Monday, January 9, 2012

Take the Challenge!

Happy New Year everyone. I'm not one for resolutions (or keeping them), but this year I've decided to take the 2012 Nonfiction Picture Book reading challenge. Founded by Alyson Beecher of Kit Lit Frenzy and co-hosted by The Nonfiction Detectives, this challenge is to get more people reading and talking about kids nonfiction picture books. What could be bad about that?

Various bloggers and people with GoodReads shelves can read and review nonfiction books. If they sign up with Kit Lit Frenzy or The Nonfiction Detectives, those reviews will also be published once a week throughout the year. It's a way to get the word out about a lot of great books. And a place to find out about a lot of great books.

So once a month when I post, I will also include a short review of a book. Part of my personal challenge is that I'm going to try to alert people to some of the new books coming out in 2012. Since it's January 9th and I haven't had a change to find any 2012 candidates, I'm going to recommend a book that I think is timeless--Dance by Bill T. Jones and photographed by our own I.N.K. colleague Susan Kuklin.

In Dance, Kuklin photographed Jones against white backdrop so he is all we see as he stretches, curls, leaps and floats through the air. His expressive body and a spare lyric text celebrate the joy of movement.

Consider the child who gets to see hear the following words brought to life by pictures of Jones' beautiful movements:
When I am dancing,
I am thinking
and I am feeling.
When I am dancing
I am everywhere,
and I am hardly there.
When I am dancing,
I am everyone,
and I am only one.
I want to dance.

This book gives children the words to describe and understand how they feel when they move. What a gift.

Stupidly, shamefully, this book is out of print. I can only hope Jones and Kuklin got the rights back. And that you can find it in your library.


Michelle Cusolito said...

This book is new to me. It looks lovely. I'll try my library.

Sue Macy said...

Maybe Susan can redo the book as an app, pairing the poems with video of Jones dancing. Wouldn't that be great?

Susan Kuklin said...

Wow, Susan! You certainly made my day! My week! My year! Thanks so much for your beautiful blog about DANCE. Seeing the book online - and not just on a shelf above my desk - brings back such special memories.

DANCE is so deep in my heart, it just kills me that it is out-of-print. Working with Bill T. Jones, creating language to movement, interpreting movement to the page, is a privilege that comes with writing and photographing nonfiction. We are so lucky.

And Sue, an app is a terrific idea. I do have the rights and will forward this to Bill.

Happy New Year everyone. And again, thanks so much Susan.

Susan E. Goodman said...

Happy to make you happy, but your book has made me happy for years.
And I love Sue's idea too. I was actually thinking about the possibilities when I mentioned the rights in my post, from a simple e rendition that would work on Ipads etc to something what would take a line or section of movements or feeling that is expressed through dance and the user could activate Jones doing these things. There are a lot of things you could do. I really hope you do something. The book deserves a second life. Then who knows, with something like that, maybe you can find a way to resurrect the print copy.

Alyson Beecher said...

Thanks for taking part in the non-fiction picture book challenge, and thanks for connecting your post.

spicyreaderguy said...

Susan, I just read this book to my first graders last week as I have EVERY year since I bought it when it first came out. This book is ALWAYS a smash hit with my students, both boys and girls. It works as a movement book. It works as a poetry book. It works as a sports book. It works as a book to explore all sorts of ideas. I cannot believe it is not in print! I have thousands of books in my classroom and this book is one that I read EVERY year. It is that good!