Mustafa Kaya Kaya itibaren Gbiska, Polonya
Turner is a magnificent artist. The commentary was more muddled and incomprehensible than Turner's late work (which I truly admire).
What I learned from this book...Turkey is swell if you like donerkabobs and chicken adana and as long as you're not Kurdish or Armenian. I kid, I kid...kind of. Great survey of modern Turkey. Also check out his biography of Ataturk.
** spoiler alert ** I am Tama, Lucky Cat by Wendy Henrichs is told from the point of view of a cat in Japan in search of a home. He approaches a dilapidated temple one evening, where he is found by an old monk. Tama greets the monk in his usual way--by raising one paw in a waving motion. The monk names him Tama, which means luck, and takes him in. By living with his master, Tama learns Buddha's ways. Tama brings good luck in small ways throughout the book--for example, but catching the mice that invade the temple's rice supply. At the end of the book, a warrior on horseback happens by the temple during a storm. Tama raises his paw in greeting, and the warrior approaches the temple, feeling that the cat is calling him forward. Just after, a bolt of lightning strikes the tree the warrior had taken shelter under, and a large branch falls where the warrior had been standing. The warrior feels that Tama has saved his life, and in turn, he helps the temple thrive. There's a nice symmetry between the beginning and the end of the book. The master saves Tama's life in the beginning. Tama, in turns, "pays it forward" in a way and saves the warrior's life, which in turn saves the temple and his master's life. I Am Tama, Lucky Cat is a beautiful and quiet picture book. In a time when the publishing industry is cutting down on the amount of picture books they publish, and the emphasis is on quick & lean writing, it's hard to find new books with the kind of poetic writing Henrichs uses. That being said, the story certainly doesn't drag. Each page moves us along nicely as we learn about Tama's role in the temple, as well as what the master has to teach the farmers of the area where he lives. Although I knew of the Asian tradition that waving cats are meant to be good luck, I have never heard the legend behind this tradition. Henrichs does a nice job of illuminating the tale is a way that is informative for children, but still holds high interest level and does not feel didactic. I showed this story to my first grade class (on my digital reader) and they enjoyed the story greatly. The illustrations of this book are lovely. The attention to detail in the pictures brings the temple alive on the page, and the soft color palette used invokes the fairy tale feeling of a fable on an intrinsic level. With the combination of the illustrations and the kid-friendly way this legend is retold, I could definitely see this book being one pulled off a shelf for read aloud again and again.
We live in an age of cynicism. Maybe it was Watergate, or the Vietnam War, or the first movie star president; but whenever someone is labeled an All-American hero, we all know it's just a matter of time before they're exposed as a drug addict, philanderer or pedophile. Maybe it's just an illusion of history, but it seems that there was a time when this didn't happen so regularly. From a modern, cynical perspective it seems impossible that Abraham Lincoln could really be as brilliant, compassionate and morally upstanding as history has painted him - there must have been some skeletons in his closet that have never been revealed. But by harkening back to a simpler time and casting all negativity aside, Meeting Mr. Lincoln provides plenty of unadulterated evidence of Honest Abe's great integrity. You can read the rest of my review at Meeting Mr. Lincoln.