Monday, April 9, 2012

Books Sure to Inspire

I have found myself reading inspirational text lately (Beautiful Child, Torey Hayden, The Book of Awesome,  by Neil Pasricha). Apparently it is seeping into my picture books as well because this week I picked up these quite accidentally from my book shelf. 
You too will be inspired by these stories.

 (This book was re-published under the title, Reach for the Moon).

Samantha Abeel, a simultaneously gifted young girl, author and learning disabled student, shows her brilliant capabilities as a writer at a very young age in her first book, What Once Was White. I couldn't help but put one of the poems from this book below. If I could, I would put into words all the inspiration that is told by her parents, her teachers and her own poetic self portrait that you will find within the pages. This book was published in 1993, but if you are like me, you may have forgotten that this is a must have for your bookshelf.

What Once Was White
by Samantha Abeel
Emptiness no longer prevails, her song has now begun
The harmony calls forth images
and as she weaves her melodic tune,
his brush keeps frantic time
Sweeping the canvas, each note becomes a swirling color
What once was white is transformed
and a new world flows forth
Silver notes become strands of her hair,
entwining fish which wave and weave among the brush strokes
Butterfly wings emerge from the treble clef
painting jewels upon her robe which shimmer like wet paint
A noble oak springs from the bass clef
reaching in supplication for the tip of the brush
The canvas becomes a place where songs are pictures
and pictures are symphonies
Harmony and color combine,
creating windows to a life within a life
Immortality swells with each note

A Big Mistake takes readers on a journey through a child's perception of mistakes and how so much can come from making a few! 

Willaby makes her own mistakes in this book. She is a character who loves to draw.She gets distractingly trapped inside her creativity. I have a couple Willaby's this year, I will be sharing her story with them. 

Just the other night, I pulled this book off the shelf for a book spine poem and read it to my own children. Though I recently read that Greg Mortinson, the co-author of this children's book, has come under scrutiny I was still inspired by the story. 

I hope that more good, rather than greed came from all his work.


And Finally...
 To round out my week of inspiration, I will be seeking out A Rainbow of Animals by Melissa Stewart. This book is a bound version of a series of books that answer the question, why is an animal green, or red, etc. I can't wait to get my hands on it and share it with my students. We were just finishing up some non-fiction writing about animals before our spring break began and I think this book will provide my students with the inspiration to push through and finish this week! I hope to share the non-fiction journey when this project is complete in some upcoming posts!


Linda at teacherdance said...

Hi Betsy! I have the Abeel book, but now I'll return & re-read it for new inspiration. When it came out I used it a lot with my students, but have actually forgotten about it, so thanks! I like your idea about A Rainbow of Animals-it does look so intriguing. Thanks for all!

Jen said...

I've never read the Abeel book. Looks interesting. The Rainbow of Animals looks cool, too. We've read Where in the Wild in our house and I'm using it with a student right now. It's a great animal poetry/non-fiction hybrid. I love it.

Betsy said...

Thanks Jen, I will check that out!

Betsy said...

Oh good, I hope you are able to re-read it. I was able to check the rainbow book out of the library, so here we go with that one, it looks great.