Thursday, December 15, 2011

Forgotten Bookmarks... A Treasure

I know what book I'm getting Christmas Eve.  It's Forgotten Bookmarks by Michael Popek.  Every Christmas Eve, my children open three gifts... a book, new pajamas, and an ornament.  It's a tradition we started when our oldest was born 24 years ago.  Of course, mom and dad get a book too.  And, we always get a new family book to add to our Christmas book collection.
      While we were shopping last week at the Tattered Cover, I slipped this gem into my shopping basket.  MIchael Popek is a bookstore owner in New York and this book offers a collection of tidbits he's found in the used books they sell... stories, photographs, bookmarks, etc.  
     In Forgotten Bookmarks the authors shares a collection of tidbits he's found.  Of course, the readers, who long ago tucked the bits and pieces in the books they were reading, never knew their forgotten treasures would be captured in a book as lovely as this one!
     Poems, photographs, recipes, love letters... the items that Michel Popek includes in Forgotten Bookmarks are personal, humorous, and fascinating.  It's like "pickers' for book lovers!  I can't wait until Christmas Eve so I can dig deeper into this book.  I know I'll laugh, cry, and ponder.  I love old books... and I love when I find secrets within their pages (just last week I was reading a used book to my students and we found three four-leaf clovers someone had pressed in its pages)!

By the way, Mr. Popek as a website here and it's a perfect site to keep "bookmarked" as you read this book!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Wonderful Endeavor...

"The fledgling perched on the edge of her nest preparing for possible flight is a situation I can feel in the pit of my stomach: possible glory, possible failure. We all find ourselves there, and we make a decision. This story is about that choice, the internal debate that accompanies it, and one possible result."                                                        —Holly Meade

     Another wonderful book from our friends at Candlewick Press.  This one I found at The Tattered Cover in Denver and it was the first book that I put in my basket on that shopping trip.
     Holly Meade is an incredible artist (check out her artwork by clicking on her name... some of my favorites prints are Shaker Joy, Stand Jackson, and Holy Trinity... beautiful).  And, she's also an incredible illustrator and author.  If I Never Forever Endeavor speaks to you on so many levels... risk taker, decision maker, contemplation seeker.  It's the perfect book to nudge someone gently into a new phase of life or to overcome an obstacle.  The line, "If I hadn't endeavored and found my wings clever, I never a sky would have scaled, never a world would have seen, and never a friend would have found,blew me away, made me want to fly!  Friends of a feather, indeed!
     Do you ever run across a book at exactly the right time?  Exactly when you need a nudge yourself?  That's what happened to me when I read through this beautiful book.  And, in the classroom I can see it used in some many ways... as a book to develop endurance... as a book to read aloud and let its words soak in... as a book to serve as lyrical text... as a book that deserves a special place in your classroom library.  It has one in mine!