Thursday, January 26, 2012

And the winners are...

In case you missed the announcement of the prestigious Newberry Children's Awards on January 25th it went to Jack Gantos for his chapter book Dead End in Norvelt and to Chris Raschka for picture book A Ball for Daisy.
Dead End in Norvelt is a book about a shy, Gothic boy who is grounded by his parents and sent to type obituaries for a neighbor which then leads to a string of comic adventures.  A Ball for Daisy is a wordless picture book that tells the story of an excitable dog who loses his cherished toy, a red ball that it takes to the park. Worth checking them out.
I recently discovered another noteworthy children's book The Sandman by Ralph Fletcher. Since I have read all of his books I was happy to find this latest one. 
It is a fantastical tale about a tiny man named Thor that grinds down a dragon's scale and then takes the magical dust and sprinkles into the eyes of children to help them get to sleep. The illustrations are just the perfect accompaniment to the story. What a great read aloud for the 4-7 year old age group.

The following poem was posted on Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac website today. Since I talk so much about food I loved the prose imagery in each line describing a sandwich. 

The Beautiful Sandwich  by Brad Ricca
She could always make
the most beautiful sandwich.
Laced swiss cheese: sliced
crossways, folded once.
Ham in rolls like sleeping bags.
Turkey piled like shirts.
Tarragon. Oregano. Pepper.
Herb dill mayonnaise the color of 
skin. On top: the thin, wandering line of
mustard
like a contour on a map
in a thin, flat drawer.
Or a single, lost vein.
The poppyseeds hold on,
for now.

Placed on a plate like isolated
driftwood
or a large, solemn head.
The spilled chips in yellow piles
are like the strange coins
of tall, awkward islanders.
The thin dill pickle: their boat
slides into
the green-sour sea.

"The Beautiful Sandwich" by Brad Ricca, from American Mastodon. (c) Black Lawrence Press, 2011. Reprinted with permission.

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