January 16, 2016

The Challenge Continues . . . Buckeye Book Award Reading Challenge 1999

And the reading challenge continues!  As stated in a previous post, my librarian friend Ashley Lambacher of the Book Talker and I are hosting the Buckeye Book Award Reading Challenge.  Our goal is to read all the past winners from the children’s book category in chronological order from 1982 to the present.  I will read the K-2 picture book winners and Ashley will read the 4-8/3-5 chapter book winners.  Because 1998 was skipped, today I continue my challenge by reading the winner of the K-2 Buckeye Book Award in 1999, Verdi by Janel Cannon.

The story begins by introducing Verdi, a just-hatched yellow python, who after seeing how crotchety and lazy his elders are decides not to become like them.  Verdi is a spry snake that flings himself about the trees, a little too adventurous for his own good.  While fretting over the color change in his scales and slithering about, Verdi gets himself into a heap of trouble and is rescued by the adults.  As he recovers from an injury, he learns some interesting things about his peers and discovers that getting older isn't such a bad thing after all, so long as you remain young at heart.  Cannon's layout and illustrations are similar to those in her popular Stellaluna, with stunningly realistic and vibrant pictures in acrylic and pencil that feature bright greens and yellows.  I love the message of this story about growth and choices, and ultimately discovering that age is merely a number.

Ashley, your upcoming 1999 is a Wayside School book by Louis Sachar.  At least it’s not another scary book!

Would you like to join Ashley and I as we read through Ohio’s award winning books?  We welcome any and all who are interested in participating in this fun reading challenge.  For more information, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Verdi (and all of Janell Cannon's books) are recent discoveries of mine. Because my initial focus in education was not below 5th grade, and because I was in middle school when Cannon began releasing books, these never crossed my path. I'll never forget the incredulous look I received from a teacher about 7 years ago when I had said I'd never heard of Stellaluna.

    But after reading Stellaluna, and then found Verdi, and while I know Stellaluna is a favorite for many, I found Verdi to be my favorite of Cannon's books. I love the vibrant colors used in the pictures and I found the story to be very touching. I like the underlying message of everyone is different and does things differently, and that's okay -- you don't need to stop being yourself.