Illustrator

A September 11 Story


A September 11 Story

A friend gave me Fireboat over the summer. I was prepared to fall in love with it right away since it was written and illustrated by Maira Kalman!!! I idolize her. Her art is so colorful and full of life. Not realizing it was a September 11 story, I dove right in and read it to my three while we were eating dinner. When I turned to the page showing bright blue sky and two planes flying toward the towers, my voice faltered. Like many people who live close to the city, I remember that cloudless, perfect blue sky like it was yesterday.

Fireboat is a heartfelt 9/11 story told through another story, the one about the retired boat John J. Harvey and her call back into action on that fateful day. Originally launched in 1931, the Harvey was the most powerful fireboat of her time. But toward the end of the century as the piers started to close, she was forced into retirement, soon to become scrap. After the attacks that day left the hydrants downtown ineffective, the NYFD called on the mighty Harvey for help! The story goes on to portray all of the incredible people in the community that got together to help that proud and plucky little boat.

If you have never sat down to talk with your kids about the events of that day, reading this heartfelt story is a wonderful way to start that conversation. I love Fireboat because it is a book about many things: It sets forth an adventure, helps commemorate an anniversary, offers an interesting bit of history, celebrates the underdog, and honors the fire-fighting profession.

Before we read this book again tonight, on the anniversary of September 11, we will first light the candles on my daughter’s birthday cake. She turns 10 today!

 

Maurice Sendak


Maurice Sendak

Today we lost beloved children’s book author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak. He was a man who accepted and embraced vulnerability. He understood the fear of the unknown and saw the complexities of mankind, both good and bad. By penning one of the most influential children’s books of the 20th Century, Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak encouraged children and adults to use their imaginations.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Terry Gross:

TG: Can you share one of your favorite comments from reader’s that you’ve gotten over the years?

MS: Oh, there’s so many. Can I give you just one that I really like? It was from a little boy. He sent me a charming card with a little drawing. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters – sometimes very hastily – but this one I lingered over. I sent him a postcard and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim, I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

RIP, Mr. Sendak.

 

Paper Friends


Paper Friends

Illustrator Bianca Helga’s Paper Friends. I just love this idea, using recycled materials to create characters that are instantly friends! This would be a great craft to do at home with scraps, paint, crayons,glue. Anything! And what a nice way to introduce kids to the term “mixed media”.