August 22, 2011
The Bookshop Dog intrigues me. I found the book at a used bookstore. It’s not new (copyright 1996), but new to me. Cynthia Rylant is not only the author but also the illustrator. As I read the book, I kept wondering where she got the idea for the book. A dog-lover will relate to this book.
A young lady takes her dog everywhere, even to work. She owned a bookstore and name it after her dog, Martha Jane’s bookshop. Her customers loved the dog and business was flourishing.
A dilemma arises when the lady has to go to the hospital. Several customers wanted to keep Martha. It was Martha who chose her handler – one man who visited the bookshop weekly. I think this book is a great example of how a decision creates the problem in the story.
Savorings for reading and in writing for The Bookshop Dog:
- Play on words
- Magic of 3 – postman, policeman, band director
- Problem/ Solution
- Character traits
August 19, 2011
Marni McGee theme in Winston the Book Wolf is the love of reading. Winston the Wolf feeds on words. He loved eating books. When banned from the library, Rosie(with a familiar looking red-hooded sweatshirt) came to his rescue. She asks why he eats books.
“Words are so delicious!”
Ian Beck interweaves characters from familiar fairy tale stories – the Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood – throughout the setting. Winston transforms into Granny, the Story Lady, who reads at the library. What a great way to start the school year, inviting kids into the world of reading.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Winston the Book Wolf:
- Spin on a familiar story
- Problem/ Solution
- Character emotion
- Magic of 3
August 17, 2011
Dirk Yeller is a cowboy with itches in his britches! People are nervous around him. When Dirk asks for help, no one seems to have the solution … except for Sam. Sam is curious and begins following Dirk everywhere. He seems to understand Dirk’s energy and shows him to his quiet place – the library.
The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town by Mary Casanova shares the importance of the library and how reading can capture a variety of interests. Ard Hoyt adds more to the story on the end papers. In the front, you will see the wanted poster, including Dirk’s profile. In back, the newspaper announces Dirk and the librarian wed. What a change reading had on this character!
“And ever since, the library has become the busiest place in town, especially for folks curious, restless minds – like Dirk Yeller and me.”
Savorings for reading and in writing for The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town:
- Magic of 3
- Similes – “sweet as pecan pie“
- Apostrophe – ‘cuz, shootin’
Warsaw Community Public Library new book
August 15, 2011
This book is creative and fun. As the school year begins, you want to engage your students through read alouds, enticing them to revel in the joy of reading. Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson will grab the daydreaming child’s attention and show him a creative way to read. The reading and writing connection is linked through this storytelling text.
The end papers display a bookshelf with books, which foreshadow the events in the story. Each two page layout links one scene to the next. As Charlie begins to read those books, the reader views the illustrations through Charlie’s eyes. One story leads to another, which leads to another, and eventually circles back to Charlie reading a book. Fun! I think your boys will find this book interesting and funny.
Set in a poetic, rhythmic rhyme, the reader is carried away on an adventure in every scene. The humor sprinkled throughout will delight all our listeners.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book:
- Circular ending
- Love of Reading – it’ an adventure!
August 12, 2011
Denys Cazet pens an adorable narrative that will capture an book lover’s heart. Hamlet, the pig, loves to read and write. With a notebook in hand, Hamlet notices his surroundings and writes. His sensory description captures the beauty of the moment. His sentiment for literature is not shared by his family, though. As Hamlet consistently asks, “Will You Read to Me?‘, his pig parents seem to be interested in other daily activities, such as eating.
Searching for someone to share his poetry with, Hamlet takes to interacting with his reflection. Unbeknown to him, an animal audience listens and asks for more. Surprised, yet pleased, Hamlet obliges.
Savorings for reading and in writing for “Will You Read to Me?”:
- Hybrid text – narrative with poetry inlaid
- Sensory Detail
- Living like a Writer
- Child-like conversation
- Past-tense verbs – shouted, shoved, pushed
- Magic of 3 – “The breeze rattled the cattails, brushed Hamlet’s face, and then it was quiet.”
July 22, 2011
I fell in love with this book! Dog Loves Books is dear to my heart! My writing group met this past Tuesday, and I shared this book with them. “It is so me,” to which they agreed.
Dog loves everything about books and decides to open a book store. While he waits for customers, he stays busy reading. Louise Yates illustrates how the characters of his book come alive and is a fun introduction of visualizing during reading for children. Finally, a little girl comes to the bookstore for a book, and Dog knows just the right one for her. He knows his books and how to match his customers with a just-right book.
I feel such a connection to this book as I love reading children’s books and then sharing them with kids. I believe I’m going to begin the year sharing this book with classes, sparking a love of reading with them.The illustrations support the simple text and allow you to linger over the meaning.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Dog Loves Books:
- Visualizing during reading
- Every day happening
- All About example – although this book is a narrative, the theme is centered around an interest and young children could use this book as a mentor text, sharing their interest in a similar way
- Grammar – the simple text allows you to focus on sentence structure; several different types of sentences are used, simple to complex
PES new book
July 13, 2011
I featured this book at the AllWrite!!! Summer Institute in June. What a fun title! I love the way a list of how to do somethings was integrated with speech-bubble interjections and narrative. David Slonim hooked me with his illustrations. This book is a great example of a “How To” book. Older kids could use it as an example to create a book for younger student on a subject they know a lot about. You could use this publishing technique for an All About Unit of Study.
In How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson,a slug wants to learn to read. A young boy shares with him and his mother the steps to reading, from making sure the slug can see the pictures and words to stretching out sounds. The author and illustrator use well-known books and create books with a slug as the them in the background illustrations and poems. For example, instead of the book The Cat in the Hat, they have The Slug in the Hat.
The book demonstrates how children should ask questions about their reading, including vocabulary or unknown words.
“What’s a tuffet?”
“A tuffet is a low seat.”
Savorings for reading and in writing for How to Teach a Slug to Read:
- Speech bubbles
- Persistence – reading takes time to learn
- List book – how to learn to do something
- Book jacket – mentions Susan spends lots of time in her garden – probably where an idea came from
Warsaw Community Public Library new book (2011)
July 11, 2011
Chick loves stories of adventure. He daydreams of meeting the hero who fights off evil. The chicken coop is too dull with its daily duties of pecking, laying eggs, and sitting. Chick wants more.
Jennifer Sattler creates a fun read in Chick ‘n’ Pug. Heading out, Chick finds a pug. Chick is thrilled! At last he has found his hero. In contrast, the illustrations portray pug as an ordinary, lethargic pup trying to sleep. Believing his hero is exhausted from a heroic conquest, Chick marvels at Pug. He wants to be just like Pug. Chick has visions of strength and wit.
When an intruder (a cat) appears on the scene, Chick decides to help his hero out and defeats the foe with a LOUD bark. Hooray! Too cute!
Savorings for reading and in writing for Chick ‘n’ Pug:
- Thought bubbles vs. speech bubbles – dreams of being something mightier
- Magic of 3 – 3 short scenes
- Character thinking aloud to the reader
- Ellipse – dramatic, surprise ending
- Love of Reading – chick reads the adventure book 127 times.
March 4, 2011
I love author’s notes! I fell like having a personal interview with each author. Patricia McKissack explains that Goin’ Someplace Special is her story, based upon the segregation she grew up with.
‘Tricia Ann wanted to go to her favorite place. She had gone there many times with her grandmother, but today she was going on her own. ‘Tricia rides the bus, sitting in the ‘colored section’. As she walks to her destination, ‘Tricia gets caught in a crowd and is swept into a hotel where she faces hostility.
Through the encouragement of a kind woman, ‘Tricia is reminded of her grandmother’s words:
“And no matter what,” Mama Frances called after her, “hold yo’ head up and act like you b’long to somebody.”
Arriving at her destination ‘Tricia An was thrilled. It was a place of freedom. It was the Nashville Library. The fron facing declared, “Public Library: All are Welcome”.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Goin’ Someplace Special:
- Love of Reading
- Show don’t Tell – “What’s got yo’ face all clouded up like a stormy day?”
- Grabber Lead – “Tricia Ann was about to burst with excitement.”
February 11, 2011
Marie Bradby created a rich text in More Than Anything Else. A young boy shares his thoughts through the book, giving you a glimpse into history and a boys dream. The book takes place post slavery. The work is hard for little pay. The boy is young – nine years old and working in a salt mine. He has a strong desire to learn to read.
“I think about the hunger still in my head – reading.”
One evening, the boy hears an African-American reading the newspaper. The boy is delighted. He can see his dream of reading changing from a hope to a reality. He shares his desire with his mother, who somehow brings home a book of the alphabet. She calls it a song. He practices writing the letter shapes in doesn’t know the sounds. He longs to know the sounds.
One night the boy searches for the man. The man explains the letters and sounds. The illustrator, Chris K. Soentpiet, creates the excitement through the bright yellows contrasting in the dark setting. The boy wants to know more, so the man writes the boy’s name – BOOKER.
This is Booker T. Washington’s story. Notice the dedication part; it gives the clue.
Savorings for reading and in writing for More Than Anything Else:
- Sensory Description – chill of the evening, arms ache, stomach rumbles
- Figurative language – it’s used throughout the story
- Love of Reading -
- Character thinking – “More than anything else, I want to learn to read.”
- Background Knowledge – hardship after slavery, dreams