Sunday, May 4, 2014

Biographies

I've been reading biographies this week.  I got a few new ones in the media center and found a few more in the Ebook section of my local library (free books!  Delivered to my ipad!  What a deal!).

The first one is called "On a Beam of Light" by Jennifer Berne is a picture book biography of Albert Einstein.  The pictures are exuberant and kind of primitive (in a good way) and it makes the life of Albert Einstein accessible to little kids (and bigger kids who might have thought that Albert Einstein was too smart for them to read about).  It explains some of Einstein's theories in very simple terms but it also talks about his persistence and his questioning attitude as well as his love of reading that took him to the places he wanted to go.



The second biography I read was about Jane Goodall.  It's called "The Watcher: Jane Goodall's life with the chimps" by Jeanette Winter.  I'm a big fan of Jane Goodall, having heard her speak at a local university many years ago and I'm also a big fan of Jeanette Winter.  I loved her book called "Biblioburro" about a man in Columbia who takes books to remote villages on his donkeys.  This one about Jane Goodall was nice too.  The text gave a good overall impression of Jane Goodall's life and the pictures are simple but engaging.  I thought it was a good elementary level biography.  Here's a little book trailer that will give you an idea of how great it looks.




The last one I read this week is one I've been trying to read for awhile. It was very highly acclaimed when it first came out and I just haven't been able to get my hands on it.  It was in my local library's ebooks collection this week (YAY!!!) and so I finally got to read it.  It's called "A Splash of Red: The LIfe and Art of Horace Pippin".  I'd never heard of Horace Pippin the artist so it was a great introduction for me.  Horace Pippin was an African American born in 1888 in Pennsylvania but moved in Goshen, NY at an early age.  He always loved to draw and used the materials that he had at hand.  He got his first art supplies from a mail order school.  He worked hard and drew and painted for people.  He joined the army and served in France during the first World War.  He was wounded in the right shoulder and it seemed that his career as an artist might be over.  However, he continued to work hard and eventually found a way to regain the use of his right arm and allow him to create art again.  He was noticed by the famous artist, N.C. Wyeth, who suggested that Horace have a show of his work in West Chester, NY.  It was quite successful and today, Pippin's paintings hang in many galleries and museums all over the country.  I love Melissa Sweet's illustrations.



And I've been really busy entering data for the last week.  I'm hoping to move my app to the web so keep watching this space for more information!

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