In this blog feature, I share a picture book I really enjoy and externalize my process of reading it. I’m hoping this will be useful for those of you who are?educators sharing books with kids and perhaps give you ideas of some?elements you could include?in your book discussions.
Under the Freedom Tree
by Susan VanHecke, illus by London Ladd
Part 1 here?and Part 2 here
After I read the book, I read the Author’s Note at the back. It has a lot more details about the laws during the Civil War and why General Butler didn’t return the escaped slaves. It also tells about the Emancipation Oak today. I like learning more details. I notice the language isn’t nearly as mysterious or beautiful in the Author’s Note as it is in the actual story. There is also a Bibliography that lists where VanHecke got her information. I won’t be double-checking these or reading these other books or sites, but I like seeing her research. It makes me feel like she knows her stuff and I can trust that what she says is true. I think a little about her poetic language in a nonfiction book. It’s always a fine line. Stars don’t really hold their breath, of course. But I think a nonfiction book can still use beautiful poetic language and things like anthropomorphism (where you make something that is not alive act human) and have the book be nonfiction. Figurative language is not meant to be taken literally. More to come next week, I think.
CCRA.R.3, CCRA.R.5, CCRA.R.6, CCRA.R.9