A poem with the one word prompt of “spoon” off Mastodon.
Peace (waxing and waning and full),
It’s been some time since I’ve picked up a new picture book (alas, my boys are older) but I saw The Boy Who Loved Maps (written by Kari Allen and illustrated by G. Brian Karas) and could not resist. Like the protagonist here, a young mapmaker, I love maps in all the ways they spark imagination and wondering.
In this book, the Mapmaker is visited by a girl, who becomes his new friend, and she asks him to draw a map of a special place, and as the two dance around what the place is that she wants to see charted out — she describes her place in ways that he can’t get down on a map — they become closer as friends, and end up where their mapping has taken them: home.
And both end up making the map together.
It’s a lovely story, infused with the magic and dreaming of maps, and Allen, at the end, has provided lots of resources for young mapmakers to make their own maps, with ideas and definitions, and after noting the inspiration for the book came from her own son’s mapmaking adventures — “…getting lost in all the little details” — she asks the reader: Do you want to be a mapmaker, too?
What about you?
Peace (and picture books),
CLMOOC friends gathered and created artwork for a collective calendar for the 2022 year. Download it for free, if interested. I composed a short piece of music for each month as my contribution, and I am sharing out each month’s track at the start of each month.
Here is September: The Coming Changes
Peace (listening in),
(This is for the Slice of Life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective and then all through March — every single day … You write, too.)
Today, we go back for the new school year with staff. Tomorrow, the kids return, and then we’re off to the races. It seemed like a time to try my hand at some “start of the year” comics.
Peace (in panels),
As we gear up for Write Out 2022, with a STEAM theme, we are also exploring how notebooks and journals can be used, and have been used, for inquiry, writing, data collection, etc. My teaching and online friend, Brian Kelley, had gathered and curated a collection of journal pages and information from many artists, scientist, writers, etc. and he gave me permission to pull them into a video collection to share with others.
Write Out takes place in October and is a partnership between the National Writing Project and the National Park Service for place-based learning. There are free resources for teachers, and live events. More information about Write Out is here, including a sign-up for a newsletter.
Peace (sharing it),
Sophie Blackall’s Things To Look Forward To (52 Large And Small Joys For Today And Every Day) has echoes of Ross Gay’s wonderful The Book Of Delights – the literary DNA of both books is to notice and appreciate the wonders around us, even if it all too often feels like chaos and confusion is winning the battle of the soul and the mind.
Here, Blackall gathers together 52 small moments that gives the reader a chance to breathe, and her illustrations alongside the writing — short texts, no more than a paragraph at times and no longer than a page or so at others — provide a sense of beauty and calm to this book.
It begins with “The Sun Coming Up” and then wanders through topics like “Listening To A Song You’ve Heard Before” and ends with “Seizing The Day.” Her writing is intimate, a portrait of a writer and artist taking notice of the world. The topics are calming, a reminder of how to center oneself in a world off kilter.
It was the kind of book I needed, just days before the start of a new school, and the kind of book you might gift a friend in need — as I did, sending a copy of Things To Look Forward to one of my best friends, whose family is dealing with a few issues that has unsettled them all.
I borrowed Blackall’s book from the library, but now realize, I may need to get my own copy, along with Gay’s book, too, and begin a little section on the bookcase for books that bring calm and clarity. A zen shelf, perhaps.
Peace (in the noticing),