Friday, April 24, 2015

The Sky Painter Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Title: The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist 
Author: Margarita Engle 
Illustrator: Aliona Bereghici 
Publisher: Two Lions 
Publication Date: April 28th, 2015 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Poetry/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Louis loves to watch birds. He takes care of injured birds and studies how they look and how they move. His father wants him to become an engineer, but Louis dreams of being a bird artist. To achieve this dream, he must practice, practice, practice. He learns from the art of John James Audubon. But as Louis grows up, he begins to draw and paint living, flying birds in their natural habitats.

Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874–1927) is now known as the father of modern bird art. He traveled with many scientific expeditions all over the world. His best-known works—paintings for habitat exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History in New York—are still beloved by visitors today. His art helped to encourage wildlife conservation, inspiring people to celebrate and protect the world of wings.
Poems by Newbery Honor–winning author Margarita Engle and illustrations by Aliona Bereghici capture the life of Louis Fuertes and the deep sense of wonder that he felt when he painted the sky.   
What I Think: Before reading Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt, I didn't know much about John James Audubon. Because Audubon's artwork plays such a key role in that book, I learned how influential he was. Bereghici's artwork in The Sky Painter is beautiful and unique. She has a way of making the vibrant colors sound soft and gentile like the birds she portrays in the illustrations.

I really like how Engle used poetry to break up the story, creating purposeful pauses between pieces of the story. They lyrical text works so well as poems and she offers a variety of samples of descriptive writing to look at. In the snatch of text alone, readers can look at alliteration, rhythm, simile, and metaphor.   

Poetry also offers a great opportunity to look at word choice. Because poetry naturally limits the number of words, it's critical that each word have a purpose. By paying attention to Engle's word choice, we can look at how they create an image that the reader can visualize. Recognizing this connection between reading and writing is helpful as a reader practices good reading strategies as much as for a writer practicing incorporating literary elements to help the reader be able to visualize. 
Read Together: Grade K - 6 
Read Alone: Grade 2 - 6 
Read With: She's Wearing a Dead Bird On Her Head by Kathryn Lasky, Look Up! by Annette LeBlanc Cate 
Snatch of Text:  

"I whistle.
Birds answer.
I follow.
Blue shadows.
White snow.
Clear ice.
The beauty
of flight
like a dance
in the clouds,
a graceful ballet
of wild swans." 
Writing Prompts: Using what you know about descriptive writing to write about something you have observed in nature.  
Topics Covered: Integration - Science, Integration - Art, Nature, Passion, Admiration, Family  
Additional Resources: Margarita Engle is a Cuban American poet and novelist whose work has been published in many countries. Her books include The Poet Slave of Cuba, winner of the Pura Belpré Award for narrative and the Américas Award; The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor book; Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian, a Kirkus Best Book for Children; and The Lightning Dreamer, Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist, winner of the 2014 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Young Adult/Children’s Literature. Margarita lives in California, where she enjoys bird-watching and helping her husband with his volunteer work for wilderness search-and-rescue dog training programs. To learn more, and to download a free activity kit for THE SKY  PAINTER, visit:
Today happens to be Poetry Friday so hop on over to No Water River for other poetry posts!
I *heart* It:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow along on THE SKY PAINTER blog tour!

Mon, Apr 20
Library Fanatic
Tues, Apr 21
Kid Lit Frenzy
Wed, Apr 22
Unleashing Readers
Thurs, Apr 23
5 Minutes for Books
Fri, Apr 24
Teach Mentor Texts
Sat, Apr 25
Booking Mama
Mon, Apr 27
Tues, Apr 28
The Children's Book Review
Wed, Apr 29
Cracking the Cover
Thurs, Apr 30
A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
Fri, May 1
Archimedes Notebook

*Thanks to Blue Slip Media for 
a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review 
and the opportunity to offer this giveaway!*

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