Eaarly Birds

Aug 01, 2022 by Rose O'Keefe

It had strong characters: a mighty old patriarch, worried about his people starving in a hostile land, petitioned the heavens for guidance. An eagle plunged into a fire, two emerged and then a giant eagle red as blood. The patriarch’s sons returned with food and led them to hill country by a misty lake. From magical moon maidens came the violent birth of a boy. His mother’s death in childbirth started Attila the Hun’s drive to destroy and conquer all in his path on the way to their promised land. It’s a fast-read and a page-turner, but it’s hard to fathom how adults thought the adventures of a powerful leader who slaughtered millions, was suitable for children.

On a peaceful note, the two-page photo spread in The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, (July 25) from NASA of far distant nebula was marvelous. It was a pleasure to behold. The Humanity Behind the Headlines pages gave a look at three young women wounded in the Ukraine. No two alike. The Science and Nature pages had a good report on how people in New Orleans addressed the constant floodwaters that inundate their neighborhoods. Water Wise Gulf South caught on in 2013, and Angela Chalk and Healthy Community Services teamed up with them in 2017. Organizers identified neighborhoods most at risk and held a workshop on green infrastructure. One open-minded neighbor invited Wise Water to build a bioswale, a ditch that collects runoff water, in her backyard. Green infrastructure uses natural ways from rain barrels at home, permeable pavers, to large waste-water systems. It's many smaller steps in the right direction. In Points of Progress, Houston, Texas reduced its status of having one of the highest rates of unhoused people in the nation, by re-homing 25,000 people in the last decade. Their coordinated “housing first” strategy addressed substance abuse, mental health problems and unemployment. Well done!

Although I get the KIDLIT411 weekly email, I don’t always read it promptly. One issue highlighted Mushroom Rain by Laura K. Zimmerman, that came out in June. It looked so beautiful, I placed it on hold and got it a few days later. This gorgeous book not only has marvelous illustrations by Jamie Green, it also has amazing facts I’d never heard of, such as certain mushrooms can seed the clouds and cause rain. Huh. Clearly the author and illustrator love mushrooms.   

blog post. #amreading; #RochesterNY; #NewberyAward; #TheWhiteStag; #KateSeredy; #CSMWeekly; #NASA; #Nebula; #Ukraine; #WaterWiseGulfSouth;