Basketball Books – Three Winners

Hoop GeniusLong shotHorse

 

In honor of the Duke Blue Devils… a team in which I have a love/hate relationship.  I loved them in the early nineties when my brother attended Duke.  In the late nineties, my allegiance changed because I enrolled in library school at UNC-Chapel Hill.  In theory, Duke is my arch enemy.  However,some of my favorite people, including ML, are fans.  With a 9:18 tip-off, I’m not telling ML the NCAA championship game is tonight.  As a mother, I would like Duke to win.  My grumpy, non-morning person child would actually smile before I dropped her at school.  As a Tarheel, I hope Wisconsin wins by twenty-five.  Either way, I’m content.

Here’s a few books about basketball.  Each one is deserving of a championship title.

Hoop Genius:  How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball by John Coy and illustrations by Joe Morse – Don’t miss this illustrated, non-fiction book.  It chronicles the beginnings of basketball through simple text and historically accurate illustrations.  Compare the clothing throughout the book with the last illustration in the book.   A unique and refreshing approach for teaching the history of basketball.

Long Shot: Never Too Small To Dream Big by Chris Paul and illustrated by Frank Morrison – An autobiographical picture book by NBA star Chris Paul.  Picture books written by celebrities are usually disappointing; but this one is a slam dunk.  The story is well written and the illustrations highlight the anxiety of basketball tryouts and the elation when one makes the team.

H.O.R.S.E.  A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers – This book reminds me of the many times my brother and I played H.O.R.S.E in our driveway as children.  The players in this book are more creative in their shots; but the trash talk is similar to what you would have found at our house in the eighties.  As always, Christopher Myers illustrations are out of this world.

 

I’m On My Own – Twenty Picture Book Arrivals

Looks like I’m on my own for a bit with picture books.  ML wants us to read chapter books together.  I thought I could sneak a few picture books into our bedtime reading.  It didn’t work, she’s adamant.  We’ve decided to start the first Harry Potter book.

So I’m on my own until I convince her that picture books are great for every age.  In twenty words or less, I’m sharing my favorite part of the following seventeen??? picture books

Little Red's Riding Hood

Little Red’s Riding Hood by Peter Stein and illustrated by Chris Gall – “Why, Granny!  What a big GRILLE you have!”

Yeti and the Bird

Yeti and the Bird by Nadia Shireen – Worm Jam

 

Hoot Owl

Hoot Owl:  Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor and illustrated Jean Jullien – Pay attention to the eyes.

Nobody's Perfect

Nobody’s Perfect by David Elliott and illustrated by Sam Zuppardi – “This is my room before I clean it.  This is my room after I clean it.”

Backwards Birthday

The Backwards Birthday Party by Tom Chapin and John Forster and illustrated by Chuck Groenink – “We blindfolded the donkey, and he pinned the tail on us.”

You Are Not Small

You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant – I loved the big gray-green, hairy monster leg and the parachuting pink monsters.

No, Silly

No, Silly! by Ken Krug – “I like to sleep on cookies.”

Glamourpuss

Glamourpuss by Sarah Weeks and illustrated by David Small – The cat says “ME” and the dog says “WOW.”

Little Puffin's First Flight

Little Puffin’s First Flight by Jonathan London and illustrated by Jon Van Zyle “a puffling will eats as many as 2,000 fish in its first six weeks of life.”

Big Tractor

Big Tractor by Nathan Clement – A unique book about seasons sharing the life of a farmer and various farm equipment used throughout the year.

You Nest Here

You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and illustrated by Melissa Sweet – Who knew cowbirds don’t make nests? “the uninvited guest, Leaves her egg in a foster nest”

I Don't Want to Be a Frog

I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and illustrated by Mike Boldt – “You are a Wet, Slimy, Bug-Eating very luck Frog.”

In

In by Nikki McClure – Don’t miss the Owl Guide at the end of the book.

 

Counting Crows

Counting Crows by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Rob Dunlavey – Fun words throughout the book. . . by jango, smackers, grackle, yeppers.  Who knew crows could look so delightful?

My Pen

My Pen by Christopher Myers – A book celebrating drawing in creative illustrations and words.  “My pen tap-dances on the sky.”

Nana in the City

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo – “I felt brave in my cape.”  what a great line.

Room for Bear

Room for Bear by Ciara Gavin – I love Bear’s problem solving and the “Eat Quack Love” sign in his den.

Little Bird Takes a Bath

Little Bird Takes a Bath by Marisabina Russo – I broke out in song throughout the book, “Rain, Rain Go Away” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and many other classics.

P.Zonka

P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis -I love this chicken that marches to a different drummer and lays eggs on her own terms.

If I Had Triceratops

If I had a Triceratops by George O’Connor – The illustrations for “I’d be sure to clean up after her” and the one of her playing fetch.

 

 

The Orchestra Pit and Firebird – A Tribute to Mom

FirebirdOrchetra Pit

My mom would have been seventy-three today.  Last year two fabulous picture books were published Firebird by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers  and The Orchestra Pit by Johanna Wright. However, I waited until today to highlight them because they remind me of my last memory with my mom before she was diagnosed with cancer.

In 2001, I lived Charleston, SC.  Mom loved to visit me and this beautiful city.  We planned a special Mother/Daughter weekend to enjoy the Spoleto Festival.  “For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera; theater; dance; and chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music.”

The last day of her visit, we attended the Charleston Ballet’s performance of Firebird under The Angel Oak on John’s Island.  We were excited because a young lady who grew up in our suburban Atlanta neighborhood was performing.  Her parents grew up in the same small town in Middle Georgia as my parents.

The Angel Oak is perfect location for an outdoor ballet.  No scenery is needed with this majestic live oak with sprawling arms as the background.  The tree is thought to be over 1500 years old.  A truly magical experience.  Unless, you’re a ballerina, required to dance underneath a tree where the start is delayed because two snakes are fighting over a third.

After wrestling for over five minutes, one snake fell out of the tree onto the stage.  The other two crawled into a hollow in the tree. Mom and I were amazed at how calmly the dancers  pirouetted under the tree knowing two snakes were above them; most likely copulating.  The show continued, even through a huge thunderstorm. It’s a mystery how the dancers didn’t fall all over the place. (Their stage was a plastic tarp)

Synopsis of the books from the publishers websites are below.  Can you tell why I waited to share these two books until today?

Firebird by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christoper Myers – In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl–an every girl–whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

The Orchestra Pit by Johanna Wright – “When a slightly befuddled but surprisingly endearing snake wanders into the wrong pit—the orchestra pit—peculiar things start to happen. A well-meaning snake interacts with the orchestral instruments, scares the musicians and conductor, and causes general chaos in this sweet and funny book.”