Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Monday, August 9, 2010

The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg

I find it hard to believe any reading parent has not yet discovered Chris Van Allsburg. If you haven’t, though, you are in for a delightful surprise.

You’re not checking this book out for long reading sessions. It’s short on text but long on imagination. He writes picture books that appear in the children’s section of the library but are best appreciated by tweens and adults.

The pictures are remarkable and unique. He has a style all his own. This alone might have won him acclaim; he also adds an element of surprise and fantastical whimsy in his stories. They are always intriguing.

This particular book is a mix of modern fairy-tale/morality tale. Monsieur Bibot unwillingly and ungraciously received sweet figs in return for his dental services. He scoffs at the little old lady who assures him they will make his dreams come true.

Oh, they do.

In a way the ungrateful and greedy man did not foresee.

Each member of your family could enjoy this book as a read-aloud, a read-along, or read-to-self. It’s for you parents, too.

I like to use his book, The Wretched Stone, as a marvelous example of inference…check it out and see what I mean…



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