Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Back to School

It's back to school time.  The kids have been back in the classroom for a month. The teachers are set up and the kids are re-indoctrinated to their new routines so it's time for me to go back with a tote full of books and read once a week.  I do love this and apparently the kids do too because when Adelaide's teacher told the class they were going to have a guest reader the kids asked if it was me!

Once again, if you are looking for good, kid tested stories, you can't go wrong with these.

 Yes, there is a way to read a story.  About ten steps.  Like: find a good book, a reading buddy, cozy spot, look at the cover for clues about what the book will be about, look at the pictures for clues if you don't know a word, etc.  Many of the things in this book are things I always tell the kids:  look at the cover.  The story starts with the cover, not with the words inside, etc.
 By the time we get to Christmas they'll be telling me the way to read a book.
 This one is hilarious and I may just purchase it to have at home. I find myself picking it up over and over just to repeatedly read for myself and look at the nuances in the illustrations.  The four men on the cover see a bird and they try various ways to catch the bird.  The little guy on the end just does the friendly part, "hi, birdie!"  And is told, "Shhhh! We have a plan!"  and of course the plans fail.  But in the end it's the bird who has the last word.  Or does he?
 This one brought so many different responses from the kids.  I told them ( 6 year old first graders) that I almost didn't purchase this one. I almost didn't even look at it!  I thought it was too young for them just from the cover.  And asked them why I might have thought that.  Well, what a smart bunch they are. Their responses were exactly on point:  Colors too soft and babyish, the toys look like baby toys, there's no action.  I couldn't believe they got it.  But then I told them there was ONE thing that did make me pick up the book and then buy it.  The name of the author/illustrator.  Kevin Henkes.  Coincidentally, they're doing an author unit in the classroom now and the author is Kevin Henkes!  Perfect timing for me!  This IS a quiet book but there are such subtleties in the pictures you have so much to talk about with your little one.  It is NOT too young for a 6 year old nor too old for a 2 year old.  Kevin Henkes is a genius.  Buy his books.
 Here's another pair you want on your shelf .Elizabeth and Adelaide can now recognize artist Oliver Jeffers' books by his style ("That looks like the same kind of pictures as in the book Stuck, Grandma")
 Sam is lonely.  Fred is an imaginary friend who gets to stick around only until his person finds a real life friend. He's moved on a lot and is used to the routine. He knows the signs.  But he and Sam really bond and Fred doesn't want to leave when life turns around for Sam. 
I've found when I ask kids in third grade (Elizabeth's grade) if they like to read the boys will say no and the girls will say yes.  I ask the boys if they would rather be outside running around and playing soccer or football or baseball or whatever.  They all shake their heads yes.  Well, that's the problem this book presents.  We have a video gaming guy whose teacher is determined to find a book he will like.  Let me tell you, this one had the kids paying attention.  There's no wiggling when they see themselves on a page.

1 comment:

  1. You have the best job in the world! I loved being read to when I was at school, we had an emergency teacher who also happened to be the local policemans wife and she was great, didn't try to do anything than take her time and read us great stories. Memories!!