Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What's Mr. Giso Making "Room to Read?" Pick #1

The Boy of the Three-Year Nap
By:  Dianne Snyder
Illustrated By:  Allen Say


I teach children's literature at the university level.  Anyone that knows me would be able to testify that it's a huge interest of mine.  In particular, but not exclusively, I LOVE the art of the picture book.  Three out of the four walls in my classroom are lined with them.  The fourth wall has storage cubbies which houses what?  MORE books!  It's no wonder why "Room to Read" was the obvious choice in naming by blog.

I came up with this new idea from a colleague to blog about my newest acquisitions in children's literature from time to time.  This is my newest book that arrived at my doorstep today.  By the way, I definitely recommend signing up for an Amazon.com credit card for all your book purchases.  You get money back to buy more books!  Totally worth it.  This one was free for me with points.  You can easily scroll down to the waaaaaaaaay bottom of my blog for a link to Amazon.com, and the book is a click away.

This charming picture book for my first pick, is a Japanese folktale.  To no surprise, it's a Caldecott Honor book.  The story can be told by simply "reading" the illustrations.  One of my undergrads chose it in her oral presentation on character--it was the perfect choice, so I just had to buy it to add to my library.  This book is about a very hard working widowed mother who has a lazy son Taro.  He could sleep for "three years at a stretch" if no one woke him, hence his name "The Boy of the Three-Year Nap.

One may think that this boy is good for nothing.  When a wealthy rice merchant, his wife and his daughter move to town and build a mansion next to Taro's shack, we soon realize what Taro is capable of doing to help his poor mother and to help bring food on the table.  The villagers by the river Nagara soon have a visit from the god ujigami which leads to this book's climax.  My favorite part of this book is when we learn that Taro is not the only one who has a trick or two "up his sleeve." 

Remember to sign up for updates and become a Mr. Giso's Room to Read" © blog member for updated "Bright Ideas" and "Book Picks."  All of my "Book Picks" should be linked at the bottom of my blog.  Happy reading!

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