Thursday, March 27, 2008
The Rough-Face Girl:
Setting: An Algonquin tribal village on Lake Ontario, in Canada.
Characters: The Rough Face Girl, the invisible being, the cold hearted sisters, father, invisible being’s sister. These characters were a little more different than the traditional tale I was use to. Throughout the whole story she had a father and there was no step mother. This could be in the culture because the only thing I cold find on it is that the tribe is very close like a family; they might not get divorced and or remarried. Also like in most Cinderella stories the man that the Cinderella marries is more wealthy and has much more to offer, which is what the invisible spirit did, gave her fine things and restored her beauty.
Cultural markers: I loved all of the cultural markers in this story there were wigwams, nature pictures, moccasins, buckskin dresses, Jewlry, beaded clothing. I think that all of these things are a big part of who the Algonquin people are. There are roughly 8,000 Algonquin Indians left in Canada today. The French are the first to call this tribe Algonquin it is believed that they were trying to say elehgumoqik, which means “our allies.” The tribe is believes in the afterlife and are firm believers in witch craft. Their clothes and shelter all came from trees or animal skins. They were very one with nature. The present of spirits and nature is a huge theme in this story.
Smoky Mountain Rose an Appalachian Cinderella:
Setting: Smokey Mountains
Characters: Rose, the trapper, Seb, Liza, Gertie, Annie. This story had more of the traditional type characters with the cold hearted step mother and two step daughters with a rich man to marry.
Cultural Markers: language is the biggest cultural marker in this story. The dialect in the heart of the Appalachians is distantly different than mainstream American English. This story by Alan Schroeder does a great job depicting such dialect. The way it’s written and the phrases used are typical Appalachia dialect. Many of these backwood folks are thought to be uneducated; this is due to the extended time it took to get schools in some of these areas. The Appalachians are the second largest mountain system in North America, this accounts for the underdeveloped lifestyle that most think of when thinking of the Appalachians. Roads were nearly impossible to make easy. They had to follow gorges or river systems and valleys, making them much longer and generally more dangerous. Family values are extremely important in this area. It started form the 1700’s when Daniel Boone first traveled across the mountains searching for a path to the old west (Ohio, Kentucky…). Few people inhabited the mountains so families were few and far between, you had to obey and help your family because there was no one else around. I think this Cinderella story does a good hob of showing this especially at the end when rose doesn’t disregard her evil step sisters and loves them just the same. The outfits in this story are typical of the mountain regions; overalls and country dresses, lace up boots. They are all practical to work in.
Title: Smoky Mountain Rose an Appalachian Cinderella
Author: Alan Schroeder
Illustrator: Brad Sneed
Genre: Picture Book, Traditional literature, Folk Tale
Publisher: Puffin Books, 1997
Grade Level: k-5
Summary: Rose’s father, a trapper, gets married to a widow in town with two daughters. The two daughters of Gertie, the new mother, were mean and vain. Annie and Liza the two mean sisters made poor Rose do every chore. The father could see what was going on and it broke his heart but he figured it would start to much commotion if he tried to say anything, because talking to Gertie was like “kickin’ an agritated rattler.” After a while the father died, Rose was heartbroken. After Gertie lit into Rose about mopping around, she was about worked to death doing all the chores. There was a rich young man on the other side of the creek. “Made his fortune in snowbellies and grits” they say. Well his folks decided to have a “shindig” were they invite the entire town, to see if he could find him a wife. After the two snobby daughters leave with Gertie, Rose is cryin and one of the hogs tells her to get up real fast “like ye got a whompus cat bitin’ at yer britches” and her rags turned into a beautiful party dress. So with a watermelon and two field mice Rose had her a big wagon and two horses. And the final touch was a pair of glass slippers. As soon as she walked into the barn for the square dance seb, the rich young man, ran right up to her. at midnight she ran out the door and tried to hurry home, in the process she lost one of her slippers. Seb went around to all the twon trying to find who could fit in the glass slipper, and of course Rose’s foot fit perfect. After the two step sister figured Rose was marring into money they acted like real sisters treating her nice. And Rose was to sweet to do anything but be nice.
Response: This is absolutely my all time favorite Cinderella story. And honestly I think it is now my second favorite children’s book. I LOVED the way this story was written the dialect was priceless. I found myself laughing while I was reading it trying to say all the words out loud. You fall in love with sweet Rose right from the beginning. She is the most humbling character I have ever seen. I almost would have preferred illustrations that made the character more beautiful, for example with not such large hips and such. But I think it’s meant to portray the look of the Appalachian people so I definitely don’t mind it! I loved everything down to the fact that the pig was the fairy godmother. Everything about this tale made me smile!
Teaching Ideas: I would use this story in telling about literature and Cinderella stories for sure. I would also use this in social studies when discussing geography I would use this story with any grade looking at dialect. It is so unique and this story shows it perfectly. I would allow my students to research this culture especially, because it a culture that is alive in our own state that many people don’t know about. I would have them put together a creative venn diagram of similarities and differences with their own culture.
Title: The Rough-Face Girl
Author: Rafe Martin
Illustrator: David Shannon
Genre: picture book, folk tale, traditional literature
Publisher: Puffin Books, 1992
Grade Level: 3-5
Awards: Georgia Children’s Picture storybook award; Nebraska’s Golden Sower award
Summary: In the village of the Algonquin tribe there was a huge wigwam were an invisible man lived. His sister said the only one who can marry him is the one who can see him. In this village was also a poor man who had three daughters, two had stone cold hearts. The two daughters would tease and make fun of the other daughter and called her Rough Face girl. Her hands, arms and face became burnt and scarred from the branches that popped and sparked because her sisters made her sit by the fire and feed the flames. The two mean sisters went to the invisible being’s wigwam were they were dressed in their finest clothes were they said they were to marry him. The invisible beings sister asked them “if you have seen my brother what is his bow made out of?” after not being able to answer the questions correctly, they went home. The Rough Face Girl asked her father for the same nice dress, moccasins and beads as the other sisters had and replied that he had nothing left but broken shells and old worn moccasins. She wanted to marry the invisible being. She made her own outfit complete with a bark dress, shell necklace and old shoes. After answering all the questions correctly. The invisible being was the beauty in nature his bow being the rainbow. The Rough Face Girl then baths in the lake and dressed in things that the invisible beings sister gives her. Once bathed in the lake her skin became smooth and hair became long and beautiful, just as her heart on the inside. And then they finally marry!
Response: This was an adorable tale! I liked how it was a little bit different than the one I was used to. She had a father through the whole story with no evil step mother. Her enemy really was herself. She could see the beauty in everything around her, except herself. The invisible being saw her inner beauty right away. This was a very romantic tale! I loved it. I also enjoyed the pictures as well. The illustrator is my favorite illustrator, David Shannon. I loved the way he captured the bright colors of the clothing, paintings, and nature. I loved the picture when she is walking to meet the invisible beings sister she see nature all around her with his face in it.
Teaching Ideas: I would definably use this book to while discussing Native Indian Tribes. It shows there wigwams, moccasins and deerskin dresses in great detail. I would also use this book while discussing different variations of folk tales of traditional tales in general.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Title: Hokusai: The man who painted a mountain
Author/Illustrator: Debrah Kogan Ray
Publisher: Francis Foster Books, 2001
Grade level: 3-5
Genre: biography, picture book
Summary: This book is about the life of Hokusai (1760-1849) who became a famous painter in Japan. He was born into poverty with no idea who his father was. He taught himself to drawl from when he was very young. His mother would tell great stories of Mt.Fuji and promised they would one day make the trip to go to it. Hokusai mother died when he was one 6 years old. He then went to live with is uncle and helped them polish mirrors. His cousins would frequently make fun of him because he liked to drawl. At nights when he was sure he was alone he would take scrap paper and a piece of charcoal out of the stove and drawl. When he was old enough to go to school is was so excited to go and learn the Japanese characters because the symbols represented the word, like an art form. At 18 years old he was invited to become a pupil of a famous master, this is when he decided to become an artist. soon he started selling pictures to many rich people. This moved him to a high social rank. Japanese art had many rules and the masters got very angry and Hokusai for wanting to try all kinds of art forms, which was against the rules. He ended up going to Mt.Fuji, like his mother always wanted, and made his most famous art piece thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which took him until he was 70 to complete.
Summary: I really enjoyed this book because it had outstanding bright pictures. On the bottom of every page was some sort of Japanese fact of Japanese character and it showed how to write it. Each word or fact would be related to the picture for example when Hokusai goes in the print shop it gives the japans character and name for printer (suri-shi), engraver (hori-shi) and artist (eshi).
Teaching Ideas: I would definitely use this book when discussing artist or even Japan. This is a great book to start showing Japanese characters and letting the student research the Japanese alphabet and write their name in Japanese. I remember doing this in school and using a calligraphy pen, I thought it was the neatest thing ever! Because it is indeed like an art form, it takes a lot of precision and very slow movements.
Japanese artist, print maker, poor, never satisfied.
Lover of mother, school, Mt. Fuji.
Who feels alone, passion, unsatisfied.
Who find happiness in print making.
Who needs art.
Who gives us the thirty six views of Mt. Fuji.
Who fears failure, incompletion, conformity.
Who would like to see his mother.
Who enjoys Mt. Fuji’s scenery.
Who likes to wear kimono when he travels.
Resident of Edo (now Tokyo), Japan.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Genre: novel/ realistic fiction Title: Lon Po Po
Author/Illustrator: Young, Ed
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, 1996
Genre: Picture Book, Traditional Literature, Folk Tale
Grade Level: K-3
Awards: 1990 Randolph Caldecott Medal
Summary: This is the Chinese version of little red riding hood. It starts off with three sisters being left alone in the house because their mother went to see their grandmother, known as Po Po, for her birthday. The wolf dresses up like Po Po, and enters the house. They all lay down for nap when the three girls start noticing that ‘grandma Po Po has long nails and a long furry tail. The oldest sister notices that it is a wolf in disguise and come up with a master plane how to use the Ginkgo tree to kill the wolf. They hoist him up and end up dropping from a height that kills him. They run back inside and lock door and wait for their mother to return to tell her how they defeated the wolf.
Response: I love almost all the traditional literature that everyone was told when they were younger. I was unfamiliar though that other cultures had similar tales, just retold. I really liked this version. The daughters were so clever to use the resources they had around them to defeat the wolf. This was a very cute story. I also really liked how the pictures were displayed. They were panel like pictures that told the story in itself.
Teaching Ideas: This is a great book for comparing and contrasting in literature. You could use the traditional little red riding hood story and this to create Venn diagrams. It is also great while studying other cultures. If I had an older group of students I would see if they could find another familiar traditional tale that was retold in a different culture. And have them share it with the class.
This is my Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the traditional "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" by Jim Aylesworth and "The Three Snow Bears" by Jan Brett. I am hoping to teach lower grades so I tried to make it understandable to k-2. I think it turned out pretty cute! The figure in the top left corner of the poster represents the traditional three bears house. The one on the top left conrner of the poster represents the igloo on ice in the three snow bears. This assignment was a blast!!!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Title: Swamp Angel
Author: Anne Isaacs
Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky
Publisher: Puffin Books, 1994
Grade level: k-5
Genre: traditional literature, picture book
Awards: 1995 Caldecott Honor Book
Summary: When Angelica Longrider was born she was already adult size. She lives in Tennessee out were the swamps are. Because of her size she helped the town the best she could. She built cabins and lifted wagons, and helped people when in danger in the water. But when a big mean bear named Thundering Tarantion comes to ruin her town’s way of life, she steps in to help again. The town holds a contest to capture the bear. Angelica enters even though the men tell her to go bake something. She wrestled the bear five days straight, until they feel asleep. While Angleica was sleeping she snored so loud she made a tree fall right on Thundering Tarantion and killed him! There was a big celebration were everyone ate bear meat.
Response: I thought this book was adorable! I have never even heard of it before. This was a great tall tale. I really liked Angelica “Swamp Angel” she was so whole hearted and sweet even though she was huge! I loved how even though Angelica was a girl she bucked up and fought with the boys and won! This was a great story with super illustrations. It was very unique the way the illustrations were done on wood, things like this fascinates me. I loved how they had borders as well.
Teaching Ideas: I loved how women were seen in this tale. I would probably use this story in introducing strong women in the younger grades. I would even use this book while discussing tall tales in English with upper grades. I just loved this book it was a very unique wonder example of a tall tale. I would then have the students write a tale of their own.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Title: Kelly of Hazel Ridge
Author: Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuysen
Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Grade level: k-5
Genre: realistic fiction
Summary: Robbun and Gijsbert bought an hold farm “Hazel Ridge Farm” and later had two daughters. One daughter is Kelly, that’s who is in this book. Kelly gets an assignment from her teacher saying to write a story about someone or something that has been very important in your life. Kelly is frustrated at first because she has no idea what to write. After walking around her farm seeing all the animals that are so natural to her, she realizes how great it is. She thinks back to when her family and her started preserving the farm and planting trees, digging ponds, and making habitats for the animals and she realizes that they aren’t just doing it for themselves their doing it for her, so she can have a place that is as magnificent as their Hazel Ridge Farm. Once the dinner bell rings Kelly and her two big dogs race home. She tells a story of how she use to be scared there was a monster outside her window but her mom went to the widow and “Whooo-hoooo” out the window and Jackson the owl answered, an owl they had rehabilitated. Her mother said that there was no need to be scared because Jackson perches outside her window to protect her. And she was never scared at night again. Kelly places an owl pellet in her nature treasure box and writes in her journal about her adventures.
Response: One of my new favorite books!!!! If you have not read one in this series I beg you to at least pick it up and look at the pictures. I absolutely love this book it is one of three in the series and will be getting the other two just as soon as I can. The pictures in this book I believe are acrylic paint on canvas. They are breathtaking! I don’t know why I especially like the detail in Kelly’s hair. It goes through and tells all sorts of ways and reasons to preserving land and creating habitats for animals were humans are not allowed. It gives an introduction and gives you a background about their farm and how they came to own it, I think this really adds to the story because its real and this makes it more real having the author tell you that Kelly is their actual daughter. Also the last page in the book tells you how to create your very own nature treasure box and things that might go in it.
Teaching Ideas: This book will definitely be in my classroom, regardless of what grade I teach. I think this would be a great book for 3rd graders in a science curriculum. The whole book is about preserving wildlife and different sorts of animals and their habitats. I would allow my students to create a nature treasure box just as Kelly did. Have them go around the playground, a park, their house and just explore nature and find things that interest them. And after about a week everyone bring in their box and see what questions arise out of the artifacts that were brought in. this would also be an outstanding book to read to get the students motivated to maybe take on a wildlife protection project and maybe help create a habitat at a near by lake for birds and reptiles that live their.
Title: To the Beach!
Author: Linda Ashman
Illustrator: Nadine Westcott
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.
Grade level: k-2
Genre: Picture book/ realistic fiction
Summary: This family is packed and ready to go to the beach on a beautiful sunny day. But then one of the daughters yells that they left the dog at home. So they turn the car around and go get Fido. On their way again dad remembers the umbrella so the turn around to go get it. After taking off again the little boy yells for his “ducky pail” so they turn around and go get that too. Their day continues like this until they finally got everything packed and are almost to the beach when a big storm comes and its pouring rain. So after the do a u turn and head back home, unpack the car…then the sun come back out. So through all the stuff in the front yard and enjoy the sun right there at home.
Response: I thought this was a cute book. I feel like I have days like this! I really liked how this family made the best of their day even though it started off so hectic. And in fact it might have even turned out better because now when they are done they don’t even have to drive home!
Teaching Ideas: I would use this book to discuss the weather probably with kindergarteners of first graders. I would use it to point out how unpredictable the weather is! Ask the class for any stories were they were at the park, beach, outside when they thought it was going to be a sunny day when it started to rain. I might also use this book to show that even though it looks like this family was going to have a bad day, they made the best of it and ended up have a great day all together because they improvised. I might then give the class a scenario like they were looking forward to a spend-the-night party when they found out at the last minute their friend couldn’t come. What could they do to make the best of it? Rent a movie and watch it with mom and dad? Or use that time to have fun by yourself?
Title: Airy Fairy: Magic Muddle!
Author: Margaret Ryan
Illustrator: Teresa Murfin
Grade level: 2-3
Genre: chapter book/ traditional literature/ Fairy tale
Summary: Airy Fairy is a student at Fairy Gropplethrorpe’s Academy for Good Fairies. She is clumsier and messier than all the other fairies. In this book there is to be a fairy Olympics were all the fairies compete in an athletic event. So during their training Airy Fairy seems to cause some confusion causing a pile up in the gym during the run, falls off the rope climb. But throughout her clumsy mistakes there always seems to be Scary Fairy around. She shakes the rope during the rope climb, pushes the ladder during the tree climb which makes Airy Fairy fly off her horse into the icy pond. But since Scary Fairy is related to the head master she never gets in trouble. But in the Fairy Olympics since Scary Fairy had made it so hard for Airy Fairy in practice the actual Olympics was a breeze she won first place, thanking scary Fairy for helping her practice with all her nasty tricks.
Response: I thought this book was very cute! I can see especially little girls really enjoying this silly fairy tale. What I also liked about it is that it is a chapter book, making the student feel proud of what they are reading but it is also very enjoyable it has many amusing events happen. The other thing I like is that it is a series, so if the student liked one, they could read the others.
Teaching Ideas: I would definitely talk about bullying and mean tricks that people can get hurt in. I would ask the students if they had ever known anyone like Scary Airy? And that person made them feel? Also I would make a chart and go through the catastrophes that Scary Airy cased looking at how bad the outcome could have been. For example when she shook the rope swing and made Airy Fairy fall, she could have broken a bone and gotten really hurt. Or when Airy Fairy fell of her horse and slid into the icy pond, she could get very sick due to lowered immune system. It could be related to science and bodily injuries as well.