Marianthe's Story Painted Words and Spoken Memories

Marianthe's Story Painted Words and Spoken Memories Marianthe's Story Bestselling and award winning author illustrator Aliki’s semi autobiographical picture book features two interconnected stories about immigration friendship and finding your voiceKirkus called this acclaimed and timely book “vivid and exuisitely emotional”Aliki’s acclaimed picture book follows Marianthe a Greek girl who doesn't understand English as she starts school in the United States In Part I “Painted Words” Marianthe is frustrated about being unable to communicate with her peers Her teacher encourages her to paint her words and little by little she finds ways to share her story with her classmatesIn Part II “Spoken Memories” Marianthe tells her class about her life in Greece how her Papa left for a better job in America and how she and her family eventually came to join himBased on Aliki’s own experience as a schoolgirl in Philadelphia this is an essential timely and relevant American immigration story With appealing accessible art and a universal message Marianthe’s Story is sure to resonate with children and educators alikeThe Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books said “Few picture books have captured the immigrant experience with such well crafted and telling simplicity”

About the Author: Aliki

Aliki has written and illustrated many books both fiction and nonfiction loved by readers throughout the world The books were inspired by a word an experience or the desire to find out Aliki lives in London England

10 thoughts on “Marianthe's Story Painted Words and Spoken Memories Marianthe's Story

  1. Mir Mir says:

    I liked the idea of Marianthe telling her story in two different ways The pictures were nicely done I thought the voice was the weakest element; it seemed like an adult and not a little girl

  2. Vianey Sanchez Vianey Sanchez says:

    Painted Words Spoken Memories Marianthe’s StoryInterest level Grades K 2Lexile Level 550LGuided Reading NCharacters MarianthePOV 3rd personSummary This book contains two separate stories of a little girl called Marianthe that tell of her struggles adjusting to a new place after moving from her small village “Painted Words” describes Marianthe’s fear of starting school after moving from a different country country not named She doesn’t read or write English so instead she draws in class to communicate her thoughts Some of the kids make fun of her but she continues to use her drawings to distract her from feeling sad Her teacher Mr Petrie who is very welcoming encourages Marianthe to tell a story through the paintings she created for the rest of the class Her classmates loved it and wanted to try it for themselves making Marianthe feel better about her new lifeThe second part Spoken Memories Marianthe tells her story to the class about where she came from She lived in a small village with her family; everyone worked together and the community was like family They all worked together in the fields and were very happy despite poor living conditions Since the village was so poor people started to leave to find work in a new land including her beloved father It is made known that not only did her father leave for money to support his family but also to give Marianthe and her two siblings better resources During the time he was away Marianthe learned to write with the help of her mother and wrote letters to her father Eventually her and her mother and siblings were able to move with her father to begin a new life

  3. Kary Kary says:

    Beautiful book actually two books in one I think a lot of my students would relate to Marianthe and her experience coming to a new country

  4. Tina Tina says:

    Painted Words and Spoken Memories is a realistic and historical fiction book that features two stories with one side portraying the protagonist's life in her village and another side about her new life after immigrating She can't understand her teacher her fellow classmates nor the language being spoken and written However she can decipher sounds and associate them with people or other meanings Most importantly she can draw a universal way of conveying messages to others The other half of the book features the life she had before immigrating; it is the story that Marianthe tells to her classThe story is inspired by the personal experiences of the author and there aren't any stereotypes Marianthe is a sympathetic character where the reader can find themselves rooting for her It displays a teacher as a positive role model and classmates through the use of earthy illustrations as diverse and most empathetic of Marianthe Negative experiences too are present in the story and are acknowledged by the fictitious teacher and parents Although Marianthe comes into the classroom speaking little English she can learn by listening and observing others For example by freuently hearing the phrase Misapeechi she comes to understand that is the name of the teacher Later she eventually learns through new phonetic understanding that his name is actually Mr Petrie This learning occurs with her classmates as wellMarianthe is able to tell her life story to the class through an assignment and her artwork This conveys that Marianthe indeed as a deeper set of memories to her that makes a part of who she is Her life story tells of a different lifestyle a home in a village war but above all the bonds everyone shared in her community Her background isn't ignored and it isn't told in euphemisms Indeed events such as her brother who was there before she was born dying due to the famine bring a touch of grimness to her story and events such as her being born and her family being overjoyed for her to grow into a healthy girl shape her outlook Prejudices are not ignored either as some villagers did not approve of her going to school However Marianthe talks about her uickness in learning how to write breaking down these prejudices Overall a heartwarming story that portrays the gradual but certainly present progress of learning how to communicate with others in a new place The illustrations contain noticeable expressions on characters' faces which is good when inferring the details not mentioned in the text The one trait about this story I somewhat disliked was how the situation with the person mostly bullying her Patrick seemed to not be fully addressed or contextualized It is merely implied that he faces disdain through one sentence and the teacher and students' expressions in the illustrations Although Marianthe's mother is sure to tell Marianthe not to be discouraged how the discrimination is addressed in the class isn't uite fully elaborated

  5. Lisa Edwards Lisa Edwards says:

    This book is amazing and a perfect guide to display to children what it is like for an ELL student in a new American school environment This book is actually like 2 stories in one The first part is Painted Words where it tells of Marianthe's story and what she experiences in a new American school She cannot understand the language spoken or written but she does understand facial expressions and tones which is the beginning step for her in learning the English language She uses her free class time to paint pictures of her story She has an encounter with a bully named Patrick who calls her dummy often Although she does not understand what he is saying at first she knows by his look and tone of what he is saying when he is saying it that it is something demeaning about her and it hurts her feelings but instead of crying she paints At the end of the Painted Words section the teacher says that it is time for her to tell her story and he hangs up all of her paintings and she divulges her story through her paintings and her English vocabulary that she has come to learn In the second part titled Spoken Memories this is where she tells her story to her classmates It is her story of what she endured in her life prior to coming to the new country She tells of her village and the closeness within the village among the villagers Her story is filled with difficulties that most children in her American classroom would never experience or have knowledge of but the fact that they can hear what her life was like allows for a deeper respect and understanding for Marianthe It is a great learning opportunity for everyone and aside from educating them hopefully it imprints into their part of the brain that is responsible for empathy and compassion for others

  6. Susan Susan says:

    This book these books really as Part 1 backs onto Part 2 made me cry In the library But I was able to get to my tissues fairly uickly but still did earn a strange look from the librarianThe story I think would touch most children both those who have moved to a new country and culture as well as those who hopefully welcome the ones who are arriving in the new place Aliki perfectly captures the feelings of Marianthe eg 'I am scared but not enough to cry' I appreciated how supportive Marianthe's mother was even though she was likely feeling pretty scared tooI appreciated too that most of the children tried to welcome Marianthe to her new classroom and home but that Aliki did not shy away from the fact that some of the children will try to bully the new student I appreciated how the teacher and other adults involved handled the different situationsI like that Aliki did explore the feelings of Marianthe her family the village the students etc There need to be children's storybooks that make it OK to have all types of feelings and to have feelings be accepted and also experienced by the adult charactersFinally the illustrations for the book were fabulous perfectly capturing the plot the characters and the emotions of the story

  7. Maria Ambrosini Maria Ambrosini says:

    Painted words was such a beautiful story of a young girl who is brought to a new country and doesn't know the language Therefore when it was time to paint the young girl began to paint and her classmates were so eager to learn what she was painting They soon realized that she would communicate what she couldn't say through her paintings One of her classmates was bullying her so she painted a sad painting of herself which the whole class understood I really enjoyed this book because I had a very thought message and the students were very respecting of their new classmate at the end There's a lot to learn about the differences that we all bring into a classroom The illustrations really help us understand the story better This book is age appropriate for k 3 and is very easy to understand

  8. Benjamin Wagner Benjamin Wagner says:

    Marianthe's Story by Aliki is a double book I don't know how else to describe it but I'm sure there's a term out there for this type of book somewhere; when you finish one side you rotate the book and start again from the other side This particular text is a two part story following a young immigrant named Marianthe who recently arrived to America and is starting school Her country of origin is intentionally left out but her name Marianthe is of Greek origin as is the author This book is fiction but I suspect it is based on the experiences of the author which might place it closer to an autobiographical fiction area In the first book Mari is sent to school and doesn't understand what the teacher nor any of her classmates are saying Instead she expresses herself with painting Drawing what she can't talk she tells her mother In the second she has developed her English vocabulary and tells the story of what it was like in her home country and why they leftThis is an excellent book describing some struggles of immigration cultural norms and assimilation in a new culture as well as a sprinkling of women's empowerment An interesting aspect of this piece is there is a good deal of content that isn't directly written about but instead expressed in pictures This might make the book appropriate for a wider range of learners The literary content by itself is appropriate for second or third graders The artwork is gorgeous; it appears to be done with pencils It supports the text and even enhances it beyond what's written Of course the author was an immigrant from Greece herself Mari's implied country of origin I find it very interesting that her country of origin isn't directly stated Instead it focuses on Marianthe a complex character with believable emotions By splitting her story into two parts children can easily compartmentalize the different facets of leaving a country The first she's arrived to America and feels lost but slowly gains friends and English language skills with the help of a friendly teacher and her family The second she's nostalgic in a bittersweet way about her previous life in what I must assume is Greece I think this book is a timeless perfect example of the struggles of leaving one's home and discovering life anew in a foreign land Not only does it realistically portray these characteristics it also encourages some wholesome values such as creativity through art friendship and the importance of knowledge and family Mari and her family are very cute and portrayed as ordinary folks not rooted in any stereotypes whatsoever besides some mild ones associated with peripheral and semi peripheral countries The plot is both realistic but age appropriate without too many heavy handed mature themes It's told from the perspective of a child essentially The text is easy to understand through read alouds guided reading or individual reading activities Although I know little about this topic from personal experience I don't see any glaring issues in the narrative nor the illustration

  9. Courtney Nations Courtney Nations says:

    Genre Realistic Fictionmulti culturalFormat Picture bookAwards this book has not received any awardsSummary Marianthe is starting a new school in a new country She is nervous about this new world she is about to step in and is concerned about not knowing the English language The first day Marianthe doesn't understand much She hears babbles when people talk and chicken feet when people write Marianthe then discovers that she can communicate one way though with her paintings She paints about herself to try and tell a story of who she is and where she is from With time Marianthe begins to understand her classmates and her teacher Babbles become words and names and chicken feet become letters that make sounds and form words When Marianthe is ready the teacher allows her to share with the class who she is and where shes from using her paintings and the new language she has adopted as her own Critiue This was a very well written book with many lessons to learn about accepting others that are different and making them feel welcomed The only critiue I would have would be that the author elaborate when the student is being mean to Marianthe The author jumps from saying that Patrick calls Marianthe a dummy but then talks about the nice students and then goes back to having dialogue about some students being mean and ignorant This seemed very choppy while reading and might have flowed better if the author talked about the mean student as a whole and then spoke of the nice children Teaching Prompt This would be an excellent book to have a writing prompt about The author talks about feelings a lot throughout this text and this would go great with teaching about schema and connecting to the text The teacher could propose a prompt such as Think of a time when you felt nervous or anxious because you were new or didn't know something How did you overcome feeling this way? What did others do to help you not feel this way? The students could discuss or write about this and then the teacher could teach on how important it is to be a good friend and kind classmate because we are also making differences in peoples' lives Craft Elements The author did a great job making the illustrations a big part in this story The reader was able to tell emotions or actions based off the students' faces This allowed for inferences to occur while reading the story The reader could also see how Marianthe was telling her story through her paintings The illustrations added so much to the story

  10. Haley Hardwick Haley Hardwick says:

    Personal Reaction I thought this book was very interesting and had many different elements in it that contributed to the overall presentation of the book I really like that it is a double sided book with two separate stories and how Spoken Memories is a continuation of Painted Words Purpose Read aloud for students 2 4 enjoyment from the story itself and the uplifting ending Some students may be able to relate to Marianthe and the culturallanguage barrier Also some students may relate to how she feels as an outsider and no one can understand her She has a very hard time communicating her words but she does so through pictures and the students are able to understand her Slowly but surely she was able to begin to understand English and eventually she was able to tell her story through her pictures using her new words the illustrations are really great there is a lot to talk about For example when Mari is talking about her family story in the Spoken Memories side of the book and is talking about the time her family was going through the war experiencing death and famine to her classmates The illustrations become black and white and dark This shows the emotion and tone of this time in Mari's story These illustrations are different from the other very colorful illustrations throughout the bookCurriculum Read aloud for students in grades 2 4 introducing ways of communication with students What are other ways of communicating if you couldn't speak? discussing cultural barriers and breaking down those barriers to help those affected by them How does it feel to be an outsider? How can we help to include others? How can we help others to understand? discussing family history and diverse perspectives in a classroom Maybe have the students learn about their family history and bring a fun painting drawing or story to read to the class Also useful for discussing being open to learning about other cultures and heritages introducing war and immigration to the United States and how immigrants were affected included treated etc

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