Week-end Book Review ~ The Great Race: An Indonesian Trickster Tale by Nathan Kumar Scott and Jagdish Chitara

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Reviewed by Charlotte Richardson:

Retold by Nathan Kumar Scott, illustrated by Jagdish Chitara,
The Great Race: An Indonesian Trickster Tale
Tara Books, 2011.

Ages: 3+

With The Great Race, Tara Books continues its stellar presentation of picture books illustrated by talented indigenous Indian artists. Nathan Kumar Scott retells the simple Indonesian trickster tale, a version of the tortoise and hare story. The traditional craft of illustrator Jagdish Chitara, a Waghari textile artist from Ahmedabad, is painting ritual cloths that celebrate the Mother Goddess in brilliant white, red and black. He uses the same ancient techniques and colors to depict the many stylized animal characters in this endearing folk story, his first secular project…

Read the full review

Paper Tigers from Kirkbymoorside, UK

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

PaperTigers paper tigers - Kirkbymoorside Cubs, UK

Happy New Year!

These are the PaperTigers’ paper tigers I made with my Cub pack last week, when we also talked about Chinese New Year. We read The Great Race by Dawn Casey, illustrated by Anne Wilson (Barefoot Books, 2006) and dipped into Demi‘s wonderful Happy New Year!/ Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts’ai! (Dragonfly Books, 1999), which inspired some of the children to try out some Chinese characters on their tigers.

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To make your own PaperTigers’ paper tiger, click here.

Canadian Author and Literacy Advocate David Bouchard Named as Member to the Order of Canada

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

On Dec. 30, the Governor General of Canada announced 60 new appointments to the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor. Established in 1967, the Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system and recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. I was thrilled to hear that Canadian author and literacy advocate, David Bouchard was named as “Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions as an author of children’s books and an advocate who has championed the cause of reading and writing, and who has shared his pride as a member of the Métis community through his stories.”

A former teacher and principal, Bouchard is British Columbia’s best-selling author and single most sought-after public speaker. He has written over 25 best-selling children’s books which have won several prestigious awards, among them: the Governor General’s Award for The Song Within My Heart, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for Voices from the Wild, the Red Cedar Award for The Great Race and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for Illustration for The Dragon New Year. His books have also been short-listed many times for Canada’s most illustrious awards.

Each year David Bouchard travels extensively, championing the cause of literacy to students, parents and educators. During these events, Bouchard shares his perspective: “We do not need new curriculum or harder working teachers in order to get our students to read. We need parents, teachers and administrators who read. The key lies in modeling.” He outlines respective roles and responsibilities that will ensure that all children are given the gift of reading. He inspires and leaves his listeners with a concrete plan and the rejuvenation needed to face literacy issues head on.

“The greatest gift we can give our children is the gift of reading. There is no magic in giving it. There is no toy or program that will do the job for us. It takes time, commitment and most of all, fire. We cannot hope to light a fire in the hearts of others without a fire burning in our own. Light and stoke yours, then spread the flame fast and furious. Let literacy be your legacy.” says David.

On Jan. 21st David will be the keynote speaker for Literiffic Day at my son’s school, an event which I am looking forward to attending!

Gung Hei Fat Choy! – Xin Nian Kuai Le! – Happy New Year!

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

yearoftherat.jpgWelcome, Year of the Rat!

To help you celebrate, here are a couple of new books we can recommend…

Grace Lin has a sequel just out to her delightful Year of the Dog – called, appropriately enough, Year of the Rat. We’ll have our own review of it soon, in the meantime, you can read what Grace herself says about it here.

You can read here about another new book by Grace, this time a picture-book called Bringing in the New Year. At the end of that post, Wild Rose Reader gives some good “Lunar New Year” links too.

And here are some more Chinese New Year picture books reviewed by PaperTigers:
The Year of the Rat: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin, illustrated by Miah Alcorn,;
The Great Race / The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey, illustrated by Anne Wilson;
The Day the Dragon Danced by Kay Haugaard, illustrated by Carolyn Reed Barritt.

Do you have any special favorites you’d like to share with us?

…And a PS – do have a look at Grace Lin’s blog to read about her trip to China last month – there are some great photos too.

Books at Bedtime: Pablo the Artist

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Pablo the ArtistWe have just returned home from a week in London, exploring the city to dropping point! One place we visited was the National Gallery, where we followed the Chinese Zodiac Trail. We knew which animals to look for from retellings of the legendary selection process, such as The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac. While looking at the paintings, we learnt a great deal about the differences and similarities in the symbolism attached to the animals in Chinese and Western cultures; and Little Brother, who is passionate about dragons, was overjoyed to discover that his birth sign, the Snake, is also known as the Little Dragon!

In the gallery shop afterwards, we found a delightful picture-book called Pablo the Artist by Satoshi Kitamura, which is an enigmatic exploration of the artistic process and where inspiration comes from – I agree with The Magic of Booksreview, where PJ Librarian says “you really aren’t sure at this point if Pablo is dreaming or if these landscape characters are actually real” – it’s one of those books which grows with each re-reading as new details are discovered and absorbed. We especially loved the glimpse of infinity provided at the end, having read The Mouse and His Child so recently, where the picture of the dog carrying a tray with a tin of dog food with the picture of the dog carrying a tray etc. etc. was such a recurrent and pivotal theme.

Not Just for Kids recommends Pablo the Artist and some other picture-books which “introduce young readers to some of the world’s masterpieces”, as does Rhyming Mom.

…And I should just add that Pablo The Artist was one of the picture books nomitated for the 2007 Sakura Awards, which Charlotte highlighted in her last post

Books at Bedtime: anthologies and audio books

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

SunI have just received this lovely e-card from Barefoot Books, which I would like to share with you all – it’s based on their recently-published Whole World, which not only celebrates the world we live in but reminds us that we need to look after it – something that Barefoot Books are really focussing on with their new “Go Barefoot, Go Global” emphasis on environmental issues.

As well as family favourites like The Emperor who Hated Yellow, The Gigantic Turnip and The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac, we love Barefoot Books’ anthologies of stories from around the world. Son Number One has taken The Barefoot Book of Knights out of the library on a regular basis over the last three years. I like its format of the traditional tales being woven into the story of a young steward who is learning to be a knight, although it does sometimes mean reading time goes on for much longer than you intended!

PiratesGenerally, however, these anthologies are great for dipping into or for quenching a child’s thirst for “More, more, more!” without having to resort to carrying around great piles of books – a relief on train or plane journeys… Then, what is really great is that so many of Barefoot’s publications are also available in audio format and can be enjoyed on car journeys too – somehow, no matter how many times you hear them as child or adult, you never get tired of them. At the moment, my children particularly enjoy listening to Animal Tales From Around The World and Pirates (I love the story from Japan about Mochimitsu who is saved by his beautiful music). They like to have the book open too so they can follow the illustrations, which are always so vibrant and full of extra details.

And what about in your family? Which audio books do your children like listening to – and when?