Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday SOL: Traveling to Spain

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday 
                                                      and nurturing our writing lives.

Yesterday I took a quick trip to one of my favorite spots in Spain via a picture book!  When books arrive on my holds shelf at the library, I try to remember how they end up in my hands.  Most of them arrive via recommendations from my blogger friends.  I have no idea how these friends manage to read and write so much, but I'm grateful.  They are my guides in the ever growing world of children's literature.   

Julie Paschkis had a quilt exhibit (which I wanted to attend, but missed) this past spring in a nearby town.  When I searched the library catalog for books she had illustrated, I was surprised to see a favorite book on the list:   Janet Wong's Night Garden.  Guess I should pay more attention to illustrators.  Another title illustrated by Julie caught my eye, Building On Nature:  The Life of Antoni Gaudiso I requested it.  And yesterday's reading of this book inspired today's slice.  

Here's one of Paschkis' whimsical illustrations from the book
                           showcasing the wonder of Park Guell, a spot we visited in Barcelona:  

And here are Rodriguez's descriptive lines that accompany Paschkis' delightful illustrations:

"Park Guell is a fantasyland set on hillside.
Gatehouses warp and wave hello.
A mosaic lizard stands guard.
A long bench snakes around a playground." 

These lines sent me in search of the photos I took at Park Guell when we visited Barcelona in 2006 after Sara's study abroad in Madrid.  

The long bench snaking around the playground
Sara and Lance on mosaic bench
Close-up of bench mosaics
Sun mosaic on the ceiling

Gatehouse waving hello!
I was captivated by Park Guell:  the bright colors, the wavy lines, the mosaics.  Reading this book opened my eyes to another reason why I love Gaudi's art - "...the colors and shapes of the natural world..."  which he thought of "...as The Great Book of Nature..." inspired his art.  And from the final pages of the book, these words:

"Gaudi leaves
behind few words or plans.
His daring creations speak for him.
They tell his stories.
They are Gaudi's poem to the world.
Gaudi's buildings curve and arch.  
They sparkle and glitter
and whisper with joy."

Isn't it fabulous when an author and illustrator weave the magic that transports us to a place?  Now I'm off to see if there's a children's book that celebrates another favorite spot in Spain, the Alhambra.  If I can't find one, maybe the team of Rodriguez and Paschkis are up to the challenge!


  1. I love Gaudi's work too! I will need to check our library for that book. He was quite an interesting man.
    The author of Bayou Magic spoke at a breakfast at the conference and had everyone in tears with the story of her life. What a woman, I'm anxious to read it.

  2. I love your pictures and tour. Adding to my titles "to read" as well. Thanks for sharing! Jennifer Sniadecki

  3. Great pictures, Ramona. Picture books (books really) can take us anywhere. And isn't it nice that you have photos from a previous trip to enhance that journey of the mind!

  4. I'm glad you took us there tonight, Ramona. I love that book, used it for an art lesson. How wonderful that you've been there. The art in the book by Paschkis is amazing. I can't imagine what it must be for real. Thanks!

  5. Looks like a great book for a mind journey. It must also speak to the fact that inspiration for art is all around us.

  6. "poem to the world"- isn't that great?!

  7. Thanks for the trip! Great pictures!

  8. This looks like such a beautiful, beautiful place. The sun mosaics and bench mosaics are gorgeous.

  9. Gaudi's work is so arresting - how wonderful that you were able to see it in person, Ramona. Lovely book, too - I'll have to look for it.

  10. Beautiful pictures, Ramona! That bench is amazing.

  11. I receive wonderful book suggestions from other blog teachers, too. Your trip to Spain looks amazing!

  12. This is so neat - I've been there! Gaudi was one of my favorite parts of Spain, too. I loved visiting all his architectural wonders. I'll have to see if I can find that book. I want to see if you find a book about Alhambra because I loved that place, too!