March 1, 2018
Karen Kaufman Orloff captures the voice of a child begging to change his circumstances. Kids are the best at persuasion. They insist. They give reasons. And they insist some more.
In I Wanna Go Home, Alex isn’t not thrilled with going to his grandparents instead of staying with a friend. His view point is limited. David Catrow captures the many faces of Alex as his perspective changes. The reader learns of his pleas to his findings to his adventures through letters (a delightful writing habit that many kids may not even recognize.)
Karen Kaufman Orloff has created a website with activities linked to her I Wanna books. Clink on the link here to see ways to use this text for persuasive writing.
Enjoy hearing from Karen in this 2 min video. (Read an interview with Karen about writing this book.)
Savorings for I Wanna Go Home:
- Letter writing/ emails/ correspondance
- Dedication – the grandparents’ names in the dedication are the same in the book
- Childhood encounters – false teeth, hearing aides
- Parent vs. child perspective
- Different meanings – “Did you know that when you go square dancing you actually spin in circles?”
- Generation Connections
- Descriptions before his name – Swam Boy Alex
December 2, 2011
The adorable faced dog on the cover snatched my attention immediately. Kandy Radzinski draws the personality out of each dog. You get a sense of what each playful pup is like in just two poetic lines.
I read the book to several classes, ranging from first grade to fourth. All the children feel in love with the book What Dogs Want for Christmas. The boys were giving me double thumbs up. Each child seemed to make a connection with at least one puppy, and everyone had a story. I resorted to having the children give a vote if they owned the dog on the page. Excitement grew with each page. I had a lot of fun and laughter while reading this book.
Savorings for reading and in writing for What Dogs Want for Christmas:
- Point of View – a characteristic of each breed is woven into his request
- Note/Letter format – “Dear Santa; Love, General“
- Poetic Narrative
- Apostrophe usage
- Illustrations – intriguingly real; drawing conclusions with the use of added symbols such as cat-faced buttons
November 4, 2008
I love November. I guess I love being thankful. Having lived in a third world country, your life is touched in a special way. I still smile when I turn on the lights and have a warm shower. November means Thanksgiving, Veterans’ Day, a time for reflection. America is great – not perfect, but great. We have so much. So today as I voted, I thought about the privilege we have to live in a country with so many freedoms. And resources.
One resource I love is books. I’m thankful that we have the privilege to use libraries and read books. I love Scholastic Book Clubs where I can purchase my own books. Books provide stories that enlighten my world. They make me think, reflect.
One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II by Lita Judge is another book that makes me thankful for what I have. This book is similar to Boxes for Katje, as posted Nov. 2, in that a family reaches beyond themselves to help others. In Lita’s author’s note, she states:
“I found a dusty box while cleaning out my grandmother’s attic. Inside were hundreds of aged, yellowed envelopes from all over Europe containing foot tracings of every size.“
I met Lita Judge at the Michigan Reading Conference last March 2008. She stated that the book was based on her grandparents’ relief initiative. Thank you, Lita, for sharing the story. As I read the story, I reflected. On family. On resources. On others.
Take time this Thanksgiving season to reflect on what you have and be thankful. Read a historical narrative and allow the story captured to move your heart. You can write your own story by helping someone in need. Just do the act of kindness. You’ll be blessed.
Savorings for reading and in writing for One Thousand Tracings:
- Vignettes – time passes through the glimpses of history
- Letter writing – Mama writes letters to friends and family, imploring their help
- Character reflection – “I thought about that little girl; she was my age…. I wanted Eliza to have something nice.“