Annie (my six-year-old) was not excited about moving on to a new author this month.
We were still enjoying and reading and activating our unit on nature wonder Jim Arnosky---most of which I haven't had time to write, link, and share. If you combine an inpromptu outdoor hiking/camping trip and a one-day 4-H workshop complete with learning how to make a fire using only flint rock, making a homemade compass, and tracking down animal tracks, not to mention our most recent trip to Uncle Rusty's hobby farm; autumn ended before we even got our boots scuffed.
We're still working our way through all these "All About" books because our library had so many of them and Mary M. supplied us with ready-made printable resource sheets that we're eagerly researching. Yes, I said eagerly researching. Can you image children being eager to "research"? Just give them these Jim Arnosky books and they'll research at will. Promise you!
Of course, these books were set aside last week to make lap-space for our Thanksgiving abundance and there was the election unit earlier in the month. And now Advent is knocking on our doors.
Gosh, there is so much to discover and learn. Who says learning is boring?
Will I ever catch up? Probably not.
But, in all actuality, the new Author Fiesta featuring Leo Politi has given my family a refreshing respite. How, you ask? Because, while there are several of his books I'd love to get my hands on, there simply aren't that many readily available. Most of his books are out-of-print and hard to find. Our local library had only five of his books.
So I decided to go easy on myself and our reading schedule. I selected two of those books that looked most appealing. (I did not select Song of the Sparrows because we read this book every March):
- Three Stalks of Corn (we discovered and read this book last year and I hope to write more about it later...it fits well with the holiday season),
- Lorenzo, the Naughty Parrot (we began with this one as we had not read it before)
And my Annie balked.
But, one day, we found ourselves stuck in construction road traffic between Lake Charles and Sulphur. We had purposely gone to the party store in Lake Charles to pick out the "theme" for Annie's next birthday party in December. In the car's trunk was a bag of festive party plates, cups, party favors, and one very big, very pink pinata.
Again, I pulled out the book Lorenzo, the Naughty Parrot and this time Annie was trapped.
Which was worse? Sitting in snail traffic, arguing with her sister over who was going to be first on the computer when they got home? Or. Sitting in stopped traffic, listening to Mom read a story about a naughty parrot?
Leo Politi won! And in that book there was one illustration by Leo Politi that forever endeared my daughter to this author and his work. *Notice the pinata in the top center of the page.
Call it serendipity or whatever but oh! the glory of being six-years-old, patiently awaiting your next birthday party, meticulously writing and drawing confetti loads of party plans, and to have your mother open a book with pictures drawn by an artist who remembers the color, the thrill, the glory, the anticipation of fixing to turn seven! And shares it.
So Leo Politi's books, though sparse in consumption, have done what they are known for, in large part due to his colorful, animated illustrations.
November 21, 2008, marked the centennial celebrations of Leo Politi's birthday anniversary.
Annie is certainly grateful to this artist for his wonderful contributions to her little world.