This little light of mine…

McDonnell, Patrick. Shine! New York: Megan Tingley Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
“I wish I were…” Somewhere else. Someone else. Something else. Little Hoshi wishes and wishes she were not a humble little sea star in the ocean. Until she learns, of course, that happiness is to be found right where we are and possibilities always surround us. This delightful picture book – illustrated by Naoko Stoop – is another heart-warming and inspiring story by the creator of the Mutts comic strips. Highly recommended as a read-aloud – for listeners 4 years old and up – and for anyone who needs a humorous reminder that we all can shine.

More stories about individuality HERE.

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“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

– Omar Khayyam, Persian mathematician & poet

 

The House of Wisdom

“We should not be ashamed to acknowledge truth from whatever source it comes to us, even if it is brought to us by former generations and foreign peoples. For him who seeks the truth there is nothing of higher value than truth itself.” – al-Kindi, 9th century philosopher “

Heide, Florence Parry and Judith Heide Gilliland. The House of Wisdom. New York: DK Ink, 1999.

Long ago, during the Dark Ages in Europe, knowledge flourished in the Arabic-speaking world. Baghdad became the centre of a great civilization that made lasting discoveries in cartography, geography, mathematics, chemistry, medicine, and philosophy. Scholars gathered to study together and translate foreign documents in what was the largest library in the world.

Ishaq, the main character in this picture book biography, travels to far-away lands and returns with thousands of books and manuscripts  He later goes on to translate all the works of Aristotle into Arabic. Later still, those Arabic translations would help inspire the European Renaissance.

Softly coloured illustrations by Mary GrandPré, additional historical information, a timeline, and a map enhance this quietly adventurous biography for readers 9 years old and up.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher