Monday, February 04, 2008

Non Fiction Monday + Wicked Cool Overlooked Books

Today Non Fiction Monday meets Wicked Cool Overlooked Books!

In thinking over 2007 and the Non Fiction books I think have been overlooked, Hugh Brewster's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose was the first title to come to mind. (Here's my review.) Why? Well, most obviously, because it was the Non Fiction title I appreciated most in 2007. Second, I found Brewster's blending of the fictionalized (the fictional narrative of Kate, based on the very real Kate's diaries and letters) and the real (the story of John Singer Sargent's composition of Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose) to be a masterful example of compelling Non Fiction for Middle Grade readers. And, third? Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose features John Singer Sargent's unabashedly romantic paintings as illustrations, along with photographs of real objects from the same period. Published by Kids Can Press, the production value of Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose is high. Please, don't miss this one.

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose was reviewed in the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor, but not on the blogs. (I found one--count 'em, one blog review besides my own--at Fiske Miles's blog.)
Updated: Hugh Brewster wrote in to let me know that he's created a recording of the song that inspired Sargent's Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. He tracked down the sheet music, found some musicians and singers, and made a recording. You can hear it here (scroll down to the October 29 entry).
A big welcome to the authors blogging at I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids)!