Hey! Be sure to check out what Mr. Schu is up to by visiting his blog.
When I look at the title to this post I can’t figure out if I can’t stop thinking of Lily and Dunkin the characters or Lily and Dunkin the book. Probably a little bit of both.
I had the honor this past week of reading Donna Gephart’s forthcoming book Lily and Dunkin. The book doesn’t come out until May 0f 2016, so writing this post makes me feel like a bit of a jerk. Here I am, writing about a book that can’t be purchased until the end of the school year.
I’m sorry, but I just have to write about this book.
Lily and Dunkin blew me away. I feel like I spent half my time reading this book falling in love with the characters, half my time thinking about specific kids that I want to hand this book to, half my time thinking about what haters are going to try and say about this book, and half my time crying. That’s a lot of halves, but I’m sure that many of you understand that sometimes we read a book with more than our whole selves. We read a book with the whole world in our heart. That’s how I read this book.
Lily is a transgender girl. Dunkin is a boy that is bipolar. They meet at the end of the summer before their eighth grade year. I am sure that you will hear more about the story in the coming months, but you won’t hear it from me. I want every reader to get a chance to experience this book for themselves. My hope is that their experience with Lily and Dunkin isn’t clouded by my praise, or others critiques.
Today, I’m passing Lily and Dunkin to the captain of the eighth grade football team that I coach. He is an amazing kid, and I know that this book will help him grow into a man that this world needs. I can’t wait to talk to him about Lily and Dunkin!
I think that Lily and Dunkin will have a huge impact on a lot of readers, so I hope that you’ll consider adding it to your to-read list. The world is a better place because this book exists, and I am a better man.
Who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? I know that most of the students in my classroom and all of the kids at my house are big fans. Kids of these timeless tales will love Will Moses’s Fairy Tales for Little Folks.
I’m excited to share my interview with Will on my blog today!
After you read my interview you should totally head to Will’s website and check out all his beautiful work. I REALLY want to buy one of his puzzles.
5. Can you tell us a little bit about FAIRY TALES FOR LITTLE FOLKS?
Fairy Tales for Little Folks in many ways is an echo of a book I did several years ago, Will Moses Mother Goose. In both books, I tell the story in words and specific page related illustrations and then again, in an overall double page painting that depicts all of the previous illustrations in one large painting and hopefully does it in an interesting and linear progression. I have noted over the years that little kids are drawn to and seem to light up when looking at one of my paintings. I think the colors and the subject matter help with that and the original thought here, was that children would find it a treat to not only hear the stories but then also be able to pick out the various sub-scenes from the larger paintings. Fairy Tales for Little Folks lends itself very well to the concept with classic, time honored stories, retold and illustrated, in a way that I hope children might relate to more wholeheartedly.
4. If you could spend one day inside the world of any book which book would you pick?
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. I think I could fit in on just about any page or as almost any character in that book. I seem to identify to some degree with many of those portrayed, both the good and the bad. Even today, having read the book several years ago, I often think of the book and its characters and draw from it for inspiration both personal and professional.
3. What’s the hardest thing about being an author and illustrator?
Stepping back to check my perspective on what I am writing or paining. Just because I think what I am doing is brilliant it does not necessarily follow that others will think the same. I have to believe in what I am a doing but it is important to remember that others may see my work in a different light than I do.
2. What advice do you have for the young writers in my classroom?
Always allow yourself to use your imagination. Always check that your imagination has not gotten the best of you.
1. What is your favorite thing about being an author and illustrator?
The freedom to nap as I find necessary.
Last week, when my students finished our Mock Caldecott unit, I began shifting my attention to 2016 books. I knew that I had missed some 2015 gems, but in order to be on top of 2016, I felt like I needed to begin planning a new reading year.
Then I got a package.
The package contained Mother Bruce. I set it on a counter in my classroom, and began getting ready for the day. We finished up our morning work, and my students began reading. We paused, like we always do around 9:00 to say the pledge, and then I got an itch to read them a picture book. We’ve been studying nonfiction the last few days, and I just wasn’t feeling my main idea lesson.
As my students headed to the carpet I realized that I didn’t really have a picture book to read them. I grabbed Mother Bruce of the counter, and strolled over to our meeting area. Most of the time I’ve read the text that I read aloud to my students multiple times before I read it to them. This time I was just winging in.
And it was magical.
We laughed, we thought, we discussed Ryan T. Higgins’s wonderful book. Bruce is such a fun main character, and the kids loved how ridiculous he could be at times.
After reading Mother Bruce one of my students came up to me and said that Mother Bruce, Wolfie The Bunny, and McToad Mows Tiny Island are the three funniest books we’ve read all year. I agreed with him. My readers are so stinkin’ smart.
If you’re still looking for great 2015 books to read, I hope that you’ll add Mother Bruce to your list. It’s phenomenal.
P.S. About a half hour after reading Mother Bruce I taught my main idea lesson. It went well. :)
The Nerdy Book Club started a little over four years ago with the first annual Nerdies. Each year I analyze the books I’ve read to see which ones I should vote for.
I hope that you will join in in nominating your favorite books of 2015. You don’t have to fill the form out completely. Heck, I’ll probably leave some categories completely blank. Just take a few minutes and show some love to your favorite books of 2015.
Here is what I’m nominating:
By: Ryan T. Higgins
Wolfie The Bunny
Written By Ame Dyckman
Illustrated By: Zachariah OHora
By: Eve Bunting
Pictures By: Lauren Castillo
Lenny & Lucy
Written By: Philip Stead
Illustrated By: Erin Stead
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
Written By: Lindsay Mattick
Illustrated By: Sophie Blackall
Growing Up Pedro
By: Matt Tavares
Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova
Written By: Laurel Snyder
Illustrated By: Julie Morstad
Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle
Written By: Miranda Paul
Illustrated By: Jason Chin
Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans
Written By: Phil Binder
Illustrated By: John Parra
Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret
By: Bob Shea
By: Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated By: Marla Frazee
Sunny Side Up
Written By: Jennifer Holm
Illustrated By: Matthew Holm
Hilo Book 1: The Boy That Crashed to Earth
By: Judd Winick
By: Victoria Jamieson
Squish 7: The Deadly Disease of Doom
Written By: Jennifer Holm
Illustrated By: Matthew Holm
The Thing About Jellyfish
By: Ali Benjamin
Gone Crazy In Alabama
By: Rita Williams Garcia
Lost in the Sun
By: Lisa Graff
The Honest Truth
By: Dan Gemeinhart
Milo Speck, Accidental Agent
By: Linda Urban
By: Gary Schmidt
By: Rebecca Stead
By: Laura Ruby
All The Bright Places
By: Jennifer Niven
Simons Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
By: Becky Alberatalli
I am very excited to be able to share the first episode in the new series from The Yarn: The Unraveller. We’re modeling this series after the podcast Song Exploder. We’d love to know what you think.
In this episode Anne Ursu shares where she got the idea for The Real Boy, why she wrote the book, and more!
Subscribe to The Yarn on iTunes by clicking on the image below.
We’re giving away the signed copy of The Real Boy that Anne Ursu reads from in this episode. The giveaway runs through 12/31/2015.
Hey! Be sure to head over to Mr. Schu’s blog to check out his Saturday video.
Lily and Dunkin
By: Donna Gephart
— Mr. ©olby Sharp (@colbysharp) December 5, 2015