Week at a Glance
- Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
- Biographies for Children
- Using Biographies to Inspire Journal Writing
Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
Why we love this book:
I grew-up watching Jacques Cousteau on PBS and have a deep love for the sea. A love that I have passed on to my children. I was excited to introduce my children to the man who first brought the ocean right into our living rooms. He showed the world things that had never been seen before.
Jacques Cousteau was a sickly boy who liked to tinker and build gadgets. Doctors encouraged him to swim in order to build his strength. Soon his two worlds came together and he began tinkering to fashion a snorkel that would allow him to explore underwater more freely. With his friend, he created a breathing apparatus called the Aqua-Lung. From there the rest is history. Cousteau developed underwater cameras, lights and mini-submarines that allowed him to explore deeper and deeper depths.
Dan Yaccarino’s biography chronicles how a sickly boy who loved to tinker became the world’s ambassador of the oceans. The book inspires children to pursue their interests and to use their talents to problem solve.
Another bonus . . . the illustrations are unique and totally cool!
Using Biographies to Inspire Journal Writing
Last week, I championed the idea of Every Day Journal Writing with NO More Writing Prompts! To kick-off journal writing each day, I read aloud a book to spark our own memories. This year, I’ve added reading biographies to our journal writing time. The children understand that their journals are a special place to write all about themselves and their memories. Biographies are the perfect way to introduce children to the idea of writing about their own lives. I’ll highlight a few of my children’s favorite this week. However, the list is too long. In order to do each of them justice, I’ll finish up the list next week and return with another great biography GIVEAWAY.
The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola
Now you won’t find The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola in the biography section of your library. However, when introducing children to journal writing and autobiographies, Tomie dePaola should be your first stop. Children love learning the behind the scenes story of one of their most beloved author / illustrators! How fun to read about Tomie as a young boy and to learn about his real love for drawing. Tomie’s story teaches us to follow our passions even when obstacles fall in our path.
Tomie dePaola has written many memoir style books about his family. Look for books such as Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, Now One Foot, Now the Other, Tom and Here We All Are. Tomie dePoala’s autobiography style books teach children how to write about every day life.
Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell
At first glance this charming little biography looks like one for wee ones. While the target age is about 4 – 8 years-0ld, I encourage you to share with older children as well. After all, a good book is a good book! On the simplest level, McDonnell tells the charming story of a young Jane Goodall and her stuffed monkey and how she had an early interest in nature. On a much deeper level it teaches children to follow their dreams just as Jane did. She dreamed of “a life living with and helping all animals,”and her dreams came true! The book even includes real pages from Jane’s very own nature’s notebook.
Matisse The King of Color by Laurence Anholt
I would highly recommend any of the books in Anholt’s Artists Books for Children Series. My children love these books. They love both the art and the stories behind the art. Matisse The King of Color tells the true story of the friendship between Matisse and his nurse Monique. Matisse helps Monique’s poor religious order raise funds for a brilliant set of stained-glass chapel windows in Vence, France. Anholt recreates many of Matisse’s unique pieces of artwork throughout the illustrations of this book.
Big George by Anne Rockwell
So have you read Big George? I’m not sure how it happened but I think this is the book I’ve highlighted the most here at waddlee-ah-chaa. It is truly one of my children’s favorites. That’s saying something for a history book! Anne Rockwell’s narrative about our first president is an outstanding introduction to The American Revolution. Washington is not portrayed as a perfect man but rather as a shy boy who grew up to lead an army and nation to freedom. Illustrator Matt Phelan’s amazing pastel drawings bring the drama of Washington’s early days to life right on the pages of the book. I cannot praise this biography enough!
More Biographies Next Week . . . Including a Few More Advanced Reads
Life with Jeannine
We’re GIVING AWAY one Hard Cover copy of The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
To enter this contest, use the Rafflecopter to answer the following question. After you leave a comment, you can move ahead with more entries.
Answer the following question in the comments section of this post.
What did you like to do when you were a child? Tinker, swim, draw, play with animals . . . ? Do you still do those things as an adult? (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)
No entries after 11:59 pm Central Time, Sunday, September 15, 2013
The winner must be a resident of The United States.