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
March 11, 2018
Rabbit is worried he will miss snow and winter activities with spring coming. His friends present several different perspectives to persuade Rabbit that spring will be great too. Daniel Kirk shares his passion for writing on his website at this link. See a preview of The Thing About Spring and some teaching ideas at this link.
“What are you doing, Rabbit?” Mouse called.
“Saving snow, while I still can,” Rabbit grumbled. “We won’t see any more of this until next year!”
“But spring is coming,” Bird chirped. “Aren’t you excited?”
Savorings for The Thing About Spring:
- Repeating Phrase – “The thing about spring is …”
- Persuasion – seeing a different perspective
- Magic of 3 – words in a series, sentences
- “There are buds on the trees and new colors in the sky, and I feel warm and happy.”
- Community Building – friendship; notice the positive
- Character Change – Rabbit notices the surprises spring can bring
- Science Connection – talk about the changes in the seasons.
- Pair it with another book about fall to winter; compare changes
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 13, 2018
by Alisha Vimawala
Growing up, I learned about the nine planets in our solar system. Pluto was the farthest. In 2006, new discoveries changed this notion.
As you read All My Friends Are Planets, you are engaged in a conversations with Pluto. It explains how it changed from being a planet in the solar system to the classification of a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt. It feels alone, describing the other planets in the solar system. It is
I’m not a scientist at heart, but I love the wonderment of space. This lighthearted conversation explains the differences of Pluto for children to understand. It’s a great springboard into further research. The author nudges her readers to investigate more on the subject and lists possible sites to begin in the back of the book. Alisha Vimawala also has a drawing contest of a future planet. Genius!
Savorings for All My Friends are Planets:
- First Person Narrative – talks to the reader
- Informational Narrative
- Scientific Characteristics – same/ different
- Power of 3
Scholastic book order
November 10, 2017
I was perusing through my Thanksgiving books and came across Turk and Runt. The book is hilarious. Lots of play on words and voices. Lisa Wheeler did an incredible job of thinking like a turkey in pursuit. Just had to mention it. Click on this link for more mini-lesson ideas.
For a video of the book, click here.
October 20, 2014
Kids wonder what happens when teachers get together. They pass by the room with the sign Teachers’ Lounge and try to peek. Jerry Pallotta portrays adventurous activities for teacher relief in What I Saw in the Teachers’ Lounge. Wouldn’t it be fun to walk through the forest during lunch time? As I reread the book, I noticed Howard McWilliam gave some clues from the paintings on the wall. Several match the adventures the teachers have.
After reading the book, kids could draw and write what might be happening in the teachers’ lounge. It would be fun to hear what they think.
Below is a video of the book, narrated by a student. The quality is good. It definitely gives you a preview of the book.
Savorings for reading and in writing for What I Saw in the Teachers’ Lounge:
- Wonderment – what is happening?
- Interjection – Yikes
- Sentence Structure – simple text as well as complex sentences with clauses
- Plural possessive
- Magic of 3