June 26, 2014
Harry Houdini was known for near-death escapes. The sibling authors’ grandmother shared stories of meeting Houdini. She gave them their first magic book too.
Reading the book jacket, I learned more. Kim Kennedy and Doug Kennedy had a family donkey on the farm, who was known to take items from a person’s back pocket and then hiding behind a tree. These memories triggered the idea for the book.
Knowing these idea snippets, the introduction correlates. The illustration shows a donkey and mouse sitting under a tree talking. I believe in letting kids know how ideas come to life. An every day happening, such as a pet, living on a farm, created a story. The kids could be like Kim and Doug.
The story begins with the two friends practicing magic tricks day after day, persevering through disbelief from the other animals. A “one-day” story highlights the magic in a dream, the prize from persistence.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Hee-Haw-Dini and the Great Zambini:
- Power of 3 – words in a series; scenes in three
- Other Verbs for Said – honked, squeaked, grunted
- Community Building – believing in a dream, persevering
- Made up Words – “unlock-o-maneuver”
- Story from memories
November 7, 2013
Superheros have been the theme lately. Our family loves the movies and are anxious for the new ones to come out. Our staff retreat this past August was titled: “I Teach…What’s Your Super Power?” Searching for books to match our theme was a fun challenge. One book, Superhero School by Aaron Reynolds, hooked me in for an adventurous peril. Andy Rash, author of Are You a Horse?, details a comic-book hero setting full of action that will ignite your students’ interest.
A boy read for sure as kids are the superheroes … of math. Yes, math. Leonard heads to school expecting to learn how to do incredible feats of saving. Instead, his teacher, Mr. Blue Tornado, has them learning multiplication, division, and fractions. Annoyed and a bit distracted with his own desires, Leonard learns a great lesson in using math within everyday experiences (everyday for a superhero that is). The savvy craft in this book will keep your kids’ attention and you all will enjoy the surprise ending.
I love the “kid talk” in this piece:
“But then it hit Leonard like a giant mutant octopus.“
A short YouTube video (less than 2 minutes) gives you a glimpse of Aaron. It’s not the best sound quality, but I still liked “meeting” the author.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Superhero School:
- Repeating sentence structure
- Magic of 3
- Kid language – “...cooties had to be considered.”
- Narrative with Math Connection
- Vivid Verbs – revved up, recalculated
March 30, 2012
Spring is here and the trees,
bushes are flowering.
Colors burst brilliantly
Nature seems to be creating an orchestra
of uplifting music.
Morning greetings mix
Sunshine waves down
kissing the air with warmth.
Spring is anew!
***I subscribe to Your Daily Poem to increase my like of poetry. Poets amaze me with the craft of words, the rhythm and snapshots with deep meaning. This week, a beautiful poem by William Wadsworth was shared called Written in March. It captures Spring so delightfully.
March 26, 2012
Baseball season has officially begun for the Whitko Wildcats. With it being Wesley’s senior year, my calendar is filled with each game being a priority. Sitting in the stands, I hope, cheer, and have a twisted-tight stomach.When Wesley pitches, I’m on the edge of my seat, clutching my pitch-count notebook. I also scribble baseball lingo and try to craft it. Tonight, I am sharing some of my favorite words in baseball: atta-kid, burner, change-up, double-play, hop-up, pick-off, slider, two-seamer. Learn of others in the book Baseball from A to Z. Below is a quick taste of what I feature on Book Savors the other eleven months of the year. (Savorings is my word for lingering in a beautiful text to find the craft of writing.)
In Baseball from A to Z , each letter has one vocabulary word with a simple definition. Macky Pamintuan’s illustrations make you smile and feel a part of the game. He states on the book jacket that he loves baseball. The illustrations are action packed and introduces specific terms used in baseball. This book could be a mentor text for kindergartener students or first graders for an All About Unit of Study.
At the end, Michael Spradlin encourages the reader to find other baseball words at the ball park. Read an excerpt from his book on the website.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Baseball from A to Z:
- Alphabet practice
- All About Unit of Study
- Baseball lingo
- Word choice