Friday, June 14, 2019

Five VITABOOKS to Keep Us Keepin’ On!

I’ve always considered tomorrow, June 15 – the middle day of the year’s sixth month, the date that marks the middle of my year.  
Though technically it doesn’t, I celebrate anyway.
It happens to be my Half Birthday. 😊
It’s also the day I realize I’ve kept on keepin’ on for the first 166 days of the year!
Phew and whew, I usually sigh, before declaring, loudly, “YAY me!”

To honor the occasion and to keep on keepin’ on, this year I’ve gifted myself with 5 picture books I’ve lovingly labeled VITABOOKS.
They might not strengthen my hair, nails, skin and bones or vitalize key organs to maximize their function but they sure do fortify my Spirit to ensure I carry on.
I share them today so they can do the same for you.
All are a part of my Summer TeachingAuthor Re-gifting Plan.

This past Wednesday evening, I read aloud Cheryl B. Klein’s WINGS (Atheneum, 2019), illustrated by Tomie dePaola, to inspire and encourage my Newberry Library Advanced Picture Book Workshop students to return to their stories, again and again, until those stories fly.  Cheryl’s text of but 12 rhyming words not only capture a baby bird’s journey to first flight. They shorthand the Hero’s Journey – including the requisite stings and dings we writers experience and the inevitable yet surprising triumphant and soaring resolution we in time come to know.

In four weeks I’ll be sharing Mo Willems’ BECAUSE (Hyperion, 2019), illustrated by Amber Ren, with my Manuscript Workshop writers in Landgrove, Vermont.  “This is how it happened:……..”  the title page declares.  The text and art that follow bring to the page a young musician’s story of how her quest to make music and magic began.  Each of us has a "because," that one person who…, or that one event or thing or circumstance that…, caused us to follow our dream to create.  Remembering and reflecting on that long-ago inspiration can be the perfect Rx to combat any thoughts of not moving forward.

Sudipta Bardhan-Qualien’s CHICKS RULE (Abrams, 2019), illustrated by Renee Kurilla, will be the first picture book I read aloud July 28 in my Picture Book Workshop to my Judson University Doctor of Education in Literacy candidates who happen to be all women.  The story’s Rocket Club’s “No Chicks Allowed” rule leads to chicks banding together, lifting each other up and finally soaring out of this world. How lucky we are to have a community of like-hearted children’s book creators, female and male, ready, willing and able to push us forward.

Midway through each of the above workshops, when my writers might be considering their options to continue (or not), I plan to read aloud Danielle Dufayet’s YOU ARE YOUR STRONG (Magination Press, 2019), illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin.  Conquering fear, anger, worry, rejection is possible when we utilize the treasure our strengths offer.

Finally, I’ve chosen Deborah Underwood’s Bearnard, the star of BEARNARD’S BOOK (Godwin Books/Henry Holt, 2019), illustrated by Misa Saburi, to send off any and all on their Writer’s Journeys.  As the flap copy states, “Bearnard discovers that to shine in his story, he just needs to be himself.  That’s just another way to share Dennis Palumbo’s brilliant insightful comforting advice from WRITING FROM THE INSIDE OUT (Wiley): we are enough!

Thanks to Laura Shoven for hosting today’s Poetry Friday.

Five and a half months down.  Six and half months to go.
Here’s hoping the above VITABOOKS keep you keepin’ on!

Esther Hershenhorn


Carmela Martino said...

I already know and love WINGS and BECAUSE, but the others are new to me. I look forward to reading them. Thanks, Esther!

mona said...

I love this've hooked me on buying at least a few of these books now! Thank you.

jan godown annino said...

Love the idea of reading our kids books as a vitamin does. These are inspiring titles I desire!

Many appreciations.

(Lucky participants in your workshop)