Monday, March 9, 2015

School days

Another day of sharing good books with kids!  I took Grandpa with me this week and Adelaide curled right up in his lap to listen...just like at home.  She can find the smallest nook and cranny on a grandma or grandpa's body to snuggle in and listen.

A group of Kindergartener's don't have the attention span for long books.  They want action, surprise and good guessing in their stories. I brought two books about hopes and dreams and making them come true through ingenuity.  They think the books were about penguins.

 In this one our penguin friend wants more than anything to fly.  His best friend is determined to help and they go to the zoo to find it.  On the way, penguin notices a flyer for the circus and their need for someone or something to be shot out of a cannon.  Penguin believes he has his answer at last.  But you still need a friend.
 In this story penguin is also determined to fly and gets in his boat and goes to flight school.  All the other birds at the school try to explain to him that he's a penguin and so can't fly.  He tries and tries and tries again.  Finally dejected, he heads for home.  But flamingo can't stand such a sad face and has a plan. 
 These three I read to the second graders.  Again, the element of surprise at the end and the problem solving during the reading is so fun to see.  Our young friend in Stuck finds himself with the problem of getting his kite out of a tree.   He tries tossing his shoe up.  But it gets stuck.  His other shoe.  It gets stuck.  A ladder (here's where the problem solving comes in. "Why doesn't he just...." comments are being made from the class.), etc. until all sorts of improbable things get stuck in that tree.  Does the kite ever come down?  You will have to find out.
 There really is a Holly Hobbie.  She's a real person, not a doll. Her watercolor illustrations are gorgeous and she has a great collection in the Toot and Puddle stories.  This one is a true memory of hers and it's beautiful.  Again, with a surprise ending that leaves kids either satisfied or thinking the girl got the sad end of a horse. But always a response.

Our last Betty Bunny book!  You remember the Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake,  Wants it All, Wants a Goal, Didn't Do It stories.  These are really meant for a younger crowd than second graders but reading them to this group only underscores the point that you can read a picturebook to any age child (or adult) and they'll all find something different in it.  By this age the kids really see the humor in Betty's reasoning process.  Betty Bunny Loves Easter and can't wait for the Easter egg hunt.  She is going to find the MOST.  She loves eating chocolate that looks like her and she plans to BE the Easter bunny when she grows up.  Oh, and a dentist, too.  At this year's hunt she notices her brothers and sister helping her by dropping eggs into her basket and she tells them to stop.  She wants to find them on her own.  But of course, without help she doesn't find as many.  This one is about independence.  You appreciate what you do on your own.

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