April 7, 2018
Fun. Creative. Interactive. Viviane Schwarz engages her readers by interacting with the characters in Is There a Dog in This Book? I just love how the characters chit-chat with you: “Oh, hello! You opened our book!” Andre’ sniffs and wonders if someone else is in their book. The hide-and-seek game begins between the cats and the dog. The reader engages in the hunt by lifting flaps in the book, seeking and adding to the story.
Author/ illustrator, Viviane Schwarz, shares her story about writing books in this 8-minute video. I love how she wants to inspire children to draw and write, creating their own books.
On this YouTube clip, the author reads her story to you. I think the kids will enjoy hearing her read this delightful tale. View her blog for more behind the scenes tidbits of her work. You will be introduced to other books by Viviane Schwarz.
Savorings for Is There a Dog in This Book?
- Second Person Narrative – interaction with the characters
- Power of 3
- Speech bubbles
- Character Description / change
- Everyday Happening – children can relate to the topic; create stories using their pets
- Setting – helps young children see the importance of the setting
February 16, 2018
Two friends: Nerdy Birdy and Vulture. They are different, but they are real friends. A must-have book for my library!
Aaron Reynolds creates a delightful banter between two friends in Nerdy Birdy Tweets. Nerdy Birdy loves his video games and his new tweeter friends. Absorbed in the online media, he forgets his friend, Vulture. A story of learning to balance social media with relationships.
Check out video clips of books and interviews of Aaron Reynolds. View some of the illustrations by Matt Davies and tweets between Reynolds and Davies regarding their new book.
Savorings for Nerdy Birdy Tweets:
- Character Traits – compare/contrast
- Digital Citizenship
- Play on words
- Restorative Practice
June 26, 2017
My friend, Tammy, loves chickens. She barters for them at swap meets and collects their eggs. She names them and notices their character. And Tammy tells chicken stories. I love her stories!
I’m not sure her chickens have come to her rescue, but John Himmelman‘s characters do. They are ready to help each member of the family every day of the week in Chickens to the Rescue.
Right now, I could enlist the chickens to do some every day chores: dishes, laundry, scrubbing the kitchen floor, even going through the piles in the closets. Your kids will laugh at the attributes each chicken displays.
A YouTube interview of John Himmelman talking about Chickens to the Rescue (almost 9 min.)
Savorings for reading and in writing for Chickens to the Rescue:
- Sequence of Events according to the days of the week
- Character description
- Repeating Structure
- Bookend ending – ready for the next book
South Whitley Public Libary
November 28, 2011
The illustrations by Anne Mortimer are exquisitely life-like in Cat and Bear by Carol Greene.
Cat is annoyed that his child has chosen to love a stuffed bear instead of himself. You can sense Cat’s feeling of distaste. Cat attempts to hide bear, but mother finds bear each time. Until one day…
Cat took one look at him and felt sick. “The Child already has a furry friend,” he growled. “Me. Bear is unnecessary.”
On a windy day, Cat seeks his revenge, and Bear is lost outside in leaves. The Child misses the bear. Cat tries to ignore his thoughts and guilt, but sees the pain his Child is feeling. In the end, Cat begrudgingly searches, finds, and retrieves Bear. Dragging him to the Child, Cat is rewarded with a kiss of love from the Child. In the end, Cat learns that love can be shared and is multiplied.
Reading through Anne Mortimer’s bio on her website, I learned she is famous for her cat paintings. I didn’t realize she illustrated another one of my favorite books for Christmas called A Pussycat’s Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown. For the cat lovers, below is a beautiful video of Anne’s gallery.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Cat and Bear:
- Character description – the lovable Bear and the unaccepting Cat
- Voice of the cat – I love the cat’s finicky personality is portrayed
- Story detail – a wonderful interweaving of character thought, action, and dialogue
- Sensory description – soggy, snuggled
- Community building
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
July 20, 2011
Little Red Pen is worried about the huge stack of papers. They need to be graded. They must be graded. Who will help her? Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel create a fun read that every teacher will love in The Little Red Pen. The voices of the characters are rich and funny. I could hear the passion of Little Red Pen as she works diligently through the papers. The work never seems to end and she implores the help of her fellow school supplies. They all seem to fear falling into the pit (the trash can) and tiring too much. Each character hides in the drawer until all of a sudden Little Red Pen stumbles and falls into the trash can.
The supplies realize they are needed and cannot take a backseat, letting just one do all the work. A sense of community abounds. Working together, they are able to motivate each other, save Little Red Pen, and accomplish the looming piles of papers.
Your kids will laugh hearing each character. I do love the way the conversations are color-coded, meaning the color of the spoke words match the color of the character. This book will provide an opportunity for you to talk about team work and community in your classroom. You could also use this book as a read aloud as an introduction for procedures with using classroom supplies. Janet Stevens has the characters present themselves with an air of respect that your students will connect with. The humor will keep them on the edge of their seats. Love this book and want it for my collection!
A fun YouTube video about the book.
Savorings for reading and in writing for The Little Red Pen:
- Character traits – Pushpin is Senorita Chincheta and speaks some Spanish.
- Voice – kid’s will connect
- Play on Words – Scissors “I’ve been cutting up all day. I’m getting dull. Not good for a sharp guy like me.”
- Everyday happening – ideas for a story from ordinary school supplies
- Font manipulation
- Community – working together
Warsaw Community Public Library – new 2011 book
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. 🙂