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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mom, Dad, Our Books and Me, written by Danielle Marcotte and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon. Translated by Karen Li. Owlkids, 2016. $18.95 ages 4 and up

"But I'm not too busy.
I know how to turn pages,
name pictures, and
sound out words.

I can read now.
Like the big kids!

Everyone around me reads.
After five or six pages, Grandma's
head is in the clouds."

I am soon to embark on a spring workshop tour ... sharing new books with teachers and librarians. We are all happy to learn about new books that tout the importance of family reading and reading in its many forms.

So, I was delighted to receive this new book from Owlkids that does exactly that. It shows its readers a child and his world, where books are part of the life led by those around him. The child loves the time the family spends reading. It may not always be together. We are able to sneak a peek from above to see Mom reading a book for pleasure, Dad reading a 'how-to' e-book, and the child settled on the floor perusing a book that makes it perfect reading for him.

We also learn that his pets don't read, although they certainly see him reading and evidently pleased with himself because of his newly learned skills. We also see that people around him read  for a variety of purposes. Turns out that reading in not restricted to just books.

"The fisherman reads the sky
for coming storms.

A woman reads love
poems in her
boyfriend's eyes.

A tourist reads the time
on his watch while checking
the train schedule."

Don't you just love that message?

It is wonderful to see the joy and pride he feels in being part of a reading community. Josee Bisaillon uses mixed media (collage, paint and crayon) to create her detailed views of the short vignettes that make reading the center of attention for this young child and his family, neighbors and even strangers. Each deserves our careful consideration. Oh, what adventures there are when you have books!

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