Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Birds of a Feather - a bookwrap

What is an Idiom?

Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions that cannot be taken literally.  In other words, when used in everyday language, they have a meaning other than the basic one you would find in the dictionary.  Every language has its own idioms.  Learning them makes understanding and using a language a lot easier and more fun!

For example, “break a leg” is a common idiom. 

Literal meaning:  I command you to break a bone in your leg and you should probably go to the doctor afterwards to get it fixed.

Idiomatic meaning:  Do your best and do well.  Often, actors tell each other to “break a leg” before they go out on stage to perform.



Authored by Vanita Oelschlager

Illustrated by Robin Hegan

Unwrapping some illustrations...

Unwrapping the book...

This delightful book will have kids laughing while teaching them the true meaning of an "idiom." Kids generally love language and the playfulness of it.  Sometimes sayings don't necessarily mean what they say.  

Birds of a Feather is a lesson in the discovery of the meaning of an idiom.  Fun phrases such as "Ants in your pants," "Goosebumps", "Raining Cats and Dogs", "Bringing home the bacon" (just to name a few) are brilliantly illustrated in colourful, expressive and humorous images to describe the literal meaning of the phrases.  

The reader is engaged by invitation to guess the "proper" or literal meaning. Thankfully the author has placed the answers upside down on the corner of each two-page spread.  At the end of the book she defines the meaning of the word idiom and challenges the reader to do some research and find the 'hidden' meanings of the ones that "tickle their fancy." This would be great to have older kids research the origin of the idiom(s) that they have chosen and then share it with the rest of the class.  An example was given by the author herself.  The one she chose was "bark up the wrong tree."   

" Here is the 'hidden' meaning. During colonial times in America, raccoon hunting was a popular sport.  Trained dogs would chase a raccoon up a tree and bark curiously at the base until the hunter came.  Sometimes a raccoon could escape to the branches of another tree, and another, getting away and leaving the dog barking up the wrong tree. "

This book is not only a fun read but educational also.  It would be a great book for beginning readers as well as for English as a Second Language students.  

About the author...

VanitaBooks publishes books for children ages 4-8 that are short tales teaching a moral or value. Each book presents a dilemma or fear that a child may have, and resolves those issues through the loving and reassuring guidance of a parent, or through the plot of the story itself. VanitaBooks donates all net profits to charities where "people help people help themselves."

About Vanita
Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, former teacher, current caregiver and, for almost ten years, author and poet.

She was born and raised near Pittsburgh. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as a Trustee.

She has also supported and helped Jim as he built Oak Associates, ltd. into a successful investment management firm.
Today, as an accomplished author, Vanita shares openly the experiences that she, Jim and their families have had with multiple sclerosis. She has likened MS to living with an elephant, one that won't go away or be ignored. Together, she and Jim have found ways to live with this "elephant", and to share some of the larger lessons about life they've learned through the disease.

About the illustrator...

About Robin

Robin Hegan is a published illustrator of children's books. Robin grew up in the Laurel Mountains of Pennsylvania where imagination took her and her childhood friends on many adventures. After graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Integrative Arts, Robin resided in Ohio for several years until her and her husband Matt decided to return to that small town in Pennsylvania to raise their two beautiful girls. In addition to Mother Goose, Other Goose, Robin’s illustrations can also be seen in My Grampy Can’t Walk and The Lizard House Adventure. Published credits of Robin Hegan include Birds of a Feather: A Book of Idioms and Sily Pictures, Mother Goose/Other Goose and My Grampy Can't Walk.

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