From the skies to the rocks (with marker art), and reunions in between!
For the Short Story Reading Challenge – Deal Me In 2018, here is my pick for last week (completed this week!).
The Card: 10 of Diamonds
The Selection: ‘Reunion’ – A short story by John Cheever – I admit I have not read John Cheever before. And this story reminded me a bit of Saki in some of his short stories. And I will be reading more John Cheever in the future.
My Thoughts: This made me realize how much what is left unsaid can actually be understood, and to marvel at how some writers say so much with such an economy of words. Someday, I hope to be able to wean out the unnecessary and get to saying more with less. And now, to the story itself:
Reunion tells the story of the meeting of a father and son after three years. As I read through, I felt annoyed and sorry at different times, and alternatively smiled and frowned my way to the very last word. The story seems pretty straightforward – Charlie has not met his dad since his parents’ divorce three years ago. He arranges to meet him in the couple of hours he has between trains at New York’s Grand Central. And he is looking forward to meeting his father. But within a couple of restaurants that the father and son duo enter and leave, because of his father’s annoying, rude, maybe-whisky-laden behavior, Charlie starts to realize the futility in trying to mend relationships with his father. Charlie recognizes also, that his father is possibly his future image, and captures it brilliantly in these words – ‘but as soon as I saw him I felt that he was my father, my flesh and blood, my future and my doom. I knew that when I was grown I would be something like him; I would have to plan my campaigns within his limitations.’
The story, in about 1300 words, manages to convey guilt, sadness, hopelessness, hellos, and goodbyes, and more. And though it sounds grim, there is some humor, some hopefulness, love that shines through. Simply put, brilliant prose.
You can read it here
Starry Skies: Learn about the constellations above us
Samantha Chagollan, Nila Aye (Illustrated by)
FRONTLIST | April 3, 2018
Hardcover | 32 pages
Juvenile Nonfiction / Concepts / Size & Shape
Description: Every night, the sky is filled with stars that tell a thousand tales. Brave warriors, regal queens, fierce beasts — they all parade across the starry skies each night. In Starry Skies you’ll discover some of the most famous constellations and learn how to find them in the night sky.
With brilliant illustrations by Nila Aye, you will see the shapes of each constellation, and imagine what they might look like when you look up into the dark sky above. This introduction to astronomy is all you need to start learning about stars, so get ready, star hunters, and look to the skies!
My thoughts: This book is aimed at the preschooler/beginning school age group of 5 to 6 years old. As mentioned in the description, the book uses illustrations depicted brightly against a simple black background, maybe depicting the night sky. I loved that it covers many different constellations and the illustrations clearly show the shape of the constellations while the words accompany the stars as kids around the world look up into the night sky. With the minimal words in the book and the intended audience, it would have had a better effect if there was a rhyming pattern as we read the book. The words somehow seemed disconnected from each other across pages. And a helpful index with more information about the constellations – details on where to look in the sky (depending on where we are located, and when) – as well as some other tit-bits of information would have enhanced the worth of the book greatly.
Reading Level: 5-6 years
Reread Level: 3/5
Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss for the digital ARC of the book
Creative Marker Art & Beyond
Inspiring tips, techniques, and projects for creating vibrant artwork in marker
by Lee Foster-Wilson
Quarto Publishing Group – Walter Foster
Walter Foster Publishing
Arts & Photography , Crafts & Hobbies
My Thoughts: This book is perfect for the aspiring marker artist of any age. Lee Foster-Wilson starts off with the basics – a how to use the book, materials needed, the color-wheel explained, tips and techniques for drawing and painting with markers (for eg: cross-hatching/shading/layering/negative space use), and more. She then proceeds to give different project ideas with step-by-step instructions and accompanying pictures that show ‘what next’ that the reader can try out with different types of markers. My favorites included ideas for hand-made gift wraps, creating landscapes by layering (loved this technique, and had not realized how versatile markers really are), transforming everyday objects into a work of art in culinary and rock art, and…well, I think I will go ahead and add every idea in the end, so I will stop with the top favorites right here.
And yes, totally loved the whimsical cover and the illustrations that are scattered all around the projects, providing additional inspiration for all!
You can create a gift kit for those aspiring artists you know; and I have a suggested kit (some of the items are ones you will find outside your home, or right in your home) below.
Rating: A (for aspiring artists)
Reading Level: all ages
Reread Level: 4.5/5
Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley for the digital ARC of the book
I am linking these books to What are you Reading?
From Picture Books to YA at Teach Mentor Texts and to NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge
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