Books and Reading
After more than twenty years of introducing children to great books, PBS’s Reading Rainbow television series has come to an end. Over the course of 155 programs, host Levar Burton visited museums and pueblos, interviewed entrepreneurs and biologists, showed us how crayons are made and how oil spills are cleaned up, all the while linking the real world to the best in children’s literature. Here’s a look at a few favorite books Levar introduced over the years.
Adults may recognize this as the story of Greg Mortensen, well-known for the bestselling book, “Three Cups of Tea,” about his work building schools in Pakistan. Now young children can learn the story in his new picture book, “Listen to the Wind, The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea.”
A week spent in Oxford recently was reason enough to reread one of the best-known children’s books associated with the city, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
At a recent library storytime, the children, parents, caregivers and I had lots of fun reading new picture books, but I was reminded yet again about the power of old favorites.
“Yum, Yum, What Fun” by Mara Bergman starts out with two friends and their little dog Harry baking bread, when who should come clomping in through the window but a crocodile!
Horse lovers everywhere are looking forward to the annual Pony Penning on Chincoteague Island next week. Since the 1920s, crowds have gathered to watch the “saltwater cowboys” herd the ponies and lead them across Assateague Channel to the auction site. Even if your kids don’t bid on a pony, the Firemen’s Carnival that goes on all day offers lots of family fun.
Is there time for one more quick vacation getaway before school starts? Absolutely, if you choose the armchair traveler route. Begin with Marjorie Priceman’s “How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A.,” a companion to her best-selling “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World.”
With summer almost here, it’s time for kids to find a cozy seat, a tall glass of lemonade and a good book, and read till the fireflies come out. This kind of leisurely, just-for-fun reading is at the heart of the summer reading club at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, “Be Creative @ Your Library!”
BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006
American literature is rich with poems about the passage of time, and the inevitability of change, and how these affect us. Here is a poem by Kevin Griffith, who lives in Ohio, in which the years accelerate by their passing.
If you liked “Perelandra," you might find something to enjoy in these titles.
“The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell
“Emilio Sandoz, a brilliant Jesuit priest, seems like the perfect leader for the first expedition to an extraterrestrial culture. However, when Sandoz returns to Earth 20 years later as the mission's sole survivor, he is accused of unspeakable violence and depravity. Why? An extraordinary fiction debut, by paleoanthropologist Mary Doria Russell.”--Copyright © Libri GmbH.
African-American fiction can run the gamut from romance to gritty, urban
Some African American mysteries are:
Coq au Vin by Charlotte Carter. Nanette Hayes is a poetry-spouting,
jazz-playing, French speaking Black American Princess who looks like
Grace Jones. Hip, funny and sexy.