Saturday, November 7, 2009

Georgia Rises


All of the picture book biographies or historical fiction texts that I have read recently have a similar thread running through them. All of the figures portrayed in the texts have a curiosity that sustained them throughout their life. Reading these texts to students can perhaps inspire them to find their passion.

Georgia Rises, written by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Ora Eitan, imagines a day in the life of painter Georgia O'Keefe. Drawing inspiration from O'Keefe's letters, Lasky takes us through a day in the New Mexico desert as Georgia pulls inspiration from different time settings. She wakes early in the morning to capture the lavender that appears with the first morning light. The afternoon brings a brilliant blue that contrasts with the whiteness of the bone that fascinates O'Keefe. Night time contrasts the dark sky with a slice of the moon.

Lasky writes wonderful details that can be a model for writer's workshop. Georgia Rises could also serve as an introduction to the use of time lines. Ora Eitan's lovely watercolor illustrations remind me of James Stevenson's work on When I Was Nine.

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