In case you missed it, I hope you'll click back to the previous post by author/illustrator Richard Jones. His April release of PERDU earned high praise from me, including this line I wrote:
Apr 13, 2021
Apr 12, 2021
Lost dog stories are certainly heart-tugging, heart-aching, and even heart breaking. In books and in real life. I lived in a rural area for more than decade, one in which homes were acres apart and traffic was light. In the time I lived there it was not unusual for stray dogs (and kittens) to be found roaming, often alongside or even in the middle of the road. My neighbors and I assumed that these were rarely lost or runaway animals, but had been abandoned intentionally with the false assumption that a domesticated pet could fend for itself and find its own home. Whoever among us found these confused and frightened pets circulated pictures, but those efforts rarely located owners. More often, these abandoned furry beings went to rescue organizations who would actively re-home them in safe and loving surroundings. I still wonder how many we missed.
I share my experience because poignant-eyed Perdu on the cover obviously has a back story and I NEEDED to know what that was. I found no clues in endpapers, or on the opening spreads/title page. The clue I DID find is that little red scarf around his neck. Perdu, I imagined, has been left to his own devices, despite having once been someone's beloved pet. Perhaps abandoned. Perhaps a companion to someone no longer in his life, but not by choice. The scarf suggested to me that little Perdu understood LOVE and HOME. Now he was in a confused but determined pursuit of a new home. One where he would be safe. Where he would be loved. Hope and instinct led the way, paw after paw.
With that premise in mind, I was ready to read. But I had burdened Perdu with a heavy load of metaphor for many in our world who also have face wearying journeys in our lives.
Perdu does as dogs do, follows his nose and vision forward, step after step. When a leaf catches his attention, he follows its floating path, leaving the woods behind, leading him into a crowded urban setting where tender paws became sore and weary, where a forest of long-legged folks never even looked down.
|PERDU, interior, used with permission|
|Perdu, interior, used with permission|
|Richard Jones (background), |
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This is the first of several posts in a blog tour starring PERDU:
Monday (4/12): Unpacking the Power of Picture Books
Tuesday (4/13): Mom Read It
Wednesday (4/14): Good Reads with Ronna
Thursday (4/15): Literacious
Apr 9, 2021
"This beautiful poetry collection introduces readers to the art of found poetry as the poet writes a 37-line poem, "Nest," then finds 160 smaller poems within it."
I was not disappointed.
Poetic forms can be challenging, but they can also provide a scaffold for writers (young OR old) to approach and attempt creating their own work.
In this case, the premise of a poem being a nest is described simply and clearly in the opening pages. Latham has written a lovely and comprehensive poem to launch the book, one that is worthy to read and appreciate on its own. Her guidance to readers indicates they are welcome to use her NEST poem, use other published poems, or swing for the bleachers and create an extensive poem of their own to become the nest for further work.
This is such a strong conceptual offering for poetry-writers, and the poems she has produced are organized in ways that might inspire additions in themselves. This book concludes with some added (brief) messages from the author, inviting readers to join in the fun and the challenge.
Here are three quick takes at today's world as we approach EARTH DAY, 2021. The theme for this year is RESTORE OUR EARTH. That important theme and the actions it should inspire rely on the promise of our own efforts, and that of coming generations.
Generations of picture book readers.