Sunday, October 07, 2007

where i live, by Eilleen Spenneli

Oh my. What a lovely, tender, and unique book. Each page is a poem, most of the pages have soft-toned pencil drawings, and the poems and pictures hang together like two best friends in a hammock on a warm summer evening.

You know how great picture books are like poetry because each word is selected so carefully? Well, this book displays that same kinda economy of language---each word is amazingly powerful.

Diana is a budding astronomer and writer. She has to move away from her best friend Rose when her dad loses his job and her grandpa needs Diana's family to come live with him. Diana tells the story of her move in a series of lists and short poems.

This would certainly be a great read for kids who are actually experiencing the trauma of leaving a best friend and familiar place, but I think that Diana is so honest and the plot so captivating and true that it will get passed around my room of readers as fast as Clementine and Twilight. There are also many great writing lessons to mine through---including illuminating metaphors, an ending that precisely mirrors the beginning, and sparkly details from life's everyday flotsam.

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