovely, and his illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.  (I was very misty-eyed — runny mascara — when I finished reading this book at my desk in the library.)

The Art Book for Children by the folks at Phaidon Press

This isn’t a picture book (I’m cataloging it in the section of the library for third grade and up).  Art from many different eras and styles is represented in this book, and the authors do an amazing job discussing the background information on specific pieces of art, pointing out certain aspects of each piece of art, and then posing open-ended questions about that artwork.  I can see parents reading this along with their children, with ensuing lively discussions about art.  Wish I’d had a book like this as a kid…it wasn’t til my junior year of college that I knew how to look at art and feel confident in my own opinions about that art.

Built to Last: Building America’s Amazing Bridges, Dams, Tunnels, and Skyscrapers by George Sullivan

Admittedly, I haven’t spent as much time reading this book as I should, but my excuse is that it’s a fairly dense text and I have a LOT of books to process at the moment.  What I’ve seen and read, though, I like a lot.  This book is definitely intended for an older audience, probably fifth grade and up, and gives details about various construction projects throughout the US.  Being from the Boston area, I read the section devoted to the Central Artery (the infamous Big Dig project), and found the text well-written and the photographs informative.  At the beginning of each section, the main facts about the project are set apart for easy reference and comparison: cost, time to complete, etc.  In addition, there are boxes in each section with related interesting facts; in the Big Dig section, there is a discussion about a privy from the 1600’s that was uncovered in the course of the construction, and what was found in the privy (including an early bowling ball!).

These books, and many other new books, will be the books available for summer reading bookplates.  Any child who read more than 30 hours during the summer will be able to choose from these great new books and have a bookplate put into the chosen book with that child’s name and the total number of hours that child read over the summer.  Some kids have just reached 30 hours, others are aiming high and have already reached 120 hours.  I’m really impressed by their achievements, and I’m glad that I have a stock of such great books from them to choose from for this bookplate adventure!

One thought on “More new books”

  1. 5 Responses to “More new books…”

    1. liz fickett Says:
    August 13th, 2006 at 2:00 pm
    dear abby,
    oh! oh! OH! your description of “The True Story of Stellina” put me in mind of my favorite picture book. i read it to my students every year because i love the story and illustrations so much. it is “Albert” by Donna Jo Napoli (illus. Jim La Marche), about a reclusive man who is visited by 2 cardinals who build a nest in his outstretched palm. it’s a beautiful story about self-sacrifice and healing. i loved it, and my kids love it..even though who listen to it the 3rd year in a row. i think they notice something different with each read-aloud of it. i didn’t know if you knew about this book already, but thought i’d tell you about it in the off chance that you hadn’t already seen it.
    2. Abby Says:
    August 13th, 2006 at 2:15 pm
    Actually, I don’t know that book — I’ll have to look for it tomorrow at the library. It sounds wonderful!
    Make sure you find a copy of “The True Story of Stellina” to look at — I bet you’ll like it. Maybe even love it!! : )
    3. liz Says:
    August 13th, 2006 at 7:57 pm
    I am going to look at my library’s online catalog for Stellina and put it on reserve so I can go get it tomorrow. Thanks for the recommendation! By the way, are you going somewhere for your vacation, or just enjoying some time at home without work committments?
    4. Abby Says:
    August 15th, 2006 at 8:07 am
    Yup, we might get away for a few days, or perhaps a day trip here and there…though honestly, it will also be good to be able to putter around the house a bit and clean all the dirt out of the corners and the spider webs off the ceiling!
    5. liz fickett Says:
    August 15th, 2006 at 3:06 pm
    …or not. It might be nicer still to know you have the TIME to do those things, and then choose not to do them in favor of, oh, I don’t know, sleeping and eating?

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