Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fishscale Girl; a book review and a celebration!

Fishscale Girl is not a new Halloween costume,  she is a real doll made by a real live little girl in the Amazon Valley. The book by the same name tells the tale of this doll who now lives in US, in Iowa to be exact, in beautiful photography and simple story line. We learn about her native people, the Yagua, and her first home; the Amazon River in Peru. The story includes themes of adoption, homesickness, adventures in new places and learning of new things. It is insightful, yet simple. The photography is gorgeous; vibrant colors, fun and artistic at the same time.

from the book; Her body is a scale from an Amazon fish, 
                           Her heart is as big as the river itself."

Our whole family has had the extreme fortune to have been included in the production of this lovely book and in the many projects surrounding it. We first became involved when the author, Ann Hailey, called to see if she could include my daughter, Alienor and our backyard sandbox, in a photo session.

We had heard of Ann's travels to Peru; her stay at a traditional Yagua village and trip down the Amazon River. We were quite fascinated (and a little jealous, but in a good way), and asked lots of questions. We were very happy to be a part of what began as a series of photos of Fishscale Girl's new life to send to Rosita, the girl who made her, with words in both English and Spanish, for this is the language the Yagua now learn in school.

A part of the proceeds from the Fishscale Girl books (no.2 will be out soon) and from the lesson plans is donated to the Adopt-a-School program, you can read more about this here: Lesson plans? Ah-ha, that's where the next step in our participation came about. I think Ann mentioned or I mentioned that this would be a wonderful tool to further explore many themes. The next thing I knew, I was drafting lesson plans that would become the focus of my life for a couple of months. Maps, we needed maps, ones that we could legally reproduce. It was a problem, but I happen to have a son who is very talented in the drawing department. He whipped out all of the maps I needed in a couple of days, free-hand. Problem solved and one more family member involved! A, cool and modern idea. Lily was asked if she would like to write it, she accepted, and voila, the three oldest have become part of the project. Ann is very very good at including children in age-appropriate and meaningful activities. The last two got their turn at a book signing, when they were in charge of helping out other children present with the picture search in a botanical garden while the others served lemonade and cookies.

To order your own copy, you can go here:  Here is a link to the Fishscale Girl's own blog, it's a lot of fun, Lily has been writing a lot of the entries, as Cate:, this is a commercial-free space for parents and children alike.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Angela, I have finally started writing a review about "Fishscale Girl." I've been reading the books to my smaller children (age 8 and down). They have really enjoyed them. I also looked at your lesson plans. They are wonderful and a good addition to exploring the topics further. Now I still need to explore your daughter's website. I just thought I would let you know.


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