Monday, January 5, 2009

NF Monday -- Sandy's Circus

Sandy's Circus -- a Story About Alexander Calder by Tanya lee Stone, illustrated by Boris Kulikov. New York: Viking Penguin, 2008.

Nonfiction Monday is back. It's a whole new year and there are new books to review.

Does anybody know who Alexander Calder was? (He's dead, you know.)
Well, does anybody know what a mobile is?
Yup, I thought you'd know what that was. Well, Sandy Calder invented them. He just loved to create moving sculptures -- mostly made out of wire. If he was out walking with a friend, Sandy would take out his ever-present coil of wire and his pliers. Twisting and bending the wire while they talked, he soon had a small portrait of his friend.

One day he made a lion. Lions need cages, so he made one. Lions need lion tamers, so he made one. Soon he had created a whole circus, complete with ringmaster. The circus didn't just sit there gathering dust -- no. He entertained his friends with circus performances.

It was a natural step from creating wire trapeze artists to forming shapes connected with wire hanging high and drifting in the wind. Enjoy your mobiles -- they were first invented by Alexander Calder.

Since this picture book biography does not show his life -- only his art and how it came to be -- it is cataloged in the 730's instead of the Biography area. But it can easily be read and enjoyed by second graders and up.

For other Nonfiction Monday posts, click here.

1 comment:

Kristi Butler said...

Hi Wendie!
I just happened upon your blog today, and love it!! I'll be coming back! Your groundhog book caught my eye. I've written a couple of groundhog books...yet to be published. You've inspired me to keep trying...and keep writing.