What does this book have to do with Valentine's Day? Absolutely nothing, except that I loved it. Look to last week's post for the book I picked about a decidedly awkward pair of lovers.
If you read and enjoyed David McPhail's Mole Music (which is one of my all time favs), the book I feature today is for you!
Title: Kali's Song
Author/Illustrator: Jeanette Winter
Publisher: Random House (Schwartz and Wade) 2012
Themes: Art, Inspiration, Prehistoric people
Opening Lines: "Thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago a boy watched his mother paint animals on a cave wall."
Synopsis: His parents think Kali is preparing for his first hunt, but Kali has found another use for his hunting bow, creating sounds that bring his world to a standstill.
What I like about this book: The use of long sentences in a brief text fits this book's quiet but strong message. Even though hunting is a necessary and revered part of prehistoric society, this book imagines a child whose status is elevated above hunter by his ability to charm the world with his music. The torn edges of the handmade paper used in the background of the illustrations give the book the feel of a scrapbook, recounting a real time in history. The figures in the illustrations have a spare, cave-like feeling that keeps the focus with the story. The combined package pulled me in and I connected with the story and characters.
Activities/resources: Mr. Schu has gathered his own interview and several reviews on his blog. Ms. Winter doesn't appear to have a website, but as the author of 50 books, she does have a web presence if you search her name. This book is the perfect jumping off point for making your own instruments with simple directions on Kinderart and more complex instruments featured in Pinterest tutorials. After reading, children can also make their own cave paintings with instructions from Ann Arbor News (my personal favorite!)
For older readers, this story is a jumping off point for a discussion of what it means to be "powerful." This calm, quiet text nails it. It isn't the muscles or the weapons that had the biggest impact.
This review is part of PPBF (perfect
picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along
with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect
Picture Books. #PPBF
How many of you have read this book already? If it's new to you, it's the kind to find and treasure.