24 Oct 2012
“Math and Literature, by my favorite author Marylin Burns has 22 ideas on how to extend books appropriate for kindergarten and grade 1, to inculcate mathematical thinking…more.
24 Oct 2012
My first post for CROCUS 2012 @ Saffron Tree.
The Librarian Who Measured The Earth is the picture biography of Eratosthenes, a scholar who lived in 3rd century BC. He was a mathematician, geographer, music theorist ….more.
17 Oct 2012
Audience of Hyd:
Have you read and enjoyed Tuesday by David Wiesner? The Red Book By Barbara Lehman? Zoom by Istvan Banyai?
20 Jul 2012
-Author: Anita Nair
-Illustrator: Sujasha Dasgupta
-Collection from through out the world.
- 31 stories. Each story not more than two pages long.
- True to the original. No sugar coating.
6 Jul 2012
I had a pile of books sitting at my bedside table. Waiting to be reviewed and gathering dust. Having two library memberships and working in a library added books to the pile and took away more of my time. So trying out these short reviews. See how it goes. The ones that I want to ooh and aaah, will go on SaffronTree.
A WALK BY THE SEASHORE
-Author: Caroline Arnold
-Illustrator: Freya Tanz
-Ages 6 – 9.
-Self readers and read aloud.
-Simple language. Good starter book for ocean/sea and the ecosystem around it.
-Text flows nicely, connecting the different elements well.
-Other FIRST FACT BOOKS are WALK IN THE DESERT, A WALK UP THE MOUNTAIN, A WALK IN THE WOODS.
26 Mar 2012
This post is dedicated to G and V, who lent me this wonderful book for me to read. When I asked these children about the books they like, they showered me with book choices that were well outside the fantasy<->adventure loop. To diversely well read children and their parents……
|Title: The View From Saturday
Honors: Newbery Medal 1997
There are books that are written to be read. There are books that you read and want to write about them.
Not because you would forget the book, the details and the characters. But because you want to savor the book for a little longer.
The View From Saturday clearly belongs to the second category.
The story line loosely follows Slum Dog Millionaire. Narrated by four sixth grade children are participating in the state level championship for the Academic Bowls and Mrs.Oliski, their teacher and coach. Every time there is a question, there is a flashback associated with the question, a slice of his/her life neatly laid out either by a child or Mrs.Olinsky. As you read the drama unfold, you get drawn in to the story.
Though the focal point of the story is the Academic Bowl finals, the story is much beyond the competition itself. The children are endearing, wise beyond their age without being precocious. As you read the book, you feel a certain something that you cannot name lift off from your shoulders. (That is Konigsburg talk for you and you would understand it when you read the book!)
At 160 pages, mellow language and appropriate content, the book is suitable for a 8 year old avid reader. But I would recommend it a good fit for a 12+ year old because the content and message is pithy. Like one of the characters in the book, Bella the calligraphy artist says, Konigsburg’s motto seems to be ‘LESS IS MORE’. So a 12+ year old will have the experience to appreciate the book better than a 8 year old and mind you this is a book that demands to be appreciated!
Happy reading peeps.
Cross posted at SaffronTree.
15 Feb 2012
|Title: Excuses, Excuses!
Author: Anushka Ravishankar
Illustration: Gabrielle Manglou
Age: 4 – 6
Have you ever been in a predicament where you ask your child to get ready for school, 15 minutes have gone by and you find that she is still in her jammies watching water fall from the faucet, testing gravity? In more than one instance, I bet!
Every time there is a reason why the job is not done and the way the reason is explained and how the child jumps from one point to another, suddenly remembering something that happened many weeks back……. all this is humorous when it is not your child and you are not the parent in the hot seat. That is why it is so interesting to “Meet Neel, who has the most noble intentions, all of which have a funny habit of going wrong”.
Neel starts the week with a plan. Monday through Sunday he has jobs for every day. He is willing to take up more responsibilities, but is horrified that he has run out of days! As he goes through each day, Neel comes up with excuses why the job is not done. There is an elephant with spanking white socks stuffed in its ear, a very (Alice in) wonderland kind of clock, hypnotizing dogs and many more in the mix.
If you think my narration makes Neel’s story interesting, you must read how Anushka Ravishankar has presented it in verse. Funny and a true account from a child’s POV!
Gabrielle Manglou’s collage style of illustrations complements Neel’s whacky stories well. The illustrations will appeal to children because of its openness.
|Title: The Great Race
Author: Nathan Kumar Scott
Illustration: Jagdish Chitara
Age: 4 – 6
This book the third of Nathan Kumar Scott’s Kanchil stories. In this story Kanchil loses a running race to Plean. Pelan the snail, of all animals! Pelan definitely had a plan up his sleeve when he openly challenges Kanchil. You have to read and find out how this Indonesian trickster tale unfolds.
I can imagine myself framing this piece or working with children on similar lines.
Disclaimer: PDFs of the books were emailed to me as complimentary review copies. The review represents my true opinion and is not influenced by the ‘complementary’ factor. As an avid reader and a passionate book lover, I feel that every book I recommend needs to be of certain quality and I genuinely feel that the books reviewed above are a good read.
19 Jan 2012
That is Anna Centenary Library for the non-Tamil.
(Pic source: Wikipedia)
I wasn’t going to leave Chennai without visiting this library. So on a rainy day, I booked a cab and landed in Koturpuram with the children in tow. Totally sigh worthy place. Beautifully conceptualized and constructed and can give any US library a tough competition. Note ‘CAN’ is the keyword here.
Management and administration needs a lot of fine tuning. As a visitor one gets contradicting information regarding what to carry inside, what to leave in the car. We were asked to leave our purses and carry just our cellphones in to the building, very surprising considering that majority of the population arrives in bus or by walk! After we crossed the lobby we found ourselves in front of the coffee shop without our purse. When asked the security told me, ‘Madam you must have put some rupee notes in your pant pocket’. For which my response was, ‘What if I am not wearing pants or pants without pockets?’ and I instantly regretted it! Thankfully the lady replied, ‘Most of them who come here wear pants’ instead of, ‘Inside your bra, like women did in good old days’.
The children’s section was the only section I visited. If I had more time I would have checked out the manuscripts section also. The library is not yet set up for checking out books. They have OPAC set up only through intranet, which means the catalog can only be accessed from the within the library.
I searched the catalog through the computer and was delighted to find many of my favorites showing up. The initial purchase was 70,000 books, I was told. No one knew if they will be buying more books and who is in charge of it. But the classification and arrangement was very confusing for me. They follow Dewey Decimal Classification for shelving, but when it comes to the end user, DDC must be transparent, IMO. Also the number of staff are simply not enough to check inventory and shelve the books for the number of visitors. End result chaos, fiction picture books and non-fiction chapter books shelved next to each other, tables heaped with books, one whole section of the library piled with books pulled out by children and cordoned off to be shelved later(which was after the winter break and school reopen I was told by the staff!).
Hopefully we don’t grow complacent that we have South India’s largest library and neglect the upkeep, if the library stays as a library, that is!
24 Nov 2011
The Firework-Maker’s Daughter is the first Pullman book we read at home. As endearing as we found this book to be, I am fully aware that Pullman’s writing can be dark. So I always check out the reviews. While doing so, I stumbled across Publisher’s Weekly’s editorial review of Pullman’s The White Mercedes at Amazon.
Cut+Paste of the review here
“The menacing darkness that lurked at the edges of Pullman’s trilogy of Victorian-era thrillers ( The Ruby in the Smoke et al.) comes to the fore in this contemporary tale of shattered innocence and betrayed love set in Oxford, England. From the first line–”Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm night in early June”–the sense of imminent evil and inexorable doom builds unrelentingly to the novel’s violent, gutwrenching climax. Naive and well-intentioned, 17-year-old Chris has love, not murder, on his mind when he meets and later beds Jenny (described in lyric and intimate detail), who has run away from her abusive father. Indeed, it is precisely Chris’s trusting nature and sense of justice that cause the youth to be duped by a vengeful felon into causing Jenny’s death–and only then because she is mistaken for someone else. Here is a modern-day Shakespearean tragedy, with star-crossed lovers separated by fate, a terrifyingly philosophical villain and assorted innocents, cads and buffoons. Its evocative narrative and throat-tightening suspense make this novel a compelling read; however, the graphic sex, moral ambiguity and somber ending make it most suitable for mature YA readers. Ages 12-up. ”
I was doing perfectly fine, mentally valuating the appropriateness of this book(NOT for Chula, for some other purpose). But the last two lines left me gaping. Since when does graphic sex and 12 year old go together?
Which brings me to the questions,
Do you agree or disagree with me?
Do you think I am over reacting. A 12 year old can handle this content?
What were you reading when you were 12?
Would you let your 12 year old read this?
Thanks and have a good one folks.
31 Oct 2011
We are winding up CROCUS2011. Its been loads of fun with the five elements theme suggested by Praba.
I wanted to do something diverse this time. So I picked:
AN INTERVIEW WITH Mrs.NIRMALA DIAZ, FOUNDER OF SLOKA WALDORF SCHOOL – Waldorf schools place a high emphasis on nature. This is tricky considering that young children have a egocentric way of thinking and are not ready to view themselves as a small part in the bigger scheme of things. Mrs.Diaz explains beautifully how nature appreciation paves way to a balanced way to nurture and educate young children. An inspirational interview.
MA GANGA AND THE RAZAI BOX – a children’s book that touches on the topics of desertification and soil erosion through mythology. I found the story telling quite innovative.
THE LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS – If you are a teacher, you NEED to read this book. It changes the way you will plan/implement your curriculum. Do I have to tell more?
THE NATURE TEACHER – Doing lesson plans is pure joy. At SaffronTree, we were discussing that we have covered many nature themed books even before we hit upon the FIVE ELEMENTS theme for CROCUS2011 and if there was a way to incorporate all these past posts in to CROCUS2011 without overwhelming the readers it would be swell. This along with Richard Louv’s ‘nature as a teacher for young children’ made this post shape up the way it is right now. Pure joy people! In the near future, I would love to do workshops and share this joy with other people in the teaching community. Wish me the best.
Now go read all the posts @ SaffronTree if you haven’t already.