17 March 2018

17 Books about Ireland

It's St. Patrick's Day! To help you discover a bit more about Ireland than today's celebrations, here are some books to enjoy.

A Swift Pure Cry
by Siobhan Dowd

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

The Long March: The True Story of the Choctaw Indians' Gift to the Irish During the Potato Famine
written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

Walking to School
written by Eve Bunting, images by Michael Dooling

Across a Dark and Wild Sea
written and illustrated by Don Brown

Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850
written by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Brigid's Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story
written by Bryce Milligan, images by Helen Cann

Kate Culhane, A Ghost Story
written and illustated by Michael Hague

Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara
written by Elvira Woodruff, images by Adam Rex

The Easter Rising
written by Richard Killeen

The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story About St. Patrick
written by Sheila MacGill-Callahan, images by Will Hillenbrand

The Leprechaun's Gold
written by Pamela Duncan Edwards, images by Henry Cole

The Meanwhile Adventures
written by Roddy Doyle, images by Brian Ajhar

The Pirate Queen
written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully

The Wishing of Biddy Malone
written by Joy Cowley, images by Christopher Denise

Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka
written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Bog Child
written by Siobhan Dowd

13 March 2018

Leo and Diane Dillon: An Appreciation

In honor of Diane Dillon's birthday, I believe an appreciation of this couple's work is in order.

They won two Caldecott medals, one Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and numerous honors, and been runners-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Their body of work is breathtaking.

I can't remember when I first saw their artwork -- probably when Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People's Ears was read on Reading Rainbow. But I didn't truly appreciate their work until I became a librarian and saw the full range of their gifts.

I grew up in a small town with a small school library. I honestly can't tell you if that library owned any books that were illustrated by the Dillons. With such a small school library, my mother did her best to keep me up to my ears in new and classic children's books, but some works passed her by as well.

Nevertheless, I did find their work, and I am so glad I did.

The images they created glow, not only with light and warmth, but with humanity and dignity and beauty. The skills they possess!

In the book To Every Thing There Is a Season: Verses from Ecclesiastes, the Dillons use traditional artistic styles from around the world as inspiration. There are spreads inspired by Ancient Egypt, Thailand, the Middle East, and Ancient Mexico, among others. Each turn of the page shows different skills. It's gorgeous work.

Sadly, Leo Dillon passed away in 2012. However, Diane Dillon recently released a new picture book that looks as glorious as ever. I'm looking forward to reading I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't and losing myself in the images.

To see more of their artwork, visit The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon.

06 March 2018

6 Books About Texas History

Today is the 182nd anniversary of the Fall of the Alamo. Here are some books about Texas history.

Inside the Alamo
written by Jim Murphy

Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America
written by Kathi Appelt, images by Joy Fisher Hein

We Asked for Nothing: The Remarkable Journey of Cabeza de Vaca
written by Stuart Waldman, images by Tom McNeely

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
written by Angela Johnson, images by E.B. Lewis

Babe Conquers the World: The Legendary Life of Babe Didrickson Zaharias
written by Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace

Born and Bred in the Great Depression
written by Jonah Winter, images by Kimberly Root