It’s February 1st, a month and a day from the start of my maternity leave. And things at school have kicked into high gear since New Year’s while I wind down my school year and try to fit everything in with the kids before I go. I’ll be back for 2 weeks in June, but really this is my end-of-year in a lot of ways.
Three of my 2nd grade girls presented me with this drawing on Wednesday, and I wanted to hug them but thought I would burst into tears. I’m 33 weeks now and highly emotional. I will hug them next week, when it doesn’t take me by surprise.
Last month my mom and I went to the opening of Brian Selznick’s “Wonderstruck in the Panorama” at the Queens Museum of Art. It was an incredible exhibit with a great talk from Mr. Selznick about the time spent studying and capturing the Panorama, a huge presence in Wonderstruck. And I was thrilled to go, I’ve sponsored buildings on that Panorama through the museum.
On Monday Meredith and I went to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met. They’re opening on Mondays just for this exhibit, and you can pay more for a ticket but avoid the now infamously long lines. So worth it, the exhibit is incredible. They don’t allow photos at the exhibit, but check out the link to the exhibit’s blog: there are some excellent photos and videos of the exhibit highlights. Two of my favorite pieces are shown in the “Romantic Gothic and Cabinet of Curiosities” post, the wooden boots (with the leather top) and the spray painted white frock. I loved the stories behind those, the audio guide is a must.
A video he made 2 years ago to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Yesterday my mom and I went to this show at the Park Avenue Armory, and it was one of the coolest installations I’ve ever seen. Joanna S. Rose has loaned her 651 red and white quilts for a free week-long exhibition in conjunction with the American Folk Art Museum. Thinc Design did the installation, and they’ve managed to make an exquisitely modern experience out of a traditional American craft. Modern quilting at its coolest and most accessible. Incredible.
Last week a few classes had some free time in the library after they checked out their library books. One of our special needs students, a 2nd grader, drew this:
He’s such a sweet, unusual little guy. He likes to check out books about trains and tornadoes. I thought this was beautiful. And inspiring, maybe next year I’ll do a library train instead of a library tree.
I had only read Interrupting Chicken when this year’s Caldecotts were announced, partly because the other 2 books were very difficult to find. They were on lists of contenders I was trying to read, but bookstores and public libraries didn’t seem to stock them. So after the awards were announced I finally broke down and bought my own copies.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, written by Philip C. Stead. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead.
I’ve already blogged about how much I positively adore this year’s winner, but I can keep going. This is the kind of book you can imagine reading to your kids one day, and then your grandkids, from the first page. At least it was for me. From the second I saw those bunny slippers next to quiet Amos McGee’s bed, I knew this was a keeper. The details that Erin Stead has included here are so personal, so above and beyond for such a simple story, that you can look at them repeatedly and always discover new things. I think Amos McGee is a sad-eyed widower. My mom thinks he might be developmentally challenged, warm-hearted and full of routines. But we were both thinking about who this gentle man is. And the other characters are equally fascinating and charming. The shy penguin is a particular favorite of mine. And I even love the bus driver. When you see that rabbit reading the paper on the bus, and the driver doesn’t even bat an eyelash, you know this is a good bus driver. Such a perfect, whimsical book for children. Read more on 2011 Caldecotts…