First assignment of the Summer Classes!

To those of you who noted my blog absensece; apologies. Nathan arrived safely-though very late due to delays-on Tuesday and we kicked around in the Northern part of the Lower Pennisula, or "Up North," (if you are from Michigan), near the Traverse City area for a few days. I decided to separate myself from the computer for a bit and get some sun and fresh air, and it is these things I think that have lead me to decide against the computer and I getting a divorce. I will write more about our adventures soon when I can also put up the photos to go with the stories.

Today I will instead write about my first assignment of the Summer semester. After having this lovely week off from classes and work it will be hard to go back to both on Monday. I am excited however for the Summer semester to start, I always like the idea of going to is the homework that dulls that love. :) I will be taking 3 classes: Public Libraries, Library Management, and Children's Literature (Pre-school-3rd grade). I am most excited for the Children's Literature class because I love Children's books. Not only do I love to read and am going to be a Librarian where I will inevidably work with books, but I also love to collect books...(are we noticing a pattern). I know, I know, I am a person of limited hobbies!

So without further ado, the First Homework Assignment:

Bring your Favorite Picture Book to the First Class
(And this for me is no easy task!)
So, I now introduce you to the top three contenders that
I narrowed it down to after much hemming, hawing, and agony!
Where the Wild Things Are, a project that Maurice Sendak started nearly a decade before it's 1963 publish. Winner of the 1964 Caldecott Medal as the "Most Distinguished Picture Book of the Year," this book was one of my favorite books as a kid partially because of that-not the Caldecott per se, but the pictures that won the Caldecott medal and the simple story line. I think that what Sendak did in this book was tap into that Wild Thing in each kid with the imaginative story of the boy who turns his room into a jungle and sails away to a land where he is King. What kid didn't wish that for her/himself, especially after being sent to their room?! I love the Wild Things themselves and how they "roared their terrible roars, and gnashed their terrible teeth, and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws!" and Max could calm them by just saying, "Be still." There are some days here at work that I would love to do all those things...maybe that would make patrons stop and really listen to me!
The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, another Caldecott Medal winner, taking the medal in 1963, a year before Where the Wild Things Are. (Apparently I had really good taste in picking medal winning books as a kid-ha ha.) Interesting info: 1. Allegedly Keats' inspiration for this book was a photo from a 1940 Life Magazine. 2. Keats' portrayl of the boy Peter in the story as a black boy was an attempt to have minority children of New York be the central characters in stories. I loved this story when I was little because of the adventure that Peter finds in the snow; climbing huge piles of snow that were like mountains and trying to figure out what the tracks were from. The story was simple and I remember loving to read this book when I was learning to read.
Last, and certainly not least, Miss Nelson is Missing. I can't even think of how many times teachers read this to us! I think they were trying to drop subtle hints on us students...hints that never took! Miss Nelson is Missing, is about a rowdy class of students-taught by Miss Nelson-who never truly appreciate how sweet she is, so she takes matters into her own hands. She comes to school one day dressed as Miss Viola Swamp, a horrifying teacher that doesn't let the children have any fun and who takes away story time; all things that make the children realize how wonderful Miss Nelson really was as their teacher. I think the reasons that I loved this book so much was because it was so funny, especially the reasons that the children come up with for why Miss Nelson is gone, and I also liked how I knew that Miss Nelson was really Viola Swamp and the kids in the book didn't. I always felt like I was inside on the joke too!
And this is where I am at...which to choose for my "Favorite Picture Book?" The mental debate continues...I will post what my final decision is after my first Children's Lit class.
To be continued...


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