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      Kiyoshi's Walk

      by Mark Karlins

      Jun 2021

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Where do poems come from? This beautiful picture book about a young aspiring poet and his grandfather shows that the answer lies all around us—if we take the time to look.

      After Kiyoshi watches his grandfather, Eto, compose his delicate haiku, he wonders out loud: "Where do poems come from?" His grandfather answers by taking him on a walk through their city, where they see a cat perched on a hill of oranges; hear the fluttering of wings; imagine what's behind a tall wall; and discuss their walk, with each incident inspiring a wonderful new haiku from Eto. As Kiyoshi discovers that poems come from the way the world outside of us meets the world within each of us, he also finds the courage to write a haiku of his own.

      This lovely book will speak to any reader who treasures poetry, city life, grandparents, or the beauty of the everyday.

      Kafka and the Doll

      by Larissa Theule

      May 2021

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Inspired by a true story, Kafka and the Doll recounts a remarkable gesture of kindness from one of the world’s most bewildering and iconic writers. In the fall of 1923, Franz Kafka encountered a distraught little girl on a walk in the park. She’d lost her doll and was inconsolable. Kafka told her the doll wasn’t lost, but instead, traveling the world and having grand adventures! And to reassure her, Kafka began delivering letters from the doll to the girl for weeks.

      The legend of Kafka and the doll has captivated imaginations for decades as it reveals the playful and compassionate side of a man known for his dark and brooding tales. Kafka and the Doll is a testament to living life to the fullest and to the life-changing power of storytelling.

      Just Being Dalí

      by Amy Guglielmo

      Apr 2021

      Arts Elementary Plus

      This kid-friendly picture book biography celebrates the irrepressible individuality of Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.

      Salvador Dalí just couldn’t help being himself. When he was little, he wasn’t like the other children; he was a daydreamer who liked to play pretend. When he grew up, he became an artist, but he didn’t want to make art that looked like everyone else’s. He became the most famous painter of his time after he made a picture of melting clocks. He liked to do wild, attention-grabbing things: He drove a fancy car stuffed with 1,000 pounds of cauliflower. He gave a speech inside a deep-sea diving suit. And he took his pet ocelot Babou to lunch at snooty restaurants. He designed lollipop wrappers in exchange for free candy, a lobster phone that really worked, and a hat made out of a shoe! Here’s the true story of the one and only Salvador Dalí, an artist who never stopped being himself.

      Jump At the Sun: The True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston

      by Alicia D. Williams

      Mar 2021

      Arts Elementary Plus

      From the Newbery Honor–winning author of Genesis Begins Again comes a shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature.

      Zora was a girl who hankered for tales like bees for honey. Now, her mama always told her that if she wanted something, “to jump at de sun”, because even though you might not land quite that high, at least you’d get off the ground. So Zora jumped from place to place, from the porch of the general store where she listened to folktales, to Howard University, to Harlem. And everywhere she jumped, she shined sunlight on the tales most people hadn’t been bothered to listen to until Zora. The tales no one had written down until Zora. Tales on a whole culture of literature overlooked…until Zora. Until Zora jumped.

      In One Ear and Out the Other: Antonia Brico and Her Amazingly Musical Life

      by Diane Worthey

      Feb 2021

      Arts Elementary Plus

      When men told her that women couldn’t become conductors, Antonia Brico wasn’t listening.

      In a time when women were told they couldn't become conductors, Antonia Brico didn’t listen to discouraging words. Those words went in one ear and out the other.

      The second title in Penny Candy’s Amazing Women Series of nonfiction picture books, In One Ear and Out the Other: The Amazingly Musical Life of Antonia Brico tells the story of one woman’s fight to gain recognition as a conductor in an era when men dominated classical music. The first woman to guest-conduct the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Antonia Brico never secured a permanent conducting job with a major symphony—but her contributions paved the way for the many women conductors to follow. A true visionary in the long fight for equal opportunities for women.

      My Pencil and Me

      by Sara Varon

      Jan 2021

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Sara loves to draw and tell stories, but sometimes it can be difficult to get started. What if she doesn't have any good ideas or her drawings turn out terrible?!

      Lucky for Sara, she has a friend who is always by her side—her pencil. With a little help from Pencil, Sara learns it's okay if her story isn't perfect, as long as she's using her imagination and having fun.

      My Pencil and Me is a playful picture book that’s perfect for young artists, writers, and makers—especially if they struggle with confidence or writer's block.

      The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom

      by Colleen AF Venable

      Dec 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      There is a perfect instrument for everyone, and the jovial band director would love to tell you about them all—if only the enthusiastic little drummer would stop interrupting!

      It’s time to join the band! The band director knows everything about all the instruments, and he can’t wait to help find the perfect one for you. But an irrepressible little girl keeps interrupting with loud BOOM BOOM BOOMS on her drum. At least until the band director introduces one instrument that’s even louder.

      Acclaimed author Colleen AF Venable packs the text with boundless energy and giggle-worthy jokes—as well as information about eight instruments commonly played in school bands. Debut illustrator Lian Cho’s exuberant artwork matches the text note for note and practically leaps off the page. This joyous picture book will leave young readers eager to pick up an instrument and learn how to play!

      Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey of His Life

      by Heinz Janisch

      Nov 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      “If you like, I’ll tell you the story of a boy who learned to fly.”

      Through an enchanted conversation with a young girl in a horse-drawn coach, Hans Christian Andersen shares his life’s struggles, dreams, and triumphs—whose threads can be found woven into his greatest stories. He tells her about the “fairy tale of his life” and how the son of a shoemaker became a celebrated writer.

      Heinz Janisch paints a sensitive portrait of Andersen and his literary work. Maja Kastelic has developed a well-suited illustration concept for this story that combines sumptuous art of a picture book with elements of a graphic novel. Thus, for the first time, H. C. Andersen’s life and work become a fascinating collage in picture book form.

      A moving, inventive story about the life of Hans Christian Andersen.

      Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring

      by Matthew Burgess

      Oct 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Truly devoted to the idea of public art, Haring created murals wherever he went.

      I would love to be a teacher because I love children and I think that not enough people respect children or understand how important they are. I have done many projects with children of all ages. —Keith Haring

      From Matthew Burgess, the much-acclaimed author of Enormous Smallness, comes Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring. Often seen drawing in white chalk on the matte black paper of unused advertising space in the subway, Haring’s iconic pop art and graffiti-like style transformed the New York City underground in the 1980s. A member of the LGBTQ community, Haring died tragically at the age of thirty-one from AIDS-related complications. Illustrated in paint by Josh Cochran, himself a specialist in bright, dense, conceptual drawings, this honest, celebratory book honors Haring’s life and art, along with his very special connection with kids.

      A Thousand Glass Flowers: Marietta Barovier and the Invention of the Rosetta Bead

      by Evan Turk

      Oct 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Marietta and her family lived on the island of Murano, near Venice, as all glassmakers did in the early Renaissance. Her father, Angelo Barovier, was a true maestro, a master of glass. Marietta longed to create gorgeous glass too, but glass was men’s work.

      One day her father showed her how to shape the scalding-hot material into a work of art, and Marietta was mesmerized. Her skills grew and grew.

      Marietta worked until she created her own unique glass bead: the rosetta. Small but precious, the beautiful beads grew popular around the world and became as valuable as gold. The young girl who was once told she could not create art was now the woman who would leave her mark on glasswork for centuries to come.

      Simon at the Art Museum

      by Christina Soontornvat

      Sep 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      Simon is having a great time at the museum with his parents. There are slippery, slidey floors! Pigeons flying around the reflecting pool! And cheesecake in the café! But they’re not really here for any of that. No, Simon has to look at art.

      And more art.

      So. Much. Art.

      There’s so much art that soon Simon needs to take a break and finds somewhere to sit. From his bench, he begins to notice how many different people are visiting the museum and the many different ways they react to the art they see. Some people are alone. Some are in groups. Some people smile. Some shake their heads. Some even shed a tear. And Simon is right in the center of it, watching until he’s inspired to give all the art another try. By the end of the day, he may even find a piece that can rival a slice of cheesecake!

      World of Glass: The Art of Dale Chihuly

      by Jan Greenberg

      Sep 2020

      Arts Elementary Plus

      His crew calls him Maestro. Thousands of fans call him a magician. Over the past five decades, Dale Chihuly (b. 1941) has created some of the most innovative and popular works of art in museums and gardens around the world. Authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan met with Chihuly in his studio for exclusive interviews discussing his early life, his passion for glassblowing, and his dazzling works.

      Lavishly illustrated with Chihuly’s art and family photographs, this book discusses Chihuly’s workshop and his glassblowing technique.
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