Helen Keller: The World in Her Heart

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9780060570743: Helen Keller: The World in Her Heart
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Offers the story of the challenges facing the amazing Helen Keller who, despite being blind and deaf, learned to communicate with the world through her own unstoppable determination and help from her devoted teacher, Anne.

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About the Author:

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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