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.
Illustrator: Peterson Yazzie
Intended Audience: Ages 3-7
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.