Tag Archives: World War II

The Book Thief

10 Jan

It’s not often that I enjoy a movie as much as I have enjoyed the book.  The Book Thief is an exception.  If you haven’t read the book yet, do so!  If you haven’t seen the movie yet, do so!

booksWithout giving away the whole book, or telling you more than you would see in any book review online, I will say that Markus Zusak tells a marvelous tale of a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany.  Liesel’s story is told by the narrator, Death, who has encountered her on several occasions before he takes her.  As a matter of fact Liesel steals her first book at her brother’s gravesite.  She is forced to grow up and learn the meaning of life amid death.

tbn_5efd39d99fa8ff14Emily Watson plays Liesel magnificently!  She is young, innocent, and beautiful.  She steals books, learns to read, and shares stories orally.  But more importantly, she lives, loves, and survives!

Both the book and the movie are a must.  Treat yourself and someone you love to both experiences.

The Journey That Saved Curious George

16 Dec

This weekend I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Louise Borden, Cincinnati author of several children’s books.  We had a wonderful chat about her research and writing.  I am so lucky to have met her.  She is an amazing author and I am sure you will love this book as much as I do.

The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey

Children’s Biography

Written by Louise Borden

Illustrated by Allan Drummond

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2005

Louise Borden writes this biography with passion for the Reys, German born Jews, who are caught in the mass exodus of Paris in 1940.  Her words allow even the youngest readers (appropriate for ages 8+) to feel the sense of urgency as the German army marches closer and closer to Paris, how many neighbors thought that Hans and Margaret might have been German spies, and how they had to gather all the necessary papers, visas, passports, tickets, and money for their exodus.  Through it all, she keeps the link to Curious George visible to the reader.  She describes how the Reys carried their manuscript and illustrations with them, even though they could carry very little with them as they biked and took trains through France, Spain, and Portugal.  She demonstrates how the Reys often escaped capture by simply showing officials the story and illustrations that would eventually become the first Curious George book.

Allan Drummond illustrates this story precisely.  Every detail is captured in his illustrations.  He too, stays true to the story of Curious George being sure to include  images of the yellow hat, the pipe, and of course George.  Scattered among the detailed illustrations are photos take by Hans and Margaret Rey, copies of letters to and from editors, and Hans Reys personal diary/expense log.

This is definitely a must-read for anyone who knows and loves Curious George, but especially for children (and adults) learning about World War II, the German occupation of France, and the exodus of thousands of Jewish citizens.

http://vimeo.com/35388050

For more information about Louise Borden and Allan Drummond visit their websites.

http://www.louiseborden.com

http://www.allandrummond.com

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