Children's Book Reviews

Monday, October 06, 2014

We love elders!! We love pumpkins!!

The real Maezie is in the middle!

   I'm totally into diversity in children's picture books now, and this one is outstanding! How many of us fondly remember a loving grandmother who taught us so much about life and love. Or, perhaps we remember another elder: a neighbor, an aunt, a teacher. These people in our world are as much a hero or heroine as are other characters in picture books e.g. other children, animals, or make-believe characters. This is the time of year when we also celebrate pumpkins in all their glorious taste in pies and soups, fun as jack-o-lanterns, and blazing color to light up the autumn garden or table! I hope that you enjoy your elder memories, or if you are an elder that you are celebrated for your special gifts. Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead!

Maezie’s Pumpkin Patch is a notable book. It is also a true story about 95 year old Maezie who grows giant, prize pumpkins each year. That is until the year that vandals wreck her beautiful pumpkin patch. Not only did it hurt Maezie, but also her entire neighborhood and town, which rallied together to support Maezie. She shared the seeds she could salvage so that the next year the neighborhood glowed orange from all the pumpkins everyone grew!

Kudos goes to author Lynn Martin Snowden for featuring an elder who is not a grandmother. Many picture books feature grandparents as the only elders in a child’s life. It shows young readers not only diversity in our population, but also that a person of any age can be a heroine and a model to others. Illustrator Kyle Sydney Powell’s ink and wash paintings aptly convey the mood of each page. Young readers will have fun following the secondary stories of the numerous animals, especially the squirrel, cat, and dog. This book can be used in classrooms, home libraries, and in neighborhood community gardens as an inspiration. It has guidelines in the back for growing pumpkins. Coming out soon will be a companion lesson plan book. The book is highly recommended for ages 5-10, and for read-aloud to preschoolers.


Post a Comment

<< Home