11.09.2012

PPBF: Night Catch

November is set aside as the month of the Military Family, so I'm happy to share a PPBF title to honor our military service men and women and their children.

Title:  Night Catch
Author:  Brenda Ehrmantraut
Illustrator: Vicki Wehrman
Publisher: Bubble Gum Press
Date: July 2005

Suitable for: ages 4 and up
Brief Synopsis: When a soldier is separated from his child, they use the North Star for a nightly game of catch that'll help them maintain that close bond that the two share.
Themes: love, separation, deployment, military service, hope
Opening page: A soldier hugged his son goodbye and said, "I'll miss you little guy."

Resources:
United Through Reading blog guest post by the author {here}
Military Child Education Coalition {here}
A comprehensive list of Military Family Books {here}

Why I like this book:  I have always been tender for the military child and what the military families must go through during their parent's tour of duty. They must miss one another so desperately and this book offers up a soothing strategy to bridge the distance between the soldiers and their children back at home. There's great comfort in knowing that regardless of where we are, we are all sleeping under the same stars, so this dad and his boy say good night with a game of catch using the North Star (also known as the Polaris). I wish I may . . . I wish I might . . . 

The book includes a star map in the back to show where the Polaris is in relation to the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper, giving students the perfect springboard for a constellation lesson.

After reading this shining star aloud, tap into your students' empathy and find out from them what they would want/need if their mom or dad were away. See what other ideas they'd have to connect, stay in touch, and while away the time. I recently had a student whose dad was on deployment, and he wrote a journal with me, making entries that kept his dad up-to-date on what how he was spending his days in second grade. When his dad returned, my student gave him that book filled with memorable moments.


Here are a few other military-themed titles that I have on my shelf:  

My Dad's A Hero by Rebecca Christiansen
America's White Table by Margot Theis Raven
Sometimes We Were Brave by Pat Brisson
The Wall by Eve Bunting
H Is For Honor by Devin Scillian
The Soldier's Night Before Christmas by Christine Ford


17 comments:

  1. Barbara, I shared this post with my FB friends as several are separated by deployments.

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    1. Thanks, Stacy. One of my K teachers read it today and came back to say it could really be used with any separation, not just deployments. It's a keeper, that's for sure!

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  2. Barbara, I have read this book and think it is a great choice for military children, or any child separated from a parent. I reviewed about 18 months ago, so I'm glad you selected it for PPBF. It needs to be on our list.

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    1. I guess that was before I started checking in on your awesome book selections. I did see that you'd reviewed America's White Table when I was reading your blog the other day. I'm glad you agree that it's a good one for our list.

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  3. Barbara, thank you for this! I'm a military child (I never liked being called a 'brat'). My dad was in for 20 yr. The longest he was gone at one time was in 1968 for 9 months when he was at the South Pole. Their icebreaker took supplies to Scientists. The trip was even written up in National Geographic. That was in the days before cell phones-so we only got 2 calls the whole time via Ham Radio (I love you, Dad, OVER. I love you too, honey. OVER)Expense was enormous for those calls (my mom, already working took an extra job to pay for them). I think I've just come up with an idea for a book telling you all this.

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    1. Thank you, Laura Anne, for your service and sacrifice. And can I please have a signed copy of the book you're about to write about your experiences (OVER)!

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  4. I absolutely love the theme of this book. I definitely will put this on my list. The cover is beautiful.

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    1. Yes, Penny, it'll bring a tear, that's for sure!

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  5. Gorgeous cover! I have a loved one oversees, and we think it's pretty cool to be sharing the stars too! Great way to interest little ones in the night sky - super pick!

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    1. Thanks, Julie, for stopping by the Corner. Yes, the star map in the back is the PERFECT ending for a heartwarming rhyme!

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  6. What a sublime way to think of staying connected during separation, Barabara! Love the idea behind the book.

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    1. It's all about connections, isn't it Richa? Thanks for dropping by and leaving your kind reflections.

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  7. Great review, Barbara. It seems like there would be such a need for books like this.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. I can't even recall where I picked up this find, but it's a gold mine for a counselor, that's for sure.

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  8. I remember reading Pat's review of this, what a great PPBF choice, Barbara! I am glad you added a bunch of other titles related to this topic.

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  9. This looks like a nice one. Over the years we've had kids read with us who have had parents in far away places and this might have been a good story for them. I'll have to remember it. Thanks.

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  10. What a wonderful book, Barbara! Thank you for sharing it.

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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