Sunday, October 30, 2005

Maine--additions to the State Guide books

We recently traveled to Maine, and first of all, I want to recommend Alicia's state-by-state guide page here. I took all the Maine books out from our library before we traveled, and they were a great way to introduce my children to the place we were going.

As we traveled, we stopped in many bookstores and libraries (we like to do that) and I discovered several more Maine books to add to Alicia's list, which she has graciously done. She asked if I'd like to add commentary, because she currently doesn't have any on that particular page, so here goes.

The best book we read was:
The Sea Chest by Toni Buzzeo (Mary GrandPre-illustrator)
a beautiful and touching story (you'll need tissue) about adoption, and wonderful retelling of an old Maine legend. It always amazes me what authors can do in under 1000 words. The Great-Aunt is telling the little girl about how a baby was found washed up on the shore of Maine after a terrible storm. There is a note pinned to her, the sea captain and his wife set the baby in the chest and hoped she would make it. This part of the story is based on a popular Maine legend (and in fact, I believe that the Shirley Temple movie Captain January, is based on this same legend). Then we find out that the reason the Great-Aunt is telling the story, is because the little girl's parents have gone across the sea to get their new little adopted daughter. The story was beautiful and brought me to tears. Anyone who has adoption in their family will love this story.


E.B.White lived in Maine (and they claim he is a Maine author)

L is for Lobster by Cynthia Furlong Reynolds (Jeannie Brett-ill)

This is one of those state Alphabet books, and I like them because they introduce at least 26 ideas about the state, or things that are important to that state. (I recently looked at the Wisconsin book, which I believe is B is for Badger, and found that they had, indeed, covered what I thought was the essence of Wisconsin).

I saw another lobster book, which I cannot find on the internet, it was either a DK book or an Usborne book, and told all about the life cycle of the lobster, and we found that fascinating, since we were in lobster territory.

Keep the Lights Burning Abbie by Peter Roop and Connie Roop

This is a great story about a young girl who, because of a storm, is left alone in the lighthouse, and must keep the light burning. She succeeds in doing a great job. A good introduction to the lighthouses of Maine, too.

Birdie's Lighthouse by Deborah Hopkinson

Another lighthouse book.

Miss Rumphius and
Island Boy by Barbara Cooney (Maine Author)

I think it was Cay who introduced me to this author/illustrator, she was all over Maine, in every bookstore, display case and library shelf! And her books are lovely as well as sweet. There are many other books written by this same author, I recommend them all.

I was thinking that whenever any of us travel, we should try to make a point of jotting down state book titles for this state-by-state guide. Some of the states need help, as you can see. Let's help Alicia fill in this list a little fuller.

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