Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Picture book biographies

I got some new books today, YAY!  I suppose it's a sign of my madness that when I get a box of new books, it always feels like Christmas.  So of course,  I hauled several of them home to read.  There were three gorgeous picture book biographies that I had been reading about on other blogs that I FINALLY got for our library.

The first one is called "The Right Word" by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet.  These two have teamed up before to write some awesome biographies about people you might never have heard of (like Tony Sarg, who invented the Macy's parade balloons-"Balloons Over Broadway").  This one is about Peter Mark Roget, of the thesaurus.  It gives nice background information about the life of Dr. Roget, including the amazing number of things he invented, besides the thesaurus, but in my opinion, what really brings this one to life is the art work of Melissa Sweet.  There is so much energy in these pictures, they practically leap off the page.  As part of the pictures, there are lists of synonyms for words on the page, so in addition to being a great biography, it would be a great book for talking about synonyms or vocabulary in general.  Loved this one.  Here's the book trailer for it.

The second one I got is called "Josephine" by Patricia Hruby Powell about the life of Josephine Baker.  I was a little nervous when I picked it up because it's pretty thick for a picture book but I shouldn't have worried.  The book is written in free verse so the story flows beautifully and the art work is such a great reflection of the text-jazzy, exciting, intense.  It tells about her life struggling to become a performer and particularly how racism played a role in her life and how she chose to live it.  It also gives you a great picture of how hard people have to work to be successful.  It was a great story.  

The last one (for now) is a picture book biography of Carl Sagan called "Star Stuff" by Stephanie Roth Sisson.  The pictures are nice-a wide eyed Carl Sagan is born in New York and grows up to be Dr. Carl Sagan, famous astronomer.  I thought this one was a little light on information, but it had a nice message of curiosity and research to find out all the things you want to have answers to.  

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