A few nice care calendar images I found:
last minute new picture books
Reviews from Pink Me: Children’s books reviewed for grownups.
Skippyjon Jones and the big bones by Judy Schachner
Last year, Big Man’s kindergarten teacher said of the Skippyjon Jones books, "I feel like I’m sort of being manipulated to like these books, and I really just don’t." She couldn’t put her finger on what she didn’t care for, and it’s a tough call – LOVE the chalky, colorful, detailed illustrations that are both quirky and technically accomplished; I like the title character, who is both independent and imaginative, and his tattletale little sisters and no-nonsense mom, with their fun names; and I adore Schachner’s use of Spanglish ("Hola, dudes!") throughout. Hell, there’s even a song or two. I think what always bugs me about these books is the plot, weirdly enough. Accompanied by his crowd of Chihuahua friends, Skippyjon Jones assumes his alter ego, Skippito Friskito the great sword fighter, and goes on an imaginary adventure in his closet. And I swear, it’s the adventure story that always falls apart. Even my kids get confused looks on their faces during the part where Skippito battles the giant bee / dances with the dinosaurs / whatever. I keep reading these books though, because Skippyjon and his family are great characters and I love saying their names. You guys want to start calling me Mama Junebug Jones, you go right ahead.
A closer look, by Mary McCarthy
A neato book about observation and scale for the youngest pairs of eyes. VERRY reminiscent of Steve Jenkins, with strong colors and paper collage art.
Water Boy by David McPhail
A nice, weird book about a boy’s relationship with water – the water in his body, the water in his bath, the water in the environment. Like a caring teacher, David McPhail’s characteristically quiet, rich watercolors get right down in front of the boy to observe his reactions to the ordinary and extraordinary manifestations of water in his world.
Calendar by Myra Cohn Livingston, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
The sparse text here was a little abstract for my four year old, but the energetic, slightly minimalist illustrations almost made up for that.
Meet the meerkat by Darrin Lunde, illustrated by Patricia Wynne
Patricia Wynne keeps showing up as the illustrator of books produced by employees and alums of the American Museum of Natural History, and while her somewhat clumsy mice and hominids in books such as Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle’s Bones, Brains and DNA make you feel like maybe she’s overworked, the keenly observed drawings of meerkats in this book by mammalogist Darrin Lunde show you what she can do given a single subject. This is a great little book about a popular little beast, a rare item in the Easy nonfiction area.
Bean Thirteen by Matthew McElligott
The faux-woodcut illustrations in this buggy book about division are just fantastic. Chunky, hip, and expressive, with a sophisticated, punchy palette. The story? Meh.
Phooey! by Marc Rosenthal
Where Once Upon a Banana does cause-and-effect with road signs, Phooey! does it with onomatopoeia. A bored kid kicks a can, which disturbs a cat, who jumps on an elephant, etc. All the while the kid, complaining that nothing every happens around here, walks right past all the exciting action. Rosenthal, who calls Celesteville "my utopia" in his dedication, displays a love of clean line and clear color worthy of Babar.
Tap dancing on the roof by Linda Sue Park, pictures by Istvan Banyai
Linda Sue Park here does for sijo what Andrew Clements recently did for haiku – her clear, funny examples of this short poetic form in effect show kids how it’s done. After reading poems like
What’s in your pockets right now? I hope they’re not empty:
Empty pockets, unread books, lunches left on the bus – all a waste
In mine: One horse chestnut. One gum wrapper. One dime. One hamster.
…it’s almost impossible to not want to try it yourself. And Istvan Banyai? Do I really have to say it? The Goran Visnjic of illustrators.
BOYS DAY ! NOW CHILDREN’S DAY! — Let the Flying Carp FLY !!!
Back during the Meiji-era when this picture was taken, there was always a BOYS DAY and GIRLS DAY in Japan. After WW2, the PATRIARCHAL Japanese Govenment decided to stick its nose into things, and declared that BOYS day will be a NATIONAL HOLIDAY…but NOT Girl’s Day.
The Government also decreed that Boys day would be called CHILDREN’S DAY…and that the girls would of course have that day off….thanks to the BOYS. But, they still kept Girl’s Day as a "second-class" holiday — meaning there was no "day off" fun specifically for the daughters of Japan.
So, everybody knew (and still knows) that Children’s Day is REALLY still Boy’s Day (the carp was originally for each BOY in the House), and that the CHILDREN’S DAY thing is just another result of a still sexist government sticking their feet into their Holiday-naming, sexist mouths.
Of course, this pissed off a few women, to say the least. There are still undercurrents of mumbling from young women and girls (I heard it all the time when I lived in Japan) who wish that the Patriarchal powers-that-be would "come clean" on the matter. The older women no longer care, and just enjoy any excuse to see the grand-kids !
However, there is another way of looking at it to the benefit of Girls — they get GIRLS DAY (at least on the Calendar) and CHILDRENS DAY, too — but the boys only get CHILDREN’S DAY, and have to SHARE THAT WITH THE GIRLS !
In Japan, I remember flying GIANT CARP for each of my three daughters, feeling quite satisfied as they flew in the breeze just like in the photo above.
I think they should instead fly the Bright and Beautiful Carp for GIRL’S DAY, and for BOYS….er, I mean (cough) CHILDREN’S DAY hang Ultra-Man and Astro-Boy dolls [upside down] from the top of the flag poles.
COMING UP MAY 5TH !!!
AND AS LONG AS WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CHILDREN ……..
Also from the Wiki — Only the USA and SOMALIA = "…..Nowhere in any proclamation has the President of the United States refered to the United Nations or the UN Resolution about Universal Child Day. It is important to note that The United States of America is one of only TWO COUNTRIES in the world that have NOT RATIFIED the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. As of November 2007, 193 countries have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, (UNCRC). The only other country beside the USA that has not ratified the UNCRC is SOMALIA……"
Basically, the Federal Government of the USA says, "…..Hey, kids are not Washington DC’s responsibility. Those spoiled little brats and their education (etc) are problems for the individual STATES to solve. So…we’re not signing anything. The rest of you Countries can take a hike — except for our good buddy SOMALIA, that is….."
Meanwhile, back in Modern Day Japan, the following link will show that Japan’s highly refined culture continues to bless their Nation and Children at FAMILY FESTIVALS such as this one, with a beautiful and happy celebration, setting the example for all the world to follow.
God Bless Japan.
Image by T. ENAMI.
For more on the photographer T. ENAMI see : www.t-enami.org/
For the MOTHER LODE of T. Enami photographs here on the Web — all CC rated for your creative use — see this Flickr collection : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/collections/7215761388…
RANDOM SOBA : www.flickriver.com/photos/24443965@N08/random/
Because everyone must post one of these photos eventually.