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Picture Book Review – Light Speaks

 

LIGHT SPEAKS

Written by Christine Layton

Illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell

(Tilbury House Publishers; $18.95; Ages 4-8)

 

Light Speaks cover boy in night reaching for firefly

 

From the Publisher:

“An enchanting picture book about the joyful, mysterious, awe-inspiring messages of light.”

 

Review:

This beautiful book begins with light’s first daily message to a young child: Awake

 

Light Speaks interior art1 boy sleeping in tent with flashlight
Interior spread from Light Speaks written by Christine Layton and illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell, Tilbury House Publishers ©2023.

 

And continues to explain all the ways light speaks to us—in our daily lives…

 

 Light Speaks interior art2 boy in 3 outdoor scenes at night
Interior art from Light Speaks written by Christine Layton and illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell, Tilbury House Publishers ©2023.

 

through nature…

 

Light Speaks interior art3 light in nature
Interior art from Light Speaks written by Christine Layton and illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell, Tilbury House Publishers ©2023.

 

and throughout space and time—covering both natural and manmade light sources.

 

Light Speaks interior art4 suns burned out long ago
Interior spread from Light Speaks written by Christine Layton and illustrated by Luciana Navarro Powell, Tilbury House Publishers ©2023.

 

Christine Layton’s spare, poetic text leaves plenty of room for illustrator, Luciana Navarro Powell’s luminous art to shine in this nonfiction concept book. Young listeners will pour over Powells’ beautiful art as they listen to Layton’s lyrical, mysterious text while older readers delight in unraveling its mystery. (And for those who just can’t wait, Layton provides a more detailed, scientific look at some of the abstract concepts in the book like the way light “echoes off planets and moons” or “tells lies.”

Light Speaks would make an excellent science and ELA text for the classroom—especially when paired with more straightforward nonfiction like Light Waves by David Adler and Anna Raff (Holiday House, 2018)—as it would lend itself to cross-curricular discussions about science and poetry.

*Highly recommended

  • Reviewed by Roxanne Troup

 

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Mother’s Day Books

This post is dedicated to moms everywhere.  I’ve selected a couple of books that celebrate the superhero qualities so many mothers possess.

cover

New in 2013 is My Mom is The Best Circus by Luciana Navarro Powell (Robin Corey Books, $7.99, ages 0-3) and if you think you recognize the mom, you’re right – it’s YOU!

“My mom is the best circus,
a one-woman show.
She’s the ringmaster,
a juggler,
and the band maestro.”

Read how this mom’s performance needs no admission ticket and the Big Top she calls home never goes on the road.

Luciana_Navarro_Powell__My_Mom_is_the_Best_Circus2

A sturdy, 26-paged glossy board book narrated by a little boy and filled with fun illustrations, My Mom is The Best Circus will lift spirits and get lots of giggles. Children will identify with the kids in the story and their mom’s uncanny ability to sometimes be “a magician, other times, a clown.” While recommended for ages 0-3, parents will likely have to take the time to explain all the circus metaphors. Even so, it’s a great opportunity for some lively interaction, especially if a youngster has been to the circus or seen one in movies.

9781449409722_frontcoverMy Mom is the Best Circus will entertain kids, but this next one is for us moms! Are you a fan of Baby Blues like I am? Scribbles at an Exhibition: Scrapbook 29 (Andrews McMeel, $12.99) by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott features a collection of this King Features syndicated comic strip. Packed with 128 pages of hilarity, Scribbles at an Exhibition will cheer up even the most exhausted superhero mom. Some strips are in color and others are in black and white, but it doesn’t matter because each cartoon is better than the next and they’re all so good.

The award-winning team of Kirkman and Scott have been getting it right since the beginning of Baby Blues back in 1990. Following Daryl and Wanda’s MacPherson’s trials and tribulations at home with kids Zoe, Hammie and baby Wren have always made me feel I am not alone. And I’ve been known to cut out a strip (from the newspaper not the book) and put it on the fridge with a magnet for the whole family to see. Check out the Baby Blues website here for tons of neat facts, a blog, archives, the history of the strip, and things to purchase. And as Daryl says to Wanda:

“I’m sure you had a hard day, but I don’t think there is such a thing as a chocolate I.V.,” to which Wanda replies, “Well, there should be.”  So moms, here’s to chocolate I.V.s, a comfy couch and your very own copy of  Scribbles at an Exhibition: Scrapbook 29 to make Mother’s Day just right.

-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

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