Friday, October 25, 2013

Illustrator Reveal! and Perfect Picture Book Friday

I've been sitting on this news for awhile, and finally have been given the green light to announce it publicly:

One Plastic Bag will be illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon!

Those of you who know the story of One Plastic Bag and are familiar with Ms. Zunon's work already know how perfect this illustrator choice is for my book about a West African environmental leader. But if you don't know her work—don't worry! Today's Perfect Picture Book review will introduce you to Elizabeth Zunon's amazing talent and artistry.

Today's Perfect Picture Book selection is. . .

LALA SALAMA: A Tanzanian Lullaby

Title: Lala Salama: A Tanzanian Lullaby

Author: Patricia Maclachlan (Newbery-award winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall)

Illustrator: Elizabeth Zunon (illustrator of My Hands Sing the Blues and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind)

Publisher: Candlewick, 2011

Genre: Picture Book

Ages: 3-7

Topics: Lullaby, Bedtime, Africa (Tanzania), Love, Culture/Multicultural

Opening Page:

Long ago, this morning,
the sun rose
above the hill
above our house,
spilling light over the hills of the Congo
and the lake with the beautiful name,
like a song.

Lala salama, little one.

Why I chose this book: 

Apart from the absolutely stunning illustrations and soft, poetic text, this book presents a slice of life in an African country (Tanzania) that is safe, calm, warm, and loving. It focuses on the progression of a day and the relationship of a family. While infused with words and experiences different from those of many of its readers, the book focuses on some of the universal human experiences and emotions that unite us all. Plus—it's a great "wind down" bedtime story (what mother doesn't love having a few of those around?).

If you're not familiar with Perfect Picture Book Fridays, by the way, visit Susanna Hill's blog here.

Additional Activities:

The book's title is a Swahili phrase for "sleep well." TIME magazine for kids has a website where you can learn some more Swahili phrases with your children or students here:

In the book, the baby is carried on Mother's back. One activity to try with students, (using dolls), is to take a large cloth or sheet and try carrying a baby doll around on the back! Watch this two-minute video for pictures and a video at the end so you can see how to lay out the cloth and tie knots at the top and bottom:

Lake Tanganyika is also one of the worlds largest, longest, and deepest freshwater lakes. You can use this book as an opportunity to open up a unit on water around the world. Here's an article with a little more information on this great African lake:

And here's a fact sheet with a chart about the largest lakes of the world (by volume):

Have fun reading and learning. I can't wait to see the art that Elizabeth Zunon will create for my book. Today is such a thrilling day! Thanks for stopping by!


Joanne Roberts said...

Congratulations, Miranda! I know this illustrator's work from The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

This looks beautiful, thank you for posting it. And congratulations on your news!

Julie Hedlund said...

I could not imagine a more perfect illustrator! Congratulations Miranda! So happy for you.

Miranda Paul said...

Thank you @Joanne, @Beverly, and @Julie! So glad you could stop by today.

Wendy said...

Exciting news and a beautiful book highlighted all in one! Congratulations, Miranda.

Anonymous said...

Lucky, lucky you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this book. Her work is amazing!
Congratulations in getting the perfect illustrator for your vision of your text!!!

Tina Cho said...

She is the perfect illustrator for your story! Beautiful!

Lori Degman said...

Her work is beautiful, Miranda! I can't wait to read and/see the book!! Congrats!!

Patricia T. said...

Congratulations Miranda. I love the illustrator's work, as I've reviewed 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind." Oh, so beautiful! Look forward to reading your book!

I love your Tanzanian choice. Another book to share it with our niece and her organization. She's always searching for books to share with her supporters.

Jarm Del Boccio said...

Fascinating to take a peek into another culture. . .I'm amazed at the ingenuity of folks in third world countries. I lived for two years in the Papua New Guinea bush as a missionary teacher. The people there made use of every type of material, and even garbage that others cast off. Thanks for sharing this, Miranda!

Ellen L. Ramsey said...

Fantastic news, Miranda. With her illustrations, it will be an exquisite book.

Joanna said...

I too know the illustrator from THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND,which I love. This is the perfect choice for your story.

I love this choice today, too.

Miranda Paul said...

Thank you everyone for the awesome notes and encouragement here on my blog and on FB/Twitter. I think the sense of family and community in this particular book is echoed in our #kidlit community! May this book inspire you to dream, love words, and focus on those universal aspects of life that unite us all.

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