Black Beauty (Graphic Novel)

Lately we’re on a graphic novel kick because my oldest squirt’s BFF introduced her to the Babymouse series.  While at the berry, my oldest and I picked Black Beauty, the graphic novel written by Anna Sewell, retold by L.L. Owens, and illustrated by Jennifer Tanner, for my youngest squirt, and, boy, did we score.

My first grader was immediately drawn to the striking cover which was comprised of Black Beauty set against a cobalt blue background.

After reading the story on her own, my youngest then wanted to read it aloud to me and my hub.  When discussing the book afterwards, we realized the word “kind” was used at least nine times in its sixty-three pages.  Thus, the moral of the story, being humane to animals and one another, was, without a doubt, reiterated and emphasized throughout the book’s entirety.

Not only am I a huge fan of the book’s message, but I also learned what never to use on a horse, a checkrein, a term I am glad I had never been acquainted with before now.

A definite must-read for even the most reluctant young reader.

Later, my squirts and I plan to reenact some of the scenes with our black lab, Daisy Duke, starring as Black Beauty and our American Girls acting as riders. . . literacy in action.

Three Times Lucky

So, my oldest daughter finally passed over her copy of Sheila Turnage’s Three Times Lucky, the book her buddy Miss G. selected for their third-grade book club; I was not allowed to begin reading until she was completely finished.

Winner of the Newbery Honor Book, a New York Times Bestseller, an Edgar Award Finalist, and an E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book, my eyeballs were drooling at the thought of cracking open this book.

Immediately confronted with colorful characters such as the Colonel and Miss Lana as well as characters which will melt your heart as in protagonist Mo who gives vinegar bottles, full of notes addressed to her unknown mother, to the local townspeople who gladly throw them over bridges for her in the hopes they may find their way to her mother.

In fact, my hub was wearing a Heisenberg t-shirt the other day,  the one with Walter White’s face on the front, and my daughter proclaimed, “That man looks just like Detective Joe Starr!”  Starr, a male main character Mo didn’t like due to the “hook of his nose, or the plane of his cheekbones . . . [and] the way he didn’t smile”  (13).  Of course, I had to quickly turn my back to disguise the tears of joy running down my face at this unfolding, before those same eyeballs (mine), of literacy in action.

Three Times Lucky, while containing some heavy themes (domestic violence, alcoholism, murder), does so in a manner which is not only digestible for the young reader but also educational.

With my oldest looking forward to discussion of Turnage’s book at an actual cafe, Sgt. Pepper’s Cafe in Edwardsville, I am looking forward to witnessing firsthand the love of reading at this young age.

Update:  Discussion rocked at Sgt. Pepper’s Cafe.  Topics spanned from the many combinations which represent family to the yummy ice cream which topped off our savory lunches.  Yummers!

Next discussion:  Miss Kirstin’s pick of Magic Kitten:  A Summer Spell