My Name is not …

January 25, 2012

Do you remember daydreaming of being a famous movie star? When I was little, I wanted to be like Shirley Temple. She was the cutest kid, could dance and charm anyone. She said the cutest things and was adorable. As I grew older, my heroine was Jaclyn Smith. Her hair flowed beautifully, she had beautiful skin, and had adventure with style. Oh, if only I could be like her, I would sigh.

Girls love to dress up, pretending to be someone grander than they are. Each dreams of being in the lime light and full of adventure. Jennifer Fosberry captures the little girl dreamer in her book, My Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream.

View the one minute book trailer. 🙂

Isabella is a young girl full of hopes and dreams. As she goes through her daily routine, Isabella pretends to be a famous, historical woman. The book encourages children to believe they can achieve any career activity they want.

I am Helen, the greatest, kindest librarian of all.”

Watch the below one minute YouTube video of how illustrator, Mike Litwin, transforms a one page sketch into a colorful scene.

This book will spark ideas for every young student who has dreamed of being someone. It will create conversation around making goals and believing in themselves.

A companion book for boys is called My Name is Not Alexander.

Savorings for reading and in writing for My Name is Not Isabella:

  • Imagination
  • Dreams/ goals
  • Repeating Structure
  • Superlatives – toughest, fastest, bravest, smartest,
  • Bookend – begins day, ends day

Dog Loves Books

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 🙂

How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?

April 3, 2011

How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly? by Robin Page: Book CoverI keep thinking:  “Why is the book intriguing?” I think it’s because the quick-bit informational layout just wets my appetite.

The information is unique. I want to learn more. At the end, each animal is featured with an extending paragraph of facts.  It’s just enough to satisfy for the moment yet also invites the reader to do more research on their own. Steven Jenkins and Robin Page use a question and answer structure to talk to their reader in How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?

Each section begins with a question about the animal illustrated. The next page gives a quick synopsis of each. Extending information about each icon is provided in the back of the book

Savorings for reading and in writing for How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?:

  • Big question on each page
  • Informational
  • Predicate – verb, article modifier and noun – hatch an egg
  • Illustrations give answers – small creature – reptiles, birds, fish, animals, insects
  • Creative way to write an All About Book

Verbs in Play

January 6, 2009

In Doreen Cronin’s frolicking style, she has created another fun rhyming text.  As a read aloud, Bounce is best suited for younger students.  Scott Menchin illustrates a dog as the main character, acting out the different ways to bounce. 


But, upon rereading the text, I find this book would be great for a vocabulary focus.  The book could be a springboard for and interactive vocabulary writing activity.  Bounce features ways to use bounce as engaging play.  I envision teaching grammatical lessons (and having fun) in the upper grades with this text.

What a great way to teach prepositional phrases, dependent  clauses, even direct and indirect objects (if you must).   Punctuation is used in a variety of ways as well.  You might think that kids don’t get it unless we teach it all, but I had a student in second grade use ?! together in a sentence.  She said she had seen it in books.  She dded, “I’m asking a question and I really want to reply, so I added the exclamation mark to make the reader think about it.”  Kids get it!  Let them explore the text and then try what they find interesting.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Bounce:

  • Apostrophe – C’mon, let’s, it’s, you’ll, I’ll
  • Hyphen – Ker-plop
  • Ellipse – “I’ll bounce to the left…if you’ll bounce to the right.”
  • Flexing sentences – “If you bounce into a puddle, it’s best to bounce in boots.”
  • Verb tenses with the same word – bounce, bounced, bouncing
  • Reader’s Theater – The text lends itself for voice inflection as certain words are bolded and the font is larger.

Bounce, a cute and fun book filled with amazing possibilities.  I can’t wait to read their ot

her book, WIGGLE and STRETCH.