Singing Shijimi Clams by Naomi Kojima. Kane/Miller. “What is this about? Well, I think it’s a story about a happy retirement; a bit odd to look at a children’s book that way, I guess, but that’s how it struck me. Because the witch moves with the clams to the beach and enjoys the rest of her days by the sea. The first pictures shows the witch, alone in a city, bundled up, carrying her groceries; the last picture shows a happier witch, relaxing in the sun, surrounded by her cat and the singing clams.
How We Are Smart by W. Nikola Lisa, Illustrated by Sean Qualls. Lee and Low Books. “I also like that no matter what the intelligence, the person achieved because they worked at it; no one is just smart without studying. Marion Anderson sang; but she worked, too, at developing that talent. Thurgood Marshall became who he was because he attended law school; Matthew Henson made personal sacrifices as an explorer. It’s summed up best in the following quote by astronomer Annie Jump Cannon: “My success, if you would call it that, lies in the fact that I have kept at my work all these years. It is not genius or anything like that, merely patience.”