I love words. I love how a great writer can whisper their thoughts onto a page and what appears in our mind is a picture. We see the words, more than that, we feel the words. There is dimension, movement, temperature and colour. Words can build us up and with Shakespearian art they can tear us down. The words we read become a part of us. What is read or read to us become part of who we are and part of our human condition.
I originally wrote this piece in the middle of March. I wrote it to get it out of my head. I never planned on sharing it and this week I reread the words, they still stand. What I do want to add is, that as a collective, teachers are amazing. I have seen us rise. We were able to take what we do in our classes and translate it to support emergency measures of learning and teaching at home. It was a momentous effort. I am proud to say that I am an educator. I stand side by side with my colleagues as we come to the last month of teaching in this new abnormal and all look forward to the opportunity to exhale and regroup over the summer. We all deserve it....
There are those books you GO TO every year and this is one of those. "Winter Is Coming" by Tony Johnson is a book that settles you into the possibilities of the changes in the season. It eases you into the chill through the eyes of a young girl as she documents her observations. Like a scientist she records and illistrates her findings, as a story teller she brings to life what she sees.
Johnson weaves the story using imagery and literary techniques such as voice, similes and anchor lines. It is wonderfully illustrated by Jim LaMarche who entices you to peek into the girl’s journal. Together they have crafted a story that is worthy of sharing with your child or students.
When teachers come to me looking for a book during this time of year I always offer them this book as an example of how authors use language to engage the reader and how a book can start a conversation about so many cross curricular topics. Themes, of season, animals, Indigenous world views, scientific process and the joy of just sitting quietly to mindfully take in the world around you make up the tapestry of this book.
This is my first gift to you as we dive into the Red Book Bag...enjoy.