Marianthe's Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories

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9780688156619: Marianthe's Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories
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Returning to her own childhood for inspiration, Aliki has created an exceptional sixty-four-page book that presents Marianthe's story -- her present and her past. In Painted Words, Marianthe's paintings help her to become less of an outsider as she struggles to adjust to a new language and a new school. Under the guidance of her teacher, who understands that there is more than one way to tell a story, Mari makes pictures to illustrate the history of her family, and eventually begins to decipher the meaning of words. In Spoken Memories, a proud Mari is finally able to use her new words to narrate the sequence of paintings she created, and share with her classmates her memories of her homeland and the events that brought her family to their new country.

00-01 Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award Reading List

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About the Author:

With more than 60 fiction and nonfiction titles for children to her credit, Aliki has been delighting her many fans since her first book was published in 1960. Born in New Jersey, she now lives in New York City.

Aliki's books for young readers include the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out titles Digging Up Dinosaurs, Fossils Tell of Long Ago, My Feet, and My Hands. Other nonfiction books by Aliki include How a Book Is Made, Mummies Made in Egypt, My Visit to the Aquarium, My Visit to the Dinosaurs, My Visit to the Zoo, Wild and Woolly Mammoths, and William Shakespeare & the Globe.

From Publishers Weekly:

In perhaps her most personal work to date, Aliki presents two equally moving sides to Marianthe's story, the first as a new arrival to a foreign America, and the second the explanation of why she came. A third-person narrative describes the girl's first days of school; Mari struggles with English until she realizes that art translates to all languages. One day, as Mari prepares to tell her story through her paintings, the sympathetic teacher announces that "there is more than one way to tell a story. Someday Mari will be able to tell us with words." Readers then flip the book over to begin the second installment, for which Mari capably uses words to explain her background. Here Mari's first-person narration recounts her early years in the old country, where extended family and community pulled together to grow food and to weather such tragedies as war and famine. Like her character, Aliki spins her tale gracefully in two media, placing words and art in impressive balance, and inventively incorporates a reverse-chronological sequence to fill in the details. Aliki takes an artistic leap, as she paints her characters with a range of extraordinarily expressive faces in close-up portraits, and effectively employs a changeable palette from the dusty grays of troubled past times to the chipper hues of a contemporary classroom. In an America comprised of immigrants, many youngsters facing the same sea changes as Mari will likely find her a stalwart companion, and those with a Mari in their lives may gain a newfound respect for the strength it takes to make the journey. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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