Monday, March 31, 2014

Critique on Chocolate Lily and Greenaway Books

Good Morning all Book club participants in the Greenaway and Chocolate Lily celebration!

Thank you to Mrs Hutchinson for getting the postings up for the Kate Greenaway awards!  I have added simple reviews on all the books for the Chocolate Lily awards in the picture book genre.  Please can you add your critique via comments on any of the books you manage to read?  
Here again are the criteria I shared in a previous blog post.  Feel free to use these criteria in your comments.  Thank you for sharing!  I cannot wait to see what you think about these amazing artists! :D

Criteria for critique.

1.  Does the story have rhythm?  Is it a pleasure to read aloud or do you stumble with the words?
2.  Did you enjoy the story?  Would a small child enjoy the story?  Why or why not?
3.  Do the images match the theme of the story?  Could the images tell the story on their own?
4.  Is it a circular story? Does it bring you back to the end or does the ending take you somewhere else?
5.  Does the character grow or change in some way by the end of the book?
6.  How much of the text is telling you the story?  Do you feel like things are being explained to you a lot?  Can you see the images in your head when you read?
7.  Is the language suited to the story?  Does it start off well?  Are there any sensory details that add to the text?  Are the nouns and verbs strong?
8.  If there is a rhyming text does the rhyme add to the story? Is it a strong story without the rhyme?  Does the story have substance or is the author relying on the rhyme to get through?  Is the rhyme innovative?
9.  Is this book unique in some way?  What makes it special?
After our blogging all book clubs hope to participate in a collaborative classroom event on Blackboard where we will vote on the winners! We might even post our library staff sharing the books via video to our blog!   Join us in our blogging adventure and encourage literacy:)!

Big City Bees

Big City Bees Choc Lily shortlist 2014

This book is available in the Overdrive e library for your convenience!

Vivid writing and luminous art combine to tell a modern story that introduces young readers to the wonders of bees.
For city kids like Sophie and Matthew, growing pumpkins is a big thrill. But they're worried. They know they need bees to make their pumpkins grow. But will the bees find their garden? Are there even bees in the city?
So one day, Grandpa and the children set out to look for bees. They arrive downtown just in time to see something amazing: a buzzing ball of bees hovers from the branch of a nearby tree. And high on the terrace of a towering hotel are four brightly coloured beehives!
For Matthew and Sophie, this is the beginning of an exciting adventure. All summer they tend their plants, eagerly watching as their seeds sprout and turn into shoots, then vines and leaves. But they're still worried. Will the bees come when they're needed? Please add your comments below for this Chocolate Lily picture book using the criteria as shared in the posting above?

Maggie's Chopsticks- Chocolate Lily posting.

Maggie's Chopsticks Choc Lily shortlist 2014

This book is available in the Overdrive e library for your convenience.

Poor Maggie struggles to master her chopsticks -- it seems nearly everyone around the dinner table has something to say about the "right" way to hold them! But when Father reminds her not to worry about everyone else, Maggie finally gets a grip on an important lesson.  Please add your comments below, on whether you think this is the winning Chocolate Lily  book? :D

Toads on Toast- Chocolate Lily posting. Please comment below.

Toads on Toast Choc Lily shortlist 2014

Mamma Toad does everything she can think of to save her unruly brood from Fox's frying pan, including offering up herself, and eventually persuades Fox to try her own secret recipe for Toad-in-a-Hole, a tasty treat that they all end up enjoying together. The secret? No toads! PLease add your comments using the picture book criteria for critiquing below?

Rainbow Crow Chocolate Lily posting- Please comment below.

Rainbow Crow: Nagweyaabi-Aandeg Choc Lily shortlist 2014

Before two-leggeds walked on Mother Earth there was a great cold. The animals formed a council; someone had to seek help from the Creator.

Rainbow Crow, a most colorful bird, was selected because he had a beautiful voice that would surely impress the Creator. He flew into the heavens and won fire from above. But on the way back the fire began to burn his plumage black and destroy his beautiful voice. But Rainbow Crow persevered, bringing the life-saving fire safely back to his friends.  Please add your comments below on whether you think this picture book is the winner in the Chocolate Lily promotion?  

What's Up Bear Posting. Please comment below.

What's Up Bear? Choc Lily shortlist 2014

In Where Are You, Bear?, Sophie and her best friend Bear discovered Canada from A to Z. Now, they're off to explore New York City through nearly twenty pairs of opposites! 

Sophie can't wait to see New York, while Bear would much rather they just stay home. Sophie loves speeding around in a taxi cab, but Bear wishes the driver would slow down. Up and down, stop and go, tall and short, and many more opposite pairs are illustrated using iconic New York experiences, buildings, and landmarks.

Then, when Sophie spies a window full of new bears in a toy store, Bear begins to worry he is too plain and old to compete with all the city has to offer. He's proven right temporarily when Sophie forgets him in the toy store, but a helpful young boy and his mother find Bear and return him to Sophie at her hotel. The reunion is a happy one, and Sophie and Bear realize they love each other - no matter where they are!     Please comment below using the picture books criteria.  

Gift Days Chocolate Lily Posting- Please comment below in the comments section.

Gift Days Choc Lily shortlist 2014

Young Nassali longs to read and write like her brother, but since her mother's death, Nassali is responsible for looking after her younger siblings and running the household. There is no time for books and learning. Then one day, she wakes up to discover that her chores have been taken care of. It is her first gift day. From that day on, once a week, her brother gives Nassali the gift of time so that she can pursue her dream of an education, just as her mother would have wanted. What did you like about this picture book?  If you are wanting ideas on how to critique a picture book please read this blog posting.  Please share your comments below.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to comment on Greenway books.

Hi All

I have set up a post for every Greenaway book, which you will find below. Please find the right book and add your comments to each one. We will then be able to follow the comments for every book. I hope to see some great thoughts in the next few weeks.

Kind Regards
Mrs Hutchinson

Greenaway shortlist - The Paper Dolls - Please let us know what you think in the comments.

A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They soon escape the clutches of the toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile, but then a very real pair of scissors threatens.
This is a wonderful child-centred celebration of imaginative play, where real physical objects around the child become motifs that are transformed by her imagination or carried through the book to give a real sense of continuity. The floating paper dolls have real rhythm and movement, which evokes a sense of the freedom of childhood and the detail of more modern dress for the second set of dolls, cleverly shows the passing of time.







Greenaway Shorlist - Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf - Please let us know what you think in the comments.

The gods have created a world - they've built mountains, a sea and a sky - and now their days are filled with long naps in the clouds (and tea and cake). That's until Harry, Sue and Little Ben begin to fill the gaps of the world with: a mousy thing, a chirpy thing, and a twisty legless thing. As the children's ideas take shape, the power of their visions proves to be greater than they, or the gods, could ever have imagined.

From the well designed dust jacket and stunning cover to the highly stylised graphic novel interior, this is a magnificent celebration of the power of the imagination. There is a clever juxtaposition of black and white to reflect the stale imagination of the beautifully languid gods and vivid full colour panels to reflect the power of ideas. This is particularly felt in the intense image of the wolf. Red is used to great effect to signify that dangerous moment of creation.

Greenaway Shortlist - Oliver - Please let us know what you think in the comments.

Oliver is different. He enjoys his solitude. He likes playing with his friends, who are puppets, stuffed animals, and other toys. With his rich imagination, Oliver's day is never dull. There are bridges to cross, sharks to fight, and treasures to find. But maybe toys don't always give a boy everything he needs.

The muted colour palette, strange landscape and the composition of each spread really help to reveal much more of Oliver's difference, isolation and loneliness than the text alone. The quirky humorous details such as conveying his toy's reactions to him and including Olivia ever-present in the background point to the hopefulness of the outcome.

Greenaway Shortlist - The Dark - Please let us know what you think in the comments

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo but mostly it spends its time in the basement. It doesn't visit Laszlo in his room. Until one night it does, and Laszlo embarks on a brave journey to meet the dark.

A terrific Film Noire atmosphere is evoked throughout with a clever choice of font and limited colour palette to create a retro adventure feel. Interesting use of perspective and angles to reflect Lazlo's anxiety and the use of abstract shapes actively guides your eye through the story. Wonderful use of light to give a sense of the passage of time and very creative use of dark space in the same way that one would more traditionally use white space.

Greenaway Shortlist - The Day the Crayons Quit - Please add any thoughts to the comments below

Duncan just wants to do some colouring but when he opens his box of crayons all he finds are letters of complaint. Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from colouring all that water. Orange and Yellow aren't speaking to each other and Red is complaining of having to work too hard. They are all saying the same thing: we quit.

Brilliantly simple and wonderfully humorous with each double page vignette characterising that crayon's complaint. Their individual personalities are distinctively and expressively drawn. There is perfect synergy with the witty text and the whole multi-layered, but child- centred, experience projects a positive message about freedom and creativity

Greenaway Shortlist - This is not my Hat - Please let us know what you think in the comments.

When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper, which happens to fit him perfectly, trouble could be following close behind. So it's a good thing that enormous fish won't wake up. And even if he does, it's not like he'll ever know what happened. . .

The format and layout work perfectly to convey the underwater location with the movement of the action flowing with the water from left to right. The colour palette and matte texture is not one which you would normally associate with underwater and yet conveys it beautifully. The juxtaposition of text and image works with perfect comic timing. Amazing expression is conveyed by the eyes and dramatic tension by little bubbles.

Greenaway Shortlist - Where My Wellies Take Me - Please let us know what you think in the comments

Pippa loves staying with her Aunty Peggy. She loves going for walks, whether it's in sunshine or cold - long, wandering walks where her wellies take her. Pippa walks through beautiful countryside and as her day unfolds, she encounters the wildlife, animals and people it contains.

Clever use of different media, typography, paper engineering and a varied composition on each page recreates and validates a child's attempt to capture her own experiences very well. Pippa is drawn with a real sense of independence and character and there is a clever use of colour throughout, with lovely, earthy, seasonal tones.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hello from Mr Nel from Notre Dame

Hello Everyone,
I'm Mr Nel and I'm a new librarian working with Mrs Hutchinson. I'm excited to be joining in your blog and am looking forward to seeing your posts.
Mr Nel

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Greenaway shortlist announced.

Greenaway Shortlist 2014

It all starts here. Have a look at the above link to the Greenaway shortlist and let us know what you think about these books. We are looking at them for their pictures mainly but do the illustrations help tell the story? 
  • What do you like/dislike about the pictures? 
  • Do they enhance or detract you from the story? 
  • Which is your favourite page and why?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hello from Notre Dame School

We are going to log in and say hello this week as our Greenaway shortlist is out next week and we hope to be blogging about these books soon.
Mrs Hutchinson

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hunter: Book Review by Melody

Hunter, a wild cat, an only kitten, died from poisoning when he was still a kitten. All his life, the events in his life told him that humans are to be hated, that they are evil. Now his only chance for survival, and for the survival of his family, is to put all his trust in Tyler, a human. Every fiber of he being, every instinct, tells Hunter not to trust the boy‹but the junkyard he calls home.  The junkyard is slowly being overtaken by humans, who are planning to build condominiums,, leaving him no choice, aside from the cold embrace of death. If Hunter is wrong about Tyler, if he is like all other humans, then there is no hope.
Hunter, by Eric Walters, is an exiting companion to his earlier book, Cat Boy. It follows the same plot line, this time told from the perspective of Hunter, a cat. The plot is simple: there is a feral cat colony in Toronto, Canada, where Hunter and many other cats live. Tyler, who has newly moved to the city, starts to feed the cats, and is fascinated by Hunter. But then the junkyard begins to change,a tall fence is built, posters are put out, and cars are being removed. Only Tyler can help.
Reading Hunter takes you on an amazing journey through the cat colony. You wont see wild cats the same after this, that's a promise!

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