Guardian Angel Publishing New Releases

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Here is a great selection of books for young children coming from Guardian Angel Publishing. And You Parents will enjoy reading along side your kids, as well. You can count on GAP books to be exciting, wholesome, fun, and informative–with lots of heart.

Guardian Angel August 2013 Releases
Andy & Spirit in Search & Rescue Academic Wings hardcover edition
by Mary Jean Kelso, art KC Snider
Great Gobs of Gustation: The Sum of Our Parts  Book 8 Academic Wings
by Bill Kirk, art by Eugene Ruble
A rhyme which describes the sense of taste and how it works to help you tell what you like to eat and what you don’t. Book 8 of the Sum of our Parts anatomical educational series
Just Too Little  Littlest Angel
by Judith J. Miller, art Sonal Panse
At her grandparents farm Pam is too little to help with the chores.
Michael’s Safari Littlest Angel
by JennaKay Francis art by Craig Howarth
Michael takes an imaginary journey.
The New Puppy Animals & Pets
by Raelene Hall art by Kevin Collier, Gisele LaBlanc
GAP angel logo

Monday Metaphor: Personification: It’s Alive! It’s Alive!

It’s quite an imaginative feat for a writer to turn an inanimate object, an abstract concept, or animal into a person. But it can be done through Personification, the technique of giving human qualities to something not human. This method of word play is also referred to as Anthropomorphism. Prosopopeia means “giving face,” as in the face of a mountain or the eye of a hurricane.

This picture is the Personification of Constance and Fortitude.

Ancient Greek gods often had human characteristics. The Muses are among my favorites. They collectively represent inspiration for the arts. I’ve always wondered about Urania, the Muse of Astronomy. But I think she is a Muse because the Greeks considered mathematics an art, and astronomy uses math to figure out the heavens. In fact, all of the sciences contain some art and many scientists have been known to be inspired.

“[The Muses] are all of one mind, their hearts are set upon song and their spirit is free from care. He is happy whom the Muses love. For though a man has sorrow and grief in his soul, yet when the servant of the Muses sings, at once he forgets his dark thoughts and remembers not his troubles. Such is the holy gift of the Muses to men.”
~Hesiod~

The Mother of the Muses, Mnemosyne, is the personification of memory. It makes sense because all of the arts require the student to remember vast amounts of facts and practice in order to become proficient.

It was a convention of the Epic Poets to invoke a request of the Muses to inspire them to create the most beautiful poem worthy of their subject.

From ancient times to the present, writers have employed the metaphor of personification.

In the title of this blog post, I am referencing the movie version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Most people (who like old movies) are familiar with that scene. Mary’s scientist gave life to a creature he put together from body parts. In the preface to the novel, Mary says: “I have thus endeavoured to preserve the truth of the elementary principles of human nature. . .” Her monster has both good and bad qualities.

In “talking thing” stories, such as The Brave Little Toaster, by Thomas Disch, it’s the household appliances that are given human characteristics. Their quest to find their original owner has the same adventures and perils as that of a human’s quest.

In Bill Kirk’s The Sum of Our Parts: Circulation Celebration, (Guardian Angel Publishing), the heart comes alive in Eugene Rubel’s amusing illustrations.

My seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Alison, had the class memorize Carl Sandburg’s Fog.

“The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.”

 In “talking animal” stories, such as E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, Charlotte and Wilber and the others talk among themselves, but the people around them do not have the ability to hear them. {I’ll never forget the day I read Charlotte’s Web to my young children. My husband came home from work and found the three of us sitting on the sofa crying. A writer with a deft hand can make the reader believe; and White made us believe Wilber when he said, “I don’t want to die.”}  

Closer to home, you might know these people personally: Mr. Clean, Aunt Jemima, Cap’n Crunch, Tony the Tiger, and The Jolly Green Giant. And you’ve bought these products:

Goldfish, the snack that smiles back, Huggies, the diapers that hug supremely, and Kleenex, the tissue that says “bless you.” And you know “you’re in good hands with Allstate.” I like this personification of the printer: “The printer spit out more copies than I needed.” (on MissSpot’s website).

Sometimes just attributing a name seems to bestow humanlike qualities.

Death, The Grim Reaper, a hooded character draped in black robes or a skeleton.

Father Time, an old bearded man with a scythe. 

Mother Nature, countless guises.

Aesop’s fables are full of personified characters. One of the most poignant stories is that of the lion and the mouse. The mouse gnaws off the ropes tying the lion to a tree after the lion had done him a good turn. “Little friends may prove great friends.” or “One good turn deserves another.”

Remember the doll, Mrs. Beasley, on Family Affair? and the horse, Mr. Ed. And how about the mule named Mr. Bascom in Earnest J. Gaines’ Just Like a Tree? Here’s the way the short story begins:

Pa hit him on the back and he jeck in them chains like he pulling, but ever’body in the wagon know he ain’t, and Pa hit him on the back again. He jeck again like he pulling, but even Big Red know he ain’t doing a thing.

“That’s why I’ go’n get a horse,” Pa say. “He’ll kill that other mule. Get up there, Mr. Bascom.”

 ************

In Alice Through the Lookingglass, by Lewis Carroll, the poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” has these lines:

“The sun was shining on the sea,

Shining with all his might:

He did his very best to make

The billows smooth and bright—

And this was odd, because it was

The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,

Because she thought the sun

Had got no business to be there

After the day was done—

‘It’s very rude of him,’ she said,

‘To come and spoil the fun.’”

Here is my poem, “A Year in the Orchard” (published in Parents and Children Together Online).

A YEAR IN THE ORCHARD

by

Barbara Bockman

Spring 

I am the rain. I drop. I drop. I drop.
My waters gently flow
And help the buds to grow.
Listen to my song: Plop! Plop! Plop!

Summer

I am the sun. I shine. I shine. I shine.
I warm down to the root
And sweeten up the fruit.
When it is ripe, you may dine.

Autumn

I am the wind. I sigh. I sigh. I sigh.
The leaves are now brown.
I blow the fruit down.
Would you like to bake a pie?

Winter

I am the snow. I fall. I fall. I fall.
I am silent and bright.
I paint the trees white.
I am soft as a cotton ball.

The following poem was published on library.thinkquest.org as a project of a student for students:

SATIN DREAMS OF INDIA

By Autumn

Satin dreams of India.
Satin dreams of being
made into a beautiful sari.
A warm, Wonderful sari
Worn on an
Indian Princess.
Swaying in the wind.
Satin tell us to be soft and
gentle like her.

**************

Have you used personification in your work? Would you share it with us?

P.S.  Happy Birthday to my daughter Jenny

 

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If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

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