Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney

a picture book by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Erik Blegvad
"My cat Barney died last Friday. I was very sad.

My mother sat down on my bed, and she gave me a hug.

She said we could have a funeral for Barney in the morning.

She said I should think of ten good things about Barney so I could tell them at the funeral."

The little boy has a problem though. He can only think of nine. But later, after helping his father in the garden, he discovers the tenth, and understands that Barney will always be special to him.

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney is a heartwarming story that shows children how to cope with the death of a loved one. I remember I received this book from my parents after my hamster, Spotty, died. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney showed me that remembering the good things about Spotty would always keep him alive in my heart.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Bat Boy & His Violin

a picture book by Gavin Curtis, illustrated by E. B. Lewis
"I sashay my bow across the violin strings the way a mosquito skims a summer pond."

Reginald loves his violin. His beautiful music can "make the hairs on the back of my neck do a jig."

But Papa could care less about Reginald's "fiddling." Being the manager of the Dukes, a basketball team in the Negro National League, Pap is more concerned about the team's losing streak.

When Papa makes Reginald the Dukes' bat boy, Reginald is worried that he won't have time to practice and prepare for his violin recital.

Between batters and innings, Reginald uses every free moment to play, and his beautiful music fills the dugout. Coincidentally, the Dukes' losing streak turns around and they start winning their games. But, with a very important game against the Monarchs coming up, there's still Papa's heart that needs winning over.

The Bat Boy & His Violin is a moving story of family ties and team spirit. E. B. Lewis's paintings bring the warmth of the story to life. This book will inspire all who read it. I know it inspired me!