Sunday, July 31, 2011
Module 9: Poetry/Short Stories
Author: Doug Florian
Bibliography: Florian, Douglas. Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2007. Print.
Summary: A collection of poems and illustrations about all things space: including a different poem for each planet.
Reviews: School Library Journal (July 1, 2007)
Gr 1-5-Nothing gladdens the heart of believers in good poetry for children more than a new collection by Florian, whose verses and paintings consistently capture the essence of his featured themes. This one literally sings the music of the spheres. Twenty playfully lyrical poems treat topics such as the universe, the individual planets, constellations, and black holes. Each selection is presented on its own spread and adorned with a magical painting done in gouache, collage, and rubber stamps on brown paper. Circles abound in the artwork, and many pages have round cut-outs that lead into the next picture. For example, "the earth" ("Two-thirds water./One-third land./Valleys deep./Mountains grand") is illustrated with a colorful globe decorated with circled collage prints of animals and plants. A smaller orb appears nearby, made from a cut-out circle that reveals part of the illustration for the next selection, "the moon." Some of the paintings incorporate mythological names and images. The pleasing blend of faded shades and brilliant colors, of old-fashioned prints and fanciful sketches, makes the illustrations seem both antique and high-tech. An appended "Galactic Glossary" provides additional information. In both language and artwork, Florian strikes the perfect balance between grandeur and whimsy. Like Myra Cohn Livingston and Leonard Everett Fisher's Space Songs (Holiday House, 1988; o.p.), this book is a work of art worthy of the vastness of its subject.-Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Impressions: Considering my three-year-old is on a big space kick right now from watching Wall-E a few too many times, we both enjoyed this book thoroughly. I really liked the poems, and how they were written (spacing and font) while my daughter enjoyed all the different illustrations of the planets and how each page was incorporated into the next.
Activities:This book would be a excellent add-on to a unit on space. After reading the poems and showing the pictures, you could have students draw pictures of space incorporating their own poems into the pictures.
Author: Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Bibliography: Black, Holly, and Cecil Castellucci. Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. New York: Little, Brown and, 2009. Print.
Summary: A collection of short stories from famous authors such as Holly Black, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Scott Westerfield (a few of my favorites) about all things geek.
Reviews: School Library Journal (August 1, 2009)
Gr 9 Up-From Trekkers to science geeks, Buffy fanatics to Dungeon Masters, nerds of all persuasions are sure to find themselves in the pages of this anthology. It contains fun reads such as Black and Castellucci's "Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way" in which a Klingon wakes with a Jedi in her hotel room while at a sci-fi convention, and Tracy Lynn's "One of Us," in which a cheerleader enlists the school nerds to teach her the basics of geekdom so she can impress her Trekker boyfriend. The collection also includes more profound fare such as Kelly Link's moving and masterful "Secret Identity" about a 15-year-old girl who has pretended to be her 32-year-old sister on an online RPG. She must face the consequences of her lies when she arranges to meet the man with whom she has developed a relationship. Also included are stories by YA lit greats such as John Green, Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld, and M. T. Anderson. Each story is followed by a comic-book-style illustration offering information or advice such as "What Your Instrument Says About You" and "How to Look Cool and Not Drool in Front of Your Favorite Author." Simultaneously addressing the isolation and loneliness that geeks can feel as well as the sense of camaraderie and community that can be found when one embraces a world or ideology in which he or she can completely invest, Geektastic is a completely dorky and utterly worthwhile read.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Impressions: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, not only for the fact that it included several of my favorite authors (Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Holly Black) but also because the stories were humorous and easy to read. I will admit there were several "not-so-short" short stories, but the comics in between each story were funny as well.
Activities: This book could be displayed as part of a Geek display including graphic novels, science fiction books, and nonfiction books on space, Star Wars, etc.