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wordless

Unspoken: Wordless Wednesday

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Unspoken: Wordless Wednesday

It's Wordless Wednesday! 

“What would you do if you had the chance to help a person find freedom?”  

This is the question posed by Henry Cole’s wordless picture book, Unspoken.  Set during the Civil War, a young girl, living on a farm in Virginia, discovers an escaped slave hiding in the cornstalks of her family’s storehouse.  

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Frightened at first, the girl flees the barn.  As she goes about her day, she becomes increasingly concerned about her visitor’s well-being.  After supper, and unbeknownst to her family, the girl decides to smuggle food out to the storehouse.  

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Each day, she returns and each day, the danger increases, both for the girl's family and her hidden visitor.  Confederate soldiers pass by the farm regularly and bounty hunters come in search of the slave.

One evening, when the girl returns to the storehouse, she discovers that her visitor has vanished, presumably to safety in the North, thanks to her efforts. 

Cole has said that he set out to depict “the courage of everyday people who were brave in quiet ways”.  You can read Unspoken as a Civil War story but this wordless picture book speaks volumes about compassion.  How will you be brave in a quiet way today?

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Chalk: Wordless Wednesday

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Chalk: Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

My daughter has always delighted in putting pen to paper.  Since some of her earliest creations were rather abstract, I got into the habit of asking her to tell me about her pictures. As only a child can, she came up with stories that were as fantastic as the art.

Bill Thomson’s wordless picture book, Chalk (Marshall Cavendish, 2010), speaks to that same power – the power of a child’s imagination.

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One day, three friends discover a bag of chalk in the park.  Unable to resist the bright colors (and the infinite possibilities), the children decide to play with the chalk. The first little girl chooses the yellow chalk and draws a picture of the sun on the ground.

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When the sun comes to life and drives away the rainclouds, the children discover that they have found no ordinary sidewalk chalk.

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Limited only by their imagination, the children use the chalk to transform their surroundings. 

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The results are both beautiful...and surprising. 

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"Everything you can imagine is real," said Pablo Picasso.  Gift this book and a box of chalk to your child and watch his imagination come to life.

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Wave: Wordless Wednesday

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Wave: Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

The first Wednesday of every month, I plan to share one of my favorite wordless pictures book with you.

I know today is August 7th but Fall is just around the corner. Wouldn’t you like summer to last just a little bit longer? 

The first word that comes to mind when I think of summer is beach.  Do you remember the first time you visited one?  Were you scared of the water or did you rush right in?  Did the roar of the waves frighten you or make you giggle?  Perhaps you felt all of those things at once?   Suzy Lee’s wordless picture book, Wave (Chronicle Books, 2008) captures these ambivalent feelings perfectly.  Wave is the story of a little girl’s first encounter with the beach.  At first, she is afraid to go into the water.  As the waves roll in, she beats a hasty retreat.  Her trepidation quickly turns into fascination and she approaches the ocean to explore.  With each step, she grows braver and, soon, she is not only frolicking in the waves, but taunting them.  Much to the girl’s surprise, the ocean proves to be a mischievous and powerful playmate - an enormous wave crashes down upon her.  Angry at first, she sticks out her tongue; her anger turns to delight when the wave recedes and she finds a trove of shells on the sand.

Wave is no ordinary book about a day at the beach; Lee explores the power of the natural world, depicts the wonder of a child’s curiosity and introduces the theme of friendship in a playful way. Words really don’t do this wordless book justice.  Click on the picture to watch a lovely trailer about Wave from Chronicle Books.

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