From @averyandaugustine ―
This month we’re sharing books about writers and writing for #littlelitbookseries.
“Yes, it all began so well,
There was I down in my writing shed:
early morning, cup of coffee,
blank page, teeming brain.”
An author starts off writing the best book ever about a “desperate, crafty, sneaking crocodile” and is on a roll. He’s pounding out verses at a pretty good clip until flying cats, spilling cups of coffee and a forgotten-about family vacation to the seaside happen. And then, horror of horrors — paper-eating snails. But that’s not all that can go wrong before this poor chap’s book can make it to print — oh no, that is not all. It’s shaping up to be the worst book ever.
A highly amusing story about the writing process. If you’re a fan of Allan Ahlberg’s work, seek this one out. He and illustrator Bruce Ingman deliver hilarity, high jinks (many of them involving four-year-olds) and some really funny laugh-out-loud moments in MY WORST BOOK EVER. Published by Thames & Hudson, it’ll be out on April 17.
From @bonjour_mes_amies —
"One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world." -Malala Yousafzai
The theme of writers and writing is this month's focus for the #littlelitbookseries. Malala's Magic Pencil is a story of one girl's dream to make change and to be heard. Malala is surrounded by adverse circumstances. She wishes for a magic pen to erase all the negativity around her. With the power of her own pen, her moving words, and her strong voice, she spreads awareness for all the world to hear. Malala inspires us to be strong and speak for others who can't stand up for themselves. The power of writing is truly magical. ✨
From @bookbloom —
"John Ronald was a boy who loved horses. And trees. And strange sounding words. But most of all, John Ronald loved dragons." His mother read to him and he held secret tea parties in the library at school with his classmates. On vacation, while visiting his cousin Mary, they made up their own language, a wonderfully clever way to evade the listening ears of adults. After John Ronald's mother died he went to live with an austere aunt, finally escaping to a boarding house. Once past his formative years, he married, went to war, and started teaching at Oxford. Then one day "when John Ronald was grading exams, he came to a blank page. He wrote on the page: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." And so the tale began, one that he elaborated for his children and then eventually the world—where, at last, Tolkien breathed life into one of the most infaous dragons of all, Smaug.
With notes from both the author and illustrator, plus a catalog of Tolkien' dragons and a selected bibliography, this striking nonfiction picture book, with such sumptuous endpapers, is a treat for readers young and old.
From @littlebooksbigworld —
Wordless (and almost wordless) books are among my favorites of all picture books. When you realize the magic that they offer, you’re destined to become a fan as well.
While wordless books don’t carry the read-aloud structure of typical picture books, they leave space for more imagination, more language development, and a more collaborative book-reading experience. Wordless books can help build confidence in emergent readers. And they provide young children with an opportunity to think alongside of caregivers as you create a dialogue together. #magicmoments
And older kids? Oooh, this is where the magic can really happen. ✨ It can often be difficult for children to brainstorm and write a story from “scratch”. But what if you give a young writer a wordless book? They can now write their own text using the illustrations as a guideline. What a wonderful way to boost creativity and confidence in our young writers!!
That book on the bottom right? It’s one of the first picture books I purchased for myself when I was in college. It’s been very loved and has even lost its dust jacket but it remains one of my all-time favorites... TUESDAY by David Wiesner.
From @live_read_write ―
April is one of my favorite months as it’s National Poetry Month here in the U.S. This month the #littlelitbookseries is taking a look at books on writers and writing; my selection is a book about a poet with a rather unconventional style.
“But even more than drawing elephants, trees, and birds, Estlin LOVED WORDS. What words say and how they sound and look. He loved the way they hum, buzz, pop, and swish.”
ENORMOUS SMALLNESS: A STORY OF E.E. CUMMINGS is a celebration of a life and a celebration of words. Author Matthew Burgess and illustrator Kris DiGiacomo team up to capture the life and words of an extraordinary and innovative poet in this picture book biography. E.E. Cummings, born Edward Estlin, had quite the imagination as a young child and parents who encouraged it. Cummings loved to observe the world and would dictate poems to his mother or jot down his own words. When he was a teenager, he began learning the art and “rules” of poetry. He went on to attend Harvard College. After graduation, he moved to NYC and soon after, volunteered for the ambulance corps in France during WWI. He wrote about his wartime experiences and experimented with punctuation and capitalization in his poetry. “E.E. liked to break the rules of rythym and rhyme and to make words dance across the page in sur(priz)ing ways. He wanted his reader’s eyes to be on tiptoes too, seeing and reading poetry (inaway) that was new.” E.E.’s unique style was not always well received, but he became what the author describes as “a champion of the small.” Cummings’ words appear scattered throughout the book in this beautiful homage to the poet and his distinct style.
From @livingbythepagewithnatalie —
I confess that I didn't get into Jane Austen until I was older. My sister, only two years above me, was way into Brit lit and in typical sister differentiation fashion, I stuck with the writers on this side of the pond: Flannery O'Connor, Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, etc. But then I saw Sense & Sensibility in the theatre in 1995 (back when Kate Winslet was essentially an INDIE film star, LOL) and I was hooked. I devoured all her books after that and just loved her wit and clever observation on society. I can't wait for my kids to read her books when they are older and in the meantime, Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen: The Story of Six Novels, Three Notebooks, a Writing Box and One Clever Girl makes a fabulous kid biography about Austen's life. Written by Deborah Hopkinson, the text is the right length for ages 4-8 years which made it a sweet spot for my crew. And the illustrations by Qin Leng of Austen's childhood and her teenage life were perfect; I loved the full page spread of a society affair with Austen peeking out at her guests from behind a velvet curtain. I'm not sure how much of Austen my kids truly understand but I talked about how much I love her books and even how good some of the film versions have been (remember Gwenyth Paltrow in 'Emma'?!) and truly clever literature stands the test of time. I hope it's whetted their appetite and inspired them to write their own observations as they get older!
From @ourbookbag ―
This month’s #littlelitbookseries is focusing on writers and writing.
I wanted to share this book from the Little People, Big Dreams series about Maya Angelou written by Lisbeth Kaiser and illustrated by Leire Salaberria. I love this series and was especially excited to share this introduction to Maya Angelou’s life with my children. This book sparked my own interest in her and her story and I have been reading her books to learn more about this amazing woman.
From @picturethisbook —
The theme for this month’s #littlelitbookseries is writing/writers, and this fun picture book is basically a Storytelling 101 crash course for kids to get them thinking critically about the fundamental elements of a good story. The meta format of the book is brilliant: the author cleverly weaves the instructional text into the creation of an actual story, complete with the cutest illustrations by Magali Le Huche, so readers get a “real-time” peek at the picturebook-making process and are inspired — and better equipped — to write and illustrate their very own tale.
From @sunlitpages ―
Today’s #littlelitbookseries is all about writing and writers, and this is the perfect pairing of books. Both feature characters who LOVE words—how they sound, what they look like, what they mean. The one on the top is a little simpler while the one on the bottom is a little more text heavy, but both use beautiful, descriptive words that feel good on the tongue and resonate deep inside. You know what I mean?
From @teeandpenguin ―
Have you noticed that most kids are natural story tellers? I absolutely loved when my oldest started writing her stories down, so finding the perfect book to share for this month’s #littlelitbookseries theme “writing” was a delight.
LITTLE RED WRITING is a clever take on the familiar tale featuring a pencil and a quest to write a story. I love how this book breaks down parts of speech in a fun and relatable way for kids. It addresses nouns, adverbs, adjectives and more; the illustrations are full of action, color, and whimsy.