With muted watercolor illustrations,Suzanne Slade’s Dangerous Jane offers a biography of Jane Addams that teaches children of Addams childhood and her main accomplishments including her European travels, her bringing the idea of a settlement house to Chicago where she opened Hull House, to her speaking up for peace and winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Alice Ratterree’s illustrations convey a gentle past era, which doesn’t quite jive with the dire poverty and horrors of WWI, but it’s a children’s book so I understand the choice..
This short biography will acquaint children with a great woman.
Good for ages 4 to 7
Written by Mark Reibstein and illustrated by Ed Young Wabi Sabi is a poetic book about Japan. Here Wabi Sabi is a cat, who’s puzzled by her name. She sets off to find someone wise enough to explain her inexplicable Japanese name.
Brown Wabi Sabi consults wise Snowball
The idea of a hero seeking answers to a perplexing question is nothing new in children’s literature. You see it in the The Wizard of Oz, Are You My Mother? and a slew of others. What I liked best in this journey was Reibstein’s inclusion of classic haiku like:
An old straw mat, rough
on cat’s paws, pricks and tickles . . .
hurts and feels good, too.
Young’s collages illustrate the book and do offer the messiness of wabi sabi, a cultural term that according to I wasn’t wild about the collages. Perhaps I’d have preferred water colors or another medium, which could include mistakes and thus illustrate the concept. Young does communicate wabi sabi, I just wasn’t a big fan of this style.
I’d definitely use this book in class and advise getting it from the library.
I’ve been told that wabi sabi refers to beauty that’s got imperfections such as age or wear.