Thursday, June 30, 2016

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog - a bookwrap

Preparing for his very important job... he's a library dog!


Authored and Illustrated by Lisa Papp

Ages 3-8

Unwrapping some delightful illustrations for you...

About the book..

Having been involved in the elementary school system for many years as a teacher, librarian, drama teacher, special education teacher and principal I could so relate to kids who have difficulty reading.  The agony and pain that they experience is heart wrenching and I did everything that I could to build success into their reading journey. Today's book is a beautiful, positive message how one little girl, Madeline, overcame her struggles and finally learned to make reading her friend.

"Madeline Finn does not like to read.
Not books.
Not magazines, Not even the menu on the ice cream truck."

Her heart's desire is to obtain that coveted gold star that rewards kids for accurately reading words outloud and especially for understanding those words that she reads.  

She tries and tries but reading is hard and she finds the words and ideas intimidating and frustrating.  One day when she goes to the library she meets the most gentle and loving reading buddy a girl could ever want.  She is introduced to Bonnie, a kind and patient library dog.  Bonnie attentively lays beside Madeline and doesn't interrupt, judge or make Madeline feel anxious when the words she is reading outloud take some time to dicipher.  No pressure is applied from her buddy so Madeline can relax and practice her reading worry-free.

Kid's need to know that it's fine to make mistakes (we all do) and oftentimes it takes time and practice to grasp a new skill.  Those squiggly lines on the page can magically make sense when they are lovingly taught.  I know of many schools and libraries who use this fabulous canine programme for kids (and some adults too) and the results are truly amazing.  

The illustrations in the book are delightful.   They are charged with emotion and are rendered full page, bursting with colour.  They perfectly connect the feelings of Madeline to the reader visually and that makes a very powerful statement.  

This book would be wonderful to read to beginning readers to help them build confidence in their reading skills and let them know that comprehensive reading is attainable and that it can be fun. I highly recommend this book.

About the author...

I love telling stories . . . whether in words or pictures.  You knew, didn’t you, that paintings tell stories?  As an illustrator, my job is to tell a story with pictures.  I do that with all kinds of tricks . . . color moods, the way a character holds her head (or paws for that matter), and perspective – that can mean up close and personal or far away and lonely.  You can think of picture book illustration like a ballet - a beautiful dance that tells a story.

I learned these skills at a small college in NJ called duCret School of Art.  There I was fortunate to study under famed watercolorist William Senior, and renowned illustrator Peter Caras.  Prior to duCret, I studied one year at the lovely Iowa State University College of Design which was near to my home in Omaha, NE.

Though I began my career as a fine artist, in my twenty years of illustration I’ve painted story boards for Blue Cross, Blue Shield, as well as fashion illustration for Nautica, Van Heusen, and Limited Too.  Along with the usual dress shirts, I once got to illustrate a sprightly group of Elves putting up Christmas decorations in the Van Heusen store - One of my favorite assignments!

What inspires me?  I adore biographies.  Either the written kind, or a deeply moving illustration.  Anyone’s life is captivating if well presented.  And every life is worthy of a story.  Every one.  Be it a flower bud, the barn mouse, or the King of Kalamazoo.  I love to know what makes a person tick . . . Those who watch over them . . . Care for them.  Those who have to let them go.

These are the things that make me want to write, to listen, to hear.  

I’ve been very fortunate to work in such a creative field.  So I plan to keep on learning, keep on creating and, with any luck, share the good stuff!


* My artwork has been in picture books, novels, cards, newspapers, posters, but not really on the fridge.
* I am a firm believer that Nature is our best friend and and biggest teacher.
* I did not win the 6th grade spelling bee...I got out on stationery, or was it station-ary.
* I love frogs, but am still afraid of spiders, despite countless conversations with them.
* My favorite artists are Rien Poortvliet , R & B Herrmann, Jessie Wilcox Smith, Lisbeth Zwerger and some guy named Robert Papp
* My favorite writers are L.M. Montgomery, J.R.R. Tolkien, Kate DiCamillo and...oh, so many goodies out there!
* My best t-shirt says, "SMILE, IT CONFUSES PEOPLE"
* In college I was a valet and I can still swing a car, tail first, into a tight spot second to none.
* I believe everyone has a song to sing.
* If I could do anything it would be to let you know how special you are. So go now and do your part and be special in the world.
* Oh yeah, I'd also like to hold a koala bear, so if you have one, let me know!

Library dogs in action...

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Read on and read always!
It's a wrap.

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