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Posts Tagged ‘letters’

Dear Professor Whale by Megumi Iwasa, illus. Jun Takabatake.

August 14, 2018 Comments off

dear whaleDear Professor Whale by Megumi Iwasa, illus. Jun Takabatake. Pub. Gecko Press, 2017.

When giraffe told pelican to deliver a letter to those that live across the horizon he opened up a can of worms that started a splurge of letter writing.

The letter was given to seal who gave it to penguin who told whale about it.

Now whale is wondering what happened to all his friends who have disappeared from Whale point and dreams about the Whale Point Olympics in which he won a gold medal for the best spout.

Whale writes a letter to be delivered by seal and not only contacts some of his old friends but he finds a relative of his old Olympic rival.

I love letters, they for me are the most agreeable form of long distance communication. Perhaps they are on the comeback. In this book for early readers and newly confident readers letters are what precipitates the action. The Olympics are sensational.

The values in this novel are awe inspiring. Sportsmanship, politeness, acceptance of others and there is a warm fuzziness about this book.

The illustrations of all the animals are in keeping with the values of the written text. An altogether first class package.

Check out Yours Sincerely Giraffe also reviewed on this blog.

Yours Sincerely Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa Illus. Jun Takabatake

July 2, 2016 Comments off

sincerely giraffeYours Sincerely Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa Illus. Jun Takabatake. Pub Gecko Press, 2016.

This book is totally delightful. I read it twice in a row because it’s absurdity and simplicity were addictive.

Giraffe and Penguin have never seen each other. Giraffe is lonely and so is Penguin but they live over the horizon from each other. Pelican who sounds a bit like Penguin is also lonely and bored and he decides to set up a mail service.

Giraffe decides to write a letter to someone across the horizon and gets Pelican to deliver it. The letter via Seal gets to Penguin who replies. Giraffe in his letter says he has a big neck and Penguin wonders what a neck is and describes himself to Giraffe.

The letters continue and Giraffe decides he will go and visit penguin trying to look as he imagines Penguin looks. the result is hilarious. I read it to me granddaughters and they loved it. I think I am reading it again to them tonight.

The simple black and white pen illustrations are perfect. If you miss this one you will kick yourself.

Ideal read-a-loud for juniors and intermediate readers. Letter writing is an added quality of this short novel.

It’s hard to imagine someone you have never seen. Try it some time.

When Our Jack went to War by Sandy McKay

May 13, 2013 Comments off

our jackWhen Our Jack Went to War by Sandy McKay. Pub. Longacre, 2013. 

A powerful novel told in letters from 18 year old Jack to his younger brother Tom from the battlefields of France and Belgium during World War 1.

Sandy McKay has shown the contrasting situations of the men in the trenches and how the war was portrayed by the Political leaders and the press at the time. The letters reflect this astonishing difference.

Tom’s letters from home are almost “boys own” in content and opinion. War is like a game, like hunting rabbits. You know however that this was the naive spirit and innocent enthusiasm that took young men to the battlefields of Europe for King and Country.

Jack’s letters start out with that innocence and enthusiasm. The big adventure, can’t wait to get their before it is all over, lets give the Hun a taste of their own medicine. Then the realities hit in as the slaughter begins. The men knew their leaders and decision makers were useless. They couldn’t do anything about it through fear of being shot as traitors. They took it and thousands were slaughtered for nothing.

It bothers me that Kiwi soldiers were paid less than the Aussies but more than the British. What cost a life?

Sandy McKay tells this story with class. Let the reader decide. To make the story more powerful she includes newspaper articles about the battles, about conscientious objectors and everything that was going on at home.

The last 15 pages will wrench your heart out.

High school and young adult in appeal.