I had a chance to spend a little time at the Lincoln Public Library today, and I spent 36 minutes reading children's books by Robert Burleigh and Jane Yolen. I read two of Burleigh's: Abraham Lincoln Comes Home, and It's Funny Where Ben's Train Takes Him. The first one narrates a boy's description of how he and his father take a horse and buggy ride to watch Lincoln's funeral train go by on its way home to Springfield after his assassination. Burleigh likes to include historical facts with his books while creating the story from a point of immediacy. What I appreciated with this book are the extras included at the end: the "Afterword" and "Interesting Facts." For example, did you know that ask Lincoln's train travelled across the nation back to Springfield, 12 separate funerals were held for him? The second book I read today is completely different. It is a lighthearted bedtime story about a boy who draws a train and track that then take him to marvelous places, ending with the station called "In-My-Bed."
I also made a slight dent in Jane Yolen's 300 books: I read eight of them today. Let's see ... with the other eight Jane Yolen books I've read, that means I've read roughly ..... 5% of them! Yee-hah! Well, I have to try! So today I read these books by Jane Yolen:
1. Elsie's Bird - an explanation as to why some people might have moved west for a new start, but primarily encouraging to kids who might have had to move away from the homes they are accustomed to that there are things to appreciate about a new place
2. Dimity Duck - a lovely story that will get young readers interested in the sounds words can make
3. Come to the Fairies' Ball - stunningly illustrated by Gary Lippincott - good way to introduce nonsense words and also some rarely used words, such as 'garb,' 'forlorn,' and 'hue.' Akin to a Cinderella story without the nastiness. Beautiful.
4. Child of Faerie - good to illustrate unusual rhyme scheme to students interested in writing poetry. Also beautiful.
5. Before the Storm - highly evocative description of three children on a blistering hot day, what they do to cool down, and how they miss the heat once they get cooled off
6. Baby Bear's Books - illustrates different times of day when it's possible and enjoyable to read or listen to a good book
7. An Invitation to the Butterfly Ball - counting book that includes lots of repetition so young readers can participate.
8. All Those Secrets of the World - told from the perspective of four-year-old Jane (Yolen) about her father going off to war and one of the 'secrets of the world' that her brother tells her (about another kind of perspective)
Got an Amazon order in the mail today, and I'm hoping it's one of the books I ordered for my conference reading instead of my husband's late Christmas gift - don't tell him!