Book Giveaway, book review, Cowboy Up!, Nancy Bo Flood, Peterson Yazzie, The Hogan that Great-Grandfather Built, Timothy Young

The Hogan that Great-Grandfather Jack Built — Review and Signed Copy Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“Words are never too big for children as long as they are the right words.” ~ Jane Yolen ~

Some Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Christie Wright Wild has been running a series of posts on her wonderful blog looking at story elements in picture books. Click HERE for the link for the latest one which looks at Patterns, but they are all worth checking out. If you are not reading her blog regularly, you are missing a lot. She also gives away picture book critiques. Check it out.

Writers Helping Writers has another wonderful post. Click HERE to find five writing exercises to get your writing juices flowing. 
I was visiting Writing for Kids (While Raising Them), Tara Lazar’s wonderful blog which you can find by clicking HERE,  and she was telling about a new group blog for kids writers called GROG (GRoup blOG — get it?). It’s pretty cool. Take a look by clicking HERE.

Last week, I offered a copy of Shadows on My Wall by Timothy Young for one of you who was a follower with a U. S. address who left a comment. Grandmamiller met the criteria and her name was pulled as the winner this week. Congratulations, Grandmamiller! WooHoo!! I will be sending the book to you this week. If you didn’t win, stay tuned for a very special giveaway.
There was a great deal of interest a couple weeks ago when I reviewed Nancy Bo Flood‘s wonderful picture book Cowboy Up! here. Several people mentioned being grateful for a book about the Navajo people. I was really glad to see that, because I knew what I had on deck for this week. Nancy has another terrific picture book about the Navajo culture. That’s what I’ll be reviewing today.

Title: The Hogan that Great-Grandfather Jack Built

Author: Nancy Bo Flood
Illustrator: Peterson Yazzie
Publisher: Salina Bookshelf, Inc.
Year: 2012

Intended Audience: Ages 3-7

Opening Line: This is our home, our Navajo hogan, that long, long ago, Great-Grandfather Jack built with his hands out of earth, water, and trees.

Peterson Yazzie

This lovely book is loosely based on This is the House that Jack Built and follows that structure to some degree, but is much richer. The story introduces the reader to the large, extended family of a Navajo family from the oldest to the youngest. Everyone in the family makes contributions to the well-being of the family in many ways. Great-grandmother greets the sun and gives thanks for all they have. Grandfather cuts and stacks wood for the winter, but also teaches the children games and star names and tells stories of the history of their people. Father works and brings home food. Mother weaves and the children help where needed. Grandmother cooks fry bread and mutton stew. And they all live in the hogan that Great-Grandfather Jack built.

Nancy Bo Flood

There is a wonderful musical quality underlying this sweet story that shows the closeness and caring of this family and presents some of what is important in their culture. All of this is presented on marvelous illustrations made with the colors of sunset and desert. I’m not sure what medium artist Peterson Yazzie uses, but the art has the softness of oil chalk. Throughout Yazzie weaves in shapes and designs that, with the colors he uses, call up Navajo images we would be familiar with through the pottery and blankets and rugs we’ve seen in museums and shops in the Southwest. (You can see more of his wonderful art by clicking HERE.)The combination of Nancy’s story and Peterson Yazzie’s artwork is stunning. This is a book that will be enjoyed by a far wider audience than young children. This is a Perfect Picture Book and to find more Perfect Picture Books, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog by clicking HERE. She always has a picture book review and links to many others.

I’m happy to report Nancy has offered to send a signed copy of The Hogan that Great-Grandfather Jack Built to one of you. If you are a follower or subscriber, please tell me that and leave a comment. If you have a U.S. address, I will put your name in the hat and draw one out next week. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to leave a comment.


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