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Tag Archives: Biography

Becoming Bach–New

 

Title: Becoming Bach
Author: Tom Leonard
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Pre-schoolers and up, especially for homeschoolers looking for an arts supplement.
Pages: 40
Call Number/Link:  E B BACH, S.

Synopsis:

“Highlights the life and achievements of the eighteenth-century German composer and musician, and examines the development of his most important compositions.”

 

My thoughts:

This beautifully-illustrated biography of J.S. Bach does a good job of presenting a great composer to young children. I was nearly mesmerized by the lovely pictures, and just wanted to keep staring at them!

One note: the book describes the deaths of his parents as “after mother and father went to heaven…” Death is definitely a difficult subject for some families, and would be a great discussion point for this book.

The historical notes in the back of the book were also quite interesting; I’ve read some biographical material on Bach that seems to disagree with some of the author’s assertions (eg, my own research seems to indicate that Bach was asked to leave Arnstadt because he took a very long unapproved leave of absence from his position; insulted a student; and engaged in a physical fight with the man, rather than writing music that upset the Church authorities as the author asserts. However, verifying this would take more time than the desk really allows!) but the book itself is lovely and highly recommended! –Rebekah

 
 

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Conoce a / Get to know Gabriela Mistral

mistral

 

Title: Conoce a / Get to Know Gabriela Mistral

Author: Georgina Lazaro Leon

Series: Personajes del mundo hispanico

Recommended for:  grade 2-5 

Pages: 29

Call Number/Link:  SPA J B MISTRAL, G.

Synopsis: A quiet, shy, and humble little girl grew up to become a very important writer. How important was she? She was the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, the most prestigious award given to writers in the world!

Thoughts:  I like how these books are bilingual and are illustrated very nicely.  They are attractive to the eye and present the information in a storybook form while giving excerpts from their body of work. For a biography it was interesting and told their story fairly quickly and would be a great use for book reports or personal information.  We only have a few books in the series so they would have to be held and brought over from other libraries.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Historical, Juv, Non-Fiction, Spanish, Uncategorized

 

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Some Writer! : The Story of E. B. White

some-writer-cover

Title:   Some Writer!:  The Story of E. B. White
Author:   Melissa Sweet
Series:   —
Recommended for:   kids in grades 3 and up, especially fans of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.  And…  kids who love books, writing and creating art.  Not to mention teens and adults who love E.B. White and his books.
Pages:   161 pages
Call Number/Link:  J B WHITE, E.

Rating:   *****

 

 

 

Synopsis:

SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, the two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White’s granddaughter.

Comments:

After reading this book, I wanted to read (or reread) every book that E.B. White has ever written – Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, Trumpet of the Swans, his collected essays, even (possibly) his revised version of Elements of Style.  I can’t pinpoint the last time that I loved a book so much.

I was interested in E.B. White’s life, but even more fascinated by his creative process – his inspirations, attempts to find the perfect first line for a book, conversations with his editor.  The combination of Melissa Sweet’s words and artwork created one of those synergies where one plus one equals much more than two.

1030 lexile, Reading Counts 9.2

 

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2016 in Juv, Non-Fiction

 

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The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The story of inventor George Ferris

 

Jacket[1]

Title: The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: the story of inventor George Ferris
Author: Betsy Harvey Kraft
Series:
Recommended for: Ages 5 to 9
Pages: 42
Call Number/Link:  E B FERRIS, G

Synopsis: The World’s Fair in Chicago, 1893, was to be a spectacular event: architects, musicians, artists, and inventors worked on special exhibits to display the glories of their countries. But the Fair’s planners wanted something really special, something on the scale of the Eiffel Tower, which had been constructed for France’s fair three years earlier. At last, engineer George Ferris had an idea–a crazy, unrealistic, gigantic idea. He would construct a twenty-six-story tall observation wheel. The planners didn’t think it could be done. They called it a ‘monstrosity.’ It wouldn’t be safe. But George fought for his design. Finally, in December 1892, with only four months to go until the fair, George was given permission to build his wheel. He had to fight the tight schedule, bad weather, and general disapproval. Against all odds, the Ferris Wheel turned out to be the talk of the Fair, and proof that dreaming big dreams could pay off. Today, George’s Ferris Wheel is an icon of adventure and amusement throughout the world.

“The writing is crisp, clear, and descriptive, moving the story along at a quick pace. . .The book’s strength are the dramatic, mixed-media illustrations, which capture the enormity of Ferris’s wheel and its spectacular appearance when lit up at night, that steal the show. . .A strong addition to book collections dealing with inventors and inventions and useful for discussing how written texts and illustrations work together.” ―School Library Journal, starred review

I included the review from School Library Journal because I thought it said it all. I found it interesting and informative without getting bogged down in too many details. I learned many things from this book. This could spark the creative juices of any child who is an aspiring engineer.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2016 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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