Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech

This was a fun novel to read. I really enjoyed how the voice of the young boy truly came through with Creech's language. I remember when I was a child feeling the same way he did when it came to publishing my work throughout the classroom. I believe that is a reoccuring theme with a lot of students.
A close family just lost their dog to a car accident, so that part of the book in particular hit close to home. In addition, when I was younger my sister nearly ran over our dog, and it was a terribly traumatic experience, as I was only seven years old.
Overall, the novel just brought up a lot of issues that kids go through when younger and brought them to the surface in a calm and somewhat funny way. I would definitely suggest others read this book and truly look for all of the love that is filled in every page. I look forward to reading more of Sharon Creech's work.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"The Year of Impossible Goodbyes" by Sook Nyul Choi

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to be introduced to two different sides of the spectrum and read this side of World War II. Both books were interesting, quick reads and I truly believe I learned not only about both cultures, but also some important facts about history that I was unaware of.

Personally, I believe that “So Far From the Bamboo Garden” was much more terribly heart wrenching than this story. At times you were on the edge of your seat, however, Yoko went through much more death and unbelievably gory, terrible situations than Sook. I am not discounting Sook’s terrible situation by any means – it takes a strong person to go through that, come out okay and be able to tell the story.

Even though I am going to hopefully teach a very young grade someday, I think it would be important for older grades to experience this type of literature, have deep discussions about it and truly understand the importance. Perhaps they do and my school unfortunately did not provide us with such opportunity. Whatever the case may be, this was a great memoir!

"In November" by Cynthia Rylant

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I enjoy watching the leaves changing, feeling the crisp air on my face and going home to spread thanks with my family. This book is all of those things, and many more, wrapped up into one. I really enjoyed reading this book and the pictures are absolutely brilliant. The book tells a story, but it is not too wordy and is pretty straightforward, because the pictures do most of the talking.

I think this would be a fun book to read as a family while your children are still young. Also, it would be fun to read in a classroom as a group right before Thanksgiving break or when the leaves are beginning to change.

I love the way Cynthia Rylant just makes you feel at home, no matter where you are when reading her literature. Great book!

"The Tree Pigs" by David Wiesner

I read this book this week to compare it to last weeks, “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.” I wanted to see another version of how writers have quirked this tall tale. This book is interesting, because it takes the story in a whole new light and twists the way that books are normally laid out. It is fun to spend a little extra time looking at each page and seeing what is going to happen next in the story before you get to the next page.

I think this would be fun to read with a small group of kids and work on story predictions with them as you get from the beginning to the end of the story. I would definitely have this book in my classroom and also at home. I think it is important for kids to see old stories in a new and fun light. I know kids with wild imaginations would be able to appreciate the extravagant pigs!

"Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!" by Mo Willems

This book is a 2004 Caldecott Honor and I totally understand why! The narrator of the book is a pesky pigeon that wants to drive the bus. The driver has put the readers in charge of making sure the pigeon does not drive the bus and in the end, the last picture looks as if the bus is going to run over the pigeon.

I think this book would fun to read when introducing dialogue into writing. It is interesting to see how the pigeon is able to speak to the readers. For students that are having an extra difficult time with writing, setting up stories, etc. I think this would be a positive tool to have in the classroom for students.

"Olivia Forms a Band" by Ian Falconer

I love Olivia books. It is simple as that. As a treat to myself, I continue to pull them off the shelf at the library to help brighten a dreary day. Falconer has cultivated so much humor into these books and you can truly hear Olivia’s voice screaming through the pages.

My favorite part from this book in particular was when Olivia puts on the lipstick. I just couldn’t help but smiling and thinking of the first time I tried my mom’s lipstick on, without her knowing and how much of a mess I made! Little girls would think this book is such a hoot. I need to get the entire collection for myself!

"I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie" by Alison Jackson

This is such a different and fun rendition from the usual “swallowed a fly.” I had a great time reading this story, because it is such a fun tongue twister and is so ridiculous in parts that it is really funny. I ended up reading this book with my child study buddy this week and he had never read it before, so it was such a treat to read it with him as well. He was laughing pretty hard by the time we got halfway through the book. The book prompted some really great discussion questions to have with one another.

I think this book would be great to have in the classroom. It would be fun to use as a little time filler on an afternoon when you have some free time to enjoy with your kids outside of the usual curriculum. I think younger grades would really benefit from the imagination that is filled in this book.