Canadian Research by the Lad: The Raven

Last week I researched the Artic Tern in order to show my lad how to do a quickly research a topic.   That we aren't looking for indepth, but just to find out some basic information about a topic.

Yesterday I had him pick a topic by reading through the woodlands section of our history book.  He choose the Raven.

Here is his report.

The intriguing Common Raven has accompanied people around the Northern Hemisphere for centuries, following their wagons, sleds, sleighs, and hunting parties in hopes of a quick meal. Ravens are among the smartest of all birds, gaining a reputation for solving ever more complicated problems invented by ever more creative scientists. These big, sooty birds thrive among humans and in the back of beyond, stretching across the sky on easy, flowing wingbeats and filling the empty spaces with an echoing croak.  (SOURCE)  they are complete black even the beak legs and eyes 

You can learn more at this link.
You can hear a raven's voice and see where they live in the world.

here are some videos on ravens


Art Series: One Last Word

Today I have a different sort of an art book for you.   It's the art of words, words in poetry that can touch you heart and elicit emotions and conversation, that can have a child go "meh" and a mom go "I like this one".   (and have the reverse happen).  A book of verse containing works of art that cause a boy to say "I like that one mom".

This type of art is also good.  :)

So let me then tell you of this book "One Last Word".

This book is a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance poets.  Quite honestly I had NO idea what the Harlem Renaissance was, but the beauty and the imagery found within these poems had me searching for what it was.   According to "Spanning the 1920s to the mid-1930s, the Harlem Renaissance was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity. Its essence was summed up by critic and teacher Alain Locke in 1926 when he declared that through art, “Negro life is seizing its first chances for group expression and self determination.” Harlem became the center of a “spiritual coming of age” in which Locke’s “New Negro” transformed “social disillusionment to race pride.” Chiefly literary, the Renaissance included the visual arts but excluded jazz, despite its parallel emergence as a black art form."

So a time when people of Negro descent were learning to take pride in who they were and not be beaten down by their past.   If you want to learn more from The History site.

I read this poem in particular, and books like the Book of Negroes pops into my head, and I can imagine that pride of remembering who you are, and the carefulness of remembering where you have been.  How hard it must have been to separate the two.

Many of the poems in this book touched my heart...the art work and poems take up 94 pages in a 120 page book, hardcover.  The remaining pages are biographies of the poets and artists.

94 pages of beauty ... some with hurt felt...but mostly of the joy and pride of a person or people recognizing who they are.  Some see God in the picture, others don't.

Three sections: Emergency Measures has seven poems.    Calling Dreams has 14 poems and To a Dark Girl has 9 poems.

The poem "We Wear the Mask" made me think of more than just negroes who suffered but all the different people who struggle with hidden issues, hurts and sorrows, mental or physical frailities, but not wanting to diminish the pain of the black folks who suffered so.  Just made me think beyond you know what I mean?

 So much beauty in words and images, chances to see inside the soul of another person.. it is good, you know?   Art!  In its own way.

I thought I would leave you with one more poem to intrigue your heart.
IF you are learning about black history... do take in this book as it's important part to consider.  If you like poignant poetry, or are searching for poems for your child to memorize, get this book.  It's a great book of poetry and should you get your child intrigued, could provoke conversation...or just be nice to listen to!  :)  you will find my affiliate links below, thank you for your support.

 One Last Word - Wisdom from the Harlem Resistance.
By Nikki Grimes
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books
128 pages
Age Range: 10-14 (or up through adult)
Reviewed for: Raincoast Books. One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance