I observed a sweet moment.
Mom arrives and the child pulls her over to show her today's book. He won't leave class until she sits with him and let's him tell her the story. Today, it is Lon Po Po by Ed Young. He flips through each page, using his own words, and he reads the book aloud to her. I predicted the children would love this book! (I'd been informed by their many personal stories about wolves... I knew they would love this "Red Riding Hood Tale" where the children outwit the wolf.)
For me, this is one of the most obvious signs that a book has "hit a home run" - when a child needs to share the book with his family before he will leave the classroom at the end of the day!
I am so delighted that this has been a frequent scene this year. I am thinking about which books have jazzed children in recent weeks...books they have needed to read, over and over...that they wander off to read during centers, or at nap time, or when the day is winding down. I wonder if there is any connection between these?
Alistair in Outer Space by Marilyn Sadler
Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger
The Little Old Woman in the Vinegar Bottle by Margaret Read MacDonald
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Peter and the Wolf, symphony by Sergei Prokofiev; here, we read several versions, but particularly loved the adaptation by Chris Raschka
The Magic Gourd by Baba Wague Diakite
Twenty One Elephants by April Jones Prince
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Zomo the Rabbit by Gerald McDermott
Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
I am wondering...
Is there any connection between all these?
What makes a picture book so loved?
Many have lovely writing.
Many have delightful rhymes.
Many are totally fun to read aloud...especially if you "ham it up," exaggerate expressions, show acute emotion.
Many of these stories have incredible illustrations.
Many of these have main characters who are children.
Though, then again, many of the main characters are animals.
Many have characters who get into real trouble - and then get out of it!
Many situations are just plain silly.
I'm not sure I see a common thread.
I am so excited by how excited my children are by the books and stories we share.
Bev Bos notes that when she starts to read a book and it appears she has no one's interest, she closes the book and opens another. I see the wisdom in this - children are very clear about which books they love and there is a bounty of great books to share.
I sometimes struggle about leaving a book out and accessible, because, well, they are only three and four years old - they are not one hundred percent careful with books. Unexpectedly, they'll leave them on the floor and someone else will step on them, or they'll turn pages with too much enthusiasm or faster then their reading mate wants them to turn them - only to have the pages rip. But, to me,
I'd rather repair or replace a book that has
made them crave another reading,
then keep my books pristine and removed.
So, I repeatedly teach them how to care for books...we keep a "book hospital" at the ready, with tape and scissors for repair. We repair books together. And I watch them devour books, over and over....
It is really delightful.