June will break your heart...
June will break your heart. I can see it already. She'll shatter you into a million pieces.
We woke to a sunny morning. Looked promising. At noon it was grey and jacket weather. At two this afternoon it poured proverbial buckets. At five it was dry and sunny again (though not no-jacket warm). I suspect we will have many of these days, based on my general astuteness (you laugh?) and several decades of June experience. We all get so very anxious for summer: students (and most especially their teachers) in school's last weeks, beachcombers and sand lovers, hikers, bikers, gardeners, boaters... June often disappoints, doesn't it? Oh, well, they don't call it seasons for nothin'.
But you better watch it, June. After the 21st, it better be solsticey. I'm not fooling around.
Each year on June 3, we celebrate the spot on Earth that is closest to the moon. (C'mon, you do, I know you do.) That is not Mt. Everest as you may mistakenly believe. This is because we measure elevation from sea level. Compared to Mount Everest, Chimborazo, a rather insignificant inactive volcano 20,565 feet high, is, yes, almost ten thousand feet closer to sea level. But Chimborazo is located in Ecuador, very close to the equator. Since the Earth isn't a perfect sphere, bulging some at the equator, Chimborazo sticks out into space more than any other mountain on Earth - closest to the moon! So Happy Chimborazo Day to you and yours, and may you have many more.
June 3 is also Josephine Baker's birthday. I read up on Josephine in one of our recent bookstore visits. Loving and collecting picture books with artful illustrations, I am always drawn to that section. I found Jonah Winter's book Jazz Age Josephine, cheerily illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, who has already won a Caldecott.
"The story of Ms. Baker is more difficult than your average Rosa Parks / Frederick Douglass bio. If you're going to talk about Josephine then you have to talk about why she left America. You have to talk about what the state of the country was at that time, and why she felt she couldn't return there. Then there are other issues as well. For one thing, is it possible to talk about Ms. Baker without mentioning the banana skirt?
...Winter doesn't talk about the costume (six-year-olds are notoriously bad at pronouncing the word "burlesque") but illustrator Marjorie Priceman does include a subtle glimpse of it from the side in two separate pictures. Meanwhile Mr. Winter does a good job of making it clear that Josephine was sad to be away from the States but that to become a star she had to go elsewhere. Interestingly the book ends at about that point, leaving the Author's Note to explain her work with the Civil Rights Movement." (Goodreads.com)
"If you've chosen to read this book aloud to a class of kids (A) Be sure to point out how awesome it would be to walk your pet cheetah down the street in the morning and (B) Practice your zee-buh-dops. For that matter, you'd better practice your Boh doh doh-dee-ohs and your zop zop zop zop zoo-buh-dop zows as well. Winter knows how add music to a readaloud without using a single note. Just make sure you've practiced beforehand." (Goodreads.com)