April 3, 2018
Don’t judge a book by its cover. I was surprised with the number of craft moves in this book, Hogwash by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jim McMullan. Filled with rhyme and a humorous story line, your students will laugh at the banter between the farmer and the hogs. Specific vocabulary is used such as Suey, Suey spic ‘n’ span, cleaning duds.
In regards to a mentor text, I noted several words were contractions: here’s, let’s, weren’t, that’s, etc. Most pages have four lines, so my eyes caught the past tense verbs. I began to write a few down and my list grew to over 30. When teaching the -ed sound, this book would aide. Let the kids find and categorize the ending sounds. It will make for a fun lesson and one that will most likely connect with them.
Savorings for Hogwash:
- One day
- Turning Point – “Everything went dandy … until”
- Character change
- Specific Vocabulary
- Past Tense Verbs
- Compare this text with Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin.
February 25, 2018
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, is a delightful tale of friendship. These two become friends despite their differences. They engage in fun activities, have compassion for each other, and work out problems. The tone of the book invites readers to think about characteristics of a friend, how to overlook differences, and possibly try something new. For some extension activities, visit RIF.
To hear the entire book, view on the YouTube link.
Savorings for Boy + Bot:
- Varied sentence length
- Sequence of events
- Past tense verbs – /ed/
- Parallel structure
- Comparison – man vs. machine
- Wonderings – Was the boy imagining a friendship with his toy robot? Notice the illustrated toys in his bedroom.
February 18, 2018
Amanda Noll has created two awesome fun reads. In I Need My Monster, Ethan wonders how he will sleep without his monster. Substitute monsters arrive, but they don’t have all of the traits that Gabe, his monster, has. Hey, That’s My Monster, Ethan has a bigger dilemma – his sister won’t go to sleep and his monster plans to camp out in her room. Emma doesn’t seem to be rattled by the visiting monsters. She giggles. She plays. She is not sleeping. Howard McWilliam brings the monsters to life in a fun, not scary, delightful tale of childhood bedtimes.
View the book trailer:
Storyline graciously reads both books. Click on the title to show your students. I Need My Monster. Hey, That’s My Monster.
Savorings for both books:
- Kid perspective
- Vivid verbs
- Power of 3
- Story tension
- Every day happening
February 10, 2018
Steven Jenkins and Robin Page collaborate to peak your interest. They share the most interesting facts about ordinary and unique creatures. In Flying Frogs and Walking Fish, the focus is on the animation of the animals.
The sections are divided by questions about the animal featured. For example, A Walking Octopus? sheds light beyond the understood eight legs. “They use two of them to walk on the sea floor.”
Other animals are then featured on a two-page spread highlighting their unique ways to walk (Marching, strolling, tiptoeing...). Additional facts are shared in the back of the book.
To learn more about the making of this book, go to stevejenkinsbooks.com/flyingfrogs. Have fun learning new synonyms and interesting facts!
Savorings for Flying Frogs and Walking Fish:
- Compare/ Contrast
- Questions as SubTitles
- Synonyms – whirling, tumbling, somersaulting
- Fun Facts
October 9, 2017
Laurie Keller (author/illustrator) invites readers to remember the importance of manners. Based on the Golden Rule, the characters dialogue about what manners mean in Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners. Mr. Rabbit wants his new neighbors, the Otters, to be Friendly, Polite with please and thank you, and excuse me. Of course, everyone should be Honest too. Kind, Considerate, Play Fair, Cooperate, Share all make their appearances as well.
The reader gets swooped into an auditorium of play. Laurie Keller’s illustrations are whimsically rich setting the stage for deeper understanding. Words are embedded in the background to enhance the meaning of each manner. Off-side scenes are an additional reference to each manner shared.
Savorings for reading and writing for Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners:
- Great text to use for Voice Inflection and Reader’s Theater
- Models character mental conflict – reader views the thinking bubbles
- Use of the Colon
- Ellipses – slows down character thinking – “How would I … … like otters … … to treat me?”
- Asides – (hmmm… maybe not the treats)
- Example of a Thank You Note
- Magic of 3 – Series of examples for each manner is listed in 3 groups
- Contractions – I’d, you’d, wouldn’t
- Bantering between two characters
- Metacognition – thinking about his thinking
- Word Pictures
- Scenes / Exploding the Moment
PES Life-line book (November)
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