Barb’s Reading Roundup

Guess what! Stitching for Literacy has two children’s book professionals guest-blogging during the 2010 Bookmark Challenge. They’ve chosen some of their favorite books to share with us.

Imogene’s Last Stand

Written by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

You gotta love Imogene. Talk about plucky. Imogene has loved history all her young life, and is eager to share that love with her fellow man, woman, or child. When she learns that her beloved Liddleville Historical Society is slated for demolition to make room for a shoelace factory that “will put the little town on the map,” our determined little history buff leaps into action. But, alas, her indefatigable and imaginative pleas and appeals fall on deaf ears among the genuinely good-natured townspeople. All too soon, the day of reckoning looms and all looks lost. But a chance discovery among the Society’s holdings gives Imogene a spark of hope, if she can just buy some time.

Imogene is fond of quoting history, and Carpenter throws amusing visual quotes into the illustrations as well. Fleming’s story is as winning as her heroine, and Carpenter’s illustrations perfectly capture and enhance the action. (One nice touch that I was especially tickled by was that, when the President of the United States turns up, she just happens to be a woman, and a person of color, to boot. No fuss, no bother.)

This is no dull, duty-driven history story, as is the case with so many of the books for children out there with a history bent. This is a terrific picture book for any child, that just happens to be about a love of history. Imogene’s Last Stand engages the reader (and listener) in the action and can’t help but pull us along to an appreciation of history and its place in our daily lives. After all, in the immortal words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “we are made by history.”

Barb Weber has been a fan of children’s books all her life (she still has her copy of her favorite Golden Book, The Little Yellow Taxi, torn page and all, and it still chokes her up), and has been a children’s bookseller for over ten years. She likes nothing better than to share her enthusiasm and bring terrific books to people’s attention. And her sister-in-law, Jen, is finally making her do something about it for a wider audience.

Categories: Reading

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