Thursday, March 10, 2011

Favorite Picture Book Blogfest

Megan Bickel @ The Write-At-Home-Mom is hosting today's Blogfest. Why?  Because picture books  deserve love too!

For the full list of blogfest participants, click HERE.

To choose only ONE picture book is an impossible task, not because I can't do it, but because I don't want to spotlight only one. 

In our blogging circle, we don't talk much about PBs or PB writing. AND. THEY. ARE. WONDERFUL. In fact, I do teacher in-service trainings about using PBs in ALL subject areas and at ALL grade levels. But in the spirit of the blogfest, I will share my mostest favoritest picture book of all.

Pink & Say
by Patricia Polacco
 



Oh, how I love this book.  But I cry every time I read it. Not just a tear or two, but full-out crying with tissues and nose-blowing. It is so full of courage and heart that it overwhelms me every time. And it's all true, every single word.
"I touched Mr. Lincoln's hand. It were near Washington. We were quartered there just before Bull Run. The president himself were shakin' everyone's hands. And I just put my hand right out."

"And he took it?" Pink asked.

"Yep, he took it," I answered. 

"Now there's a sign, ain't it?" he said, smilin' broadly.

"Touch my hand, Pink. Now you can say you touched the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln."
The illustrations are beautiful and heart-wrenching, like this one from later in the book when Pink & Say are being separated. *sniff, sniff*

"I watched tears fill his [Pink's] eyes and cleaved my hand to his until they wrenched us apart. They smote him and dragged him away from me."
Patricia's final words about Pink kill me every time. But you'll have to read it to find out what happens. *hint, hint*

The coolest part comes from Patricia's final words to the reader:
"I know this story to be true because Sheldon Russell Curtis [Say] told his daughter, Rosa.
Rosa Curtis Stowell told it to her daughter, Estella.
Estella Stowell Barber, in turn, told it to her son, William.
He then told me, his daughter, Patricia.
When my father finished this story he put out his hand and said, 'This is the hand, that has touched the hand, that has touched the hand, that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln.'"
Here's the Goodreads blurb:
There are few picture books written about the Civil War, and none are as powerful as this one. This story, about how a young black soldier rescues a white soldier, opens young readers' eyes to the injustices of slavery and the senselessness of war. Highly charged emotionally, this masterful retelling of a true story, narrated through the white soldier's eyes, is made all the more powerful when it is revealed that the soldier was the author's great-great grandfather.

Patricia Polacco is my PB hero. She can cram more power and emotion and truth into a picture book than anyone out there. And she is a MASTER at voice. If you're looking for examples of writing with strong voice, head to the library and fill your basket with Patricia Polacco stories. Each is different, and each is spectacular. That is not hyperbole, folks, it's fact.

What is your mostest favoritest picture book?

 

33 comments:

Lori said...

We are off and running early this morning Shannon! Wonderful blog - and a book I haven't heard of, but now must find and read!

Megan K. Bickel said...

I hadn't heard of this one either, Shannon! I'm totally seeking it out now though. Thanks for participating in my blogfest!!

Old Kitty said...

Awwwwww so lovely!!!! Yay for brilliant picture books!!!! At the moment I love the Gruffalo!! I think that qualifies as a picture book? Awww this is so so so so lovely though, thank you for the snippets and review of this fab PB!! Take care
x

Shari said...

I love, love, love Patricia Polacco. Her PB's are amazing. I can't pick a favorite, because I have too many. But, I love FANCY NANCY for the vocabulary and a new one I love is THE BOSS BABY because it's endearing and oh so funny.

Meredith said...

I haven't heard of this, or (*ducks in embarrassment*) the author either. But I will definitely check her work out now. Thanks for the rec!

Katy said...

I've read several of Patricia Polacco's books, but not this one. It sounds wonderful and I'll definitely be on the lookout for it. Thanks! :)

Christie Wright Wild said...

I LOVE Patricia Pollacco!!! My favorite book of hers is Thank You, Mr. Falker. Shannon, I agree with you 100%. I have heard of Pink and Say, but never took the time to read it yet. I could FEEL the emotion from simply reading your post. Thanks for sharing!

libraryvoice.org said...

Great choice1 I adore Patricia Polacco and I'll admit to shedding a few tears at more than one of her books. She is an inspiration.

Laura Marcella said...

I can't pick a favorite! I love too many of them.

I don't think I've read this one yet. I'll have to check it out at the library! (With or without my nieces and nephews, lol!)

Catherine Denton said...

Haven't heard of this one, but it sounds amazing. Off to put it on my library list now.
My Blog

Colene Murphy said...

Never heard of this but it sounds so good!

KO: The Insect Collector said...

I will check it out!

Danette said...

It is so hard to pick one isn't it??? Even as I read the other blogs,(and I truly love the book I chose) I think, "OH I wish I'd shared this book". There are just so many lovely, lovely picture books and not enough time! Yours sounds lovely and I completely understand why it brings you to tears. I was teared up just reading your description! Thanks for sharing!

Racquel Henry said...

Thanks for sharing Shannon. My favorite picture book ever, is called Mrs. Nelson is Missing! :)

Dawn Embers said...

And yet you managed to pick one book. ;-)

Interesting choice. I hadn't heard of that book but it sounds like one I should read.

Katie Ganshert said...

I read this book to my 5th graders every year!

Jennie Englund said...

I'm another who -- despite being a huge Patricia Polacco fan -- hasn't heard of this book.

One of my faves? Jeanette Winter.

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like a great picture book!

Um. *thinks*

Got one! Nicolo's Unicorn. It has beautiful illustrations and the story is wonderful. :)

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh, that one sounds so good - - I must check that one out.
I don't know if I can pick just one ... I adore the 'Bear' books by Karma Wilson, but there are also so many others! :-)

Jemi Fraser said...

Um...wow... I am covered in chills just reading your description of the book!

I have so many favourite picture books too - from old stand bys like the Great Kapok tree & The Places You'll Go to new-to-me ones like The Tin Forest & Martin's Big Words. So many great books...!

Joanne Fritz said...

We sell lots of Patricia Polacco and I love all of the ones I've read, but I admit I haven't read this one yet. Now I'll have to!

Amazing post, Shannon!

It's nearly impossible to narrow it down to one PB. Sheesh! Guess I'd have to say WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak. For the sheer economy of words, if nothing else. Do you know there are only something like 338 words in that book? And a world of emotion and kidlike feeling. The man's a genius.

Joanna said...

thanks for introducing me to an author I didn't know. Even the little you shared gave me goosebumps reading it.

salarsenッ said...

Awesomeness!! OMGosh, I totally forgot to do this. I'll have to write up one and post on Monday.

Jen Daiker said...

Wow I've never heard of this book but now I want to snag a copy just to be crying right there with you. The illustrations from what I can see are very beautiful.

I love The Red Heels by Robert D. San Souci, it was the very first book I had gotten signed. I was dying for it and I bought it with my own money (a first) he talked to me about being a writer and how much fun he had writing the book. I should have known then that I would be a writer... but no, it took 14 more years to have it dawn on me.

Talk about life changing.

Happy Weekend.

Karen @ Scobberlotch said...

Thanks for writing about this book. I want to get it for my girls. So moving. :)

I have so many favorite picture books!

Karen Lange said...

You know, I'm not sure. Will have to think on it. My current favorite to read with my three year old grandson is Go Dog Go. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Oh wow, I can't remember. Right now I'm going through a Disney Princess phase. It doesn't matter what my daughter wants me to read. I want to read about the princess and her hot prince. ;)

(Yep, I have a crush on Prince Phillip).

Theres just life said...

This sounds great, I will have to try to find a copy to read.

kangaroobee said...

Very powerful, I'll look out for it.

Julie Hedlund said...

Ah, Patricia Polaccio. So much to love about her books! Thanks for sharing.

Alison Stevens said...

Oh my goodness, I'm a little teary just reading your post! I have not read this, but I will have to check out this and other books by Patricia Polacco.

Grillyfish said...

I have never heard of Patricia Polacco, not sure she is available in the UK - I am going to have to get myself a copy from somewhere though, your post almost had me in tears just at the thought of what might happen and the emotion pouring out of her words! Thank you :)

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, I've read other Patricia Polacco books, but not familiar with this one. It sounds very touching!

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