Friday, October 5, 2012

Linnea in Monet's Garden

We're excited to be celebrating the 25th birthday of Linnea in Monet's Garden here at Teach Mentor Texts! Sourcebooks was generous enough to send us a copy of the book to review and a copy of the book to giveaway to one of our amazing readers! This is a charming book that anyone will enjoy. To enter our giveaway, please complete the form after the review. (The giveaway is now closed.

Sourcebooks has also announced a bonus giveaway! They will be giving away a Vera Bradley tote bag at the end of the blog tour on October 25th, 2012. To be entered into the birthday bag giveaway, simply leave us a comment and please include your e-mail address in the comment section. So exciting! 

Title: Linnea in Monet's Garden  
Author: Christina Bjork
Illustrator: Lena Anderson  
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: October 2012 
Genre/Format: Realistic-Historical Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Fall 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most treasured books in the field of children's literature. When it was first published in 1987, Publishers Weekly wrote, "Linnea, a fresh-faced European girl, gives an art history lesson in the gentlest way, through a first-person account. Her story is like a scrapbook, reliving a trip she took to Paris and Giverny to learn about Monet's water-lily paintings. Airy, light-filled watercolors showing Linnea in Monet's environment are juxtaposed with period photographs of the artist and reproductions of the paintings themselves. Also included are Monet's biography, a family tree and a brief guide to Paris."

Now available for the first time in the U.S. in a new enlarged trim size, Linnea will delight a new generation of readers.  
What I Think: I distinctly remember reading this book when I was in elementary school! I loved it! Monet has always fascinated me as an artist. I love his water lily paintings. This book brings his artwork and Monet himself to life through Linnea's story. It actually reminds me of places I visit with my own kids and the people and things we talk to them about. Raising children or teaching children and talking to them about the past is so important and extremely rewarding. It's such a great feeling to bring history to life for kids. Just yesterday, Peanut was telling me about a book he listened to at school that talked about transportation in 1921. He was talking about horses pulling carts and I asked him if he was alive in 1921, if I was alive in 1921, if grandma or papa was alive in 1921, if his great-grandmother (Mamita, we call her) was alive in 1921. Mamita was actually born in 1921. It was merely the beginning of him starting to grasp the abstract concept of time but I could tell he was thinking that the picture he saw looked pretty old.
     I love that Linnea tells her story and how she learned about Monet and then what she experienced when she was able to actually visit Monet's gardens. I love living vicariously through her. Linnea's wonderful friend, Mr. Bloom, an older gentleman who lives upstairs, takes her to Paris and to Giverny to visit Monet's house and his water lilies. The relationship between Linnea and Mr. Bloom make this story so much more special. Adults, especially older adults like grandparents, seem to have such a special relationship with kids. It's fun to watch how kids respond to grandparent-aged adults.
     Art teachers would love this book, in my opinion! It's a great introduction to impressionism and to the artists of that era. Monet is easily my favorite impressionist. I will never forget how this book brought Monet to life for me. I called my mom to ask her if she remembers me reading this book. She said she definitely remembers that I loved it in elementary school and then that I was so excited to be able to go to a Monet exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. It's exciting to experience between real life and what we read in a book. In December, we visited the Art Institute of Chicago with our kids and a close family friend who is a retired art teacher. We were all speechless and motionless as we listened to our friend tell us about the different pieces of art. It was fascinating to hear the story connected with the artwork. Linnea in Monet's Garden is a book that does just that. So perfect for elementary students learning about Monet or art or impressionism.
Read Together: Grades K - 5  
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 5 
Read With: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, The Sixty-Eight Rooms (series) by Marianne Malone, Chasing Vermeer (series) by Blue Balliett, Genius Files (series) by Dan Gutman 
Snatch of Text:  
     "I love flowers (I'm even named after a flower. And that's how Mr. Bloom used to be a gardener. He's retired now, which is good because it means he has lots of time to spend with me.
     When I go visit him, I like to look in a book that Mr. Bloom has about the French artist Claude Monet. Monet loved flowers, too. He painted lots of pictures of them. Probably his best known flower paintings are his pictures of water lilies." (p. 1)
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions, Identifying Story Elements, Using Non-Fiction Text Features 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Expository 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you learned about a time in history - maybe it was while you were on a field trip, from talking with a relative or family friend, or from reading about it in a book. What was it like when history came to life for you? 
Topics Covered: Integration - Art, Painting, Monet, Relationships, Primary Sources, Curiosity 
I *heart* It:


Be sure to visit other blogs on the Linnea in Monet's Garden anniversary blog tour!

10/17: Dad of Divas
10/18: Seeryus Mama

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