I love books that have teachable moments, and this one has several. An art class could be inspired by the collage realia art. But the English teacher in me loves the similes that describe best friends, good teachers, and the school librarian: "exciting as rubbing a magic lamp," who can be "funny as a clown" or "scary as a monster." best of all, her eyes "shine like marbles" when she reads. MY BEST FRIEND IS AS SHARP AS A PENCIL by Hanoch Piven (Schwartz and Wade, 2010).
THE HEART AND THE BOTTLE by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel, 2010) was particularly touching today. We learned yesterday that our beloved pastor has been placed in hospice and is near death. He has been battling cancer for some time, and we will miss him terribly. Having watched someone I love die from this horrific disease, it is hard not to become depressed. However, this book reminds me (and all readers) that the heart holds much and we must keep it full and near to us. A young girl locks her heart in a bottle after losing someone dear. It seems that this solution does not really remedy the situation, but what should she do otherwise?
Already, this book has 4 starred reviews. Marilyn Singer's MIRROR, MIRROR (dUTTON, 2010) deserves all of the accolades. Two poems face one another on half of a double page spread. The poems tell two sides of the same story, a fairy tale in each instance. For example, in "Bears in the News," the same basic set of words presents Goldilocks' and the bears' perspective. Josee Mase's illustrations are pitch perfect as well.