Please join me next week for Summer Drive-in, a new feature which highlights some of my favorite books-turned movies.
|Renato and the Lion, by text and art by Barbara DiLorenzo|
Written and illustrated by Barbara DiLorenzo
Viking Children's Books, June 2017
Ages 5-7, 44 words
WW II, Art, Magical Realism
"Renato loved his home in Florence, Italy. He loved the people there. And the food there. But he especially loved the art there. It was everywhere."
Renato lives in Florence and often visits the museum where his father works. He loves the art found all around the city, but especially the lion in the Piazza della Signoria. When war comes to Italy, Renato's father has a plan to protect the sculptures, except Renato's beloved lion. Using a bit of magical realism, the author communicates the dangers of war and the plight of refugees. Renato completes his life's journey, returning to Italy years later to learn the lion's fate.
What I Love:
|An unused illustration of Renato|
by Barbara DiLorenzo
I've been waiting for this book. The cover and concept had me hooked before I ever opened the cover. The gentle storytelling and expressive watercolors transport kids to another time and place. Barbara evokes a sense of danger and impending loss through the main character's relationship with the sculpted lion. She manages to layer a lot of story into this little book, making it a great read for older readers, too. Her thorough research shows in the tiny details. Readers will learn bits about World War II, art, immigration, history, and the breathtaking city of Florence. And I hope this Renato will be a starting point for lifelong curiosity about these subjects.
|Cindy Ingram, art teacher, |
thoroughly explains how art influenced
public thought during WW II.
3. Learn more about the two lions in the Piazza della Signoria on Florence Inferno.
4. Travel For Kids lists at least ten great places to visit in Florence. Ciao Bambino! highlights tips and links for taking kids to Italy.
5. Cathy Ballou Mealey posted a great article on Nancy Schon's sculpture and getting kids to interact with art.
6. Try making a papier mache lion pinata from Inna's Creations.
7. I love this video how to for lion pancakes with orange slices, posted on Good to Know.
8. National Geographic Kids lists ten quick facts about World War II, an interesting jumping off point. History.net highlights the war in Italy for older readers. And Mindshift offers a list of videos to give kids an overview of the war.
9. Check out these and more related Perfect Picture Books at your local library.
|Reviewed by Joanne|
|Reviewed by Clara|
|Reviewed by Patient Dreamer|
|Reviewed by Julie|
|Reviewed by Leslie|
Reviewed by Joanne
View other the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Fridays available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.