For Helen Keller, w-a-t-e-r was a cool, slippery splash. S-u-n was the warm afternoon glow coating her skin. L-i-l-y was a sweet-smelling petal, soft and delicate to her touch. After an illness left her blind and deaf, Helen relied on her senses of touch and smell to help compensate for her loss. And then she met her teacher, Annie Sullivan, who showed her a new way to give meaning to the world around her. But most of all, Annie gave Helen a special gift of love.
With lyrical prose and richly illustrated paintings, virtuoso author-and-artist team Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome share an inspiring story of a courageous young girl. This evocative portrait reminds us that there are many ways to experience the world through the senses—but the most important things in life are savored within the heart.
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Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome have collaborated on several picture books, among them Young PelÉ: Soccer's First Star; Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist; Satchel Paige, a Bank Street College of Education's "Best Children's Book of the Year"; Quilt Alphabet; and Quilt Counting. James's illustrations have appeared in nearly fifty books for children, including The Creation, a Coretta Scott King Award Book; Uncle Jed's Barbershop, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; This Is the Dream; and A Pride of African Tales, an NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. His traveling exhibit "Visual Stories" has been touring the United States since 2003. Lesa and James live in Rhinebeck, New York, with their four children.From School Library Journal:
Kindergarten-Grade 4—Keller's story has been told countless times, so Cline-Ransome wisely keeps her focus tight, showing the developing relationship between Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. The story opens with the sensory sensations of Helen's world: the feel of the warm spring breeze, the smell of a baking cake. A brief flashback explains the illness that left her deaf and blind, and the subsequent lack of communication that rendered her a wild and unmanageable child. Then the narrative transitions back to the moment when Sullivan enters her life and expects something more from her: an ability to learn. Told from Helen's point of view, the book takes readers from her dislike of this demanding stranger who continuously traces shapes in her palm, to her revelatory moment by the water pump, and finally to the realization that "Teacher" loves her. The author has chosen evocative details from Keller's life (she could feel "the jostle of the bumps along the road, but she couldn't see where they were going"). Some projection of thoughts necessarily happens, particularly in portraying the pre-lingual Helen, but Cline-Ransome is able to match the spirit of Keller's autobiographical writings. James Ransome cites John Singer Sargent as his inspiration for his bright, handsome paintings. An excellent, accessible introduction to a fascinating woman.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
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Book Description Collins, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060570741
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