A gentle message about tolerance….
Finklehopper Frog by Irene Livingston is a really fun book to read aloud. Just the name Finklehopper elicits giggles and the rhyming story about a frog who wants to go jogging is a delight. Kindergarteners love the bright, full page illustrations by Brian Lies. But beyond the obvious charm of the book is a wonder gentle message about tolerance and how we should not judge others by their appearance or by the way they might do something, especially if it is simply different. This is a case where a book can be the starting point for a discussion about an important topic and that humor can drive a point home far better than a lecture.
Also in the library this week….
Kindergarten–see opening post
First Grade–How many times as parents have we tried to get our children to part with some of their toys (if only to make room for new ones!)? In David Shannon’s very funny Too Many Toys, a boy and his mother negotiate like a couple of lawyers and finally get a large box of discarded toys. The ending of the story is great….the toys end up in a jumble on the floor and the boy has turned the box into a spaceship and will not give it up! We had a great discussion about recycling and how much fun it can be to make a toy out of something else.
Second Grade–It was another adventure for Stanley the dog in Linda Bailey’s Stanley’s Beauty Contest. These books are a great way to introduce point of view and Bill Slavin’s hilarious illustrations make the Stanley series an all time favorite with this age group.
Third Grade–One of the things I love about the late William Steig is his respect for both our language and a child’s ability to understand new words. His books are not only wonderfully entertaining but they are a perfect way to teach context clues. Even better, the book we read this week demonstrates how sometimes a book can be as good (or in this case funnier) than a movie. Third graders are amazed that Shrek started out as a picture book by William Steig and they loved the language and the humor.
Fourth Grade–After discussing what it would take to found a civilzation, fourth graders heard Weslandia by Paul Fleischman. After hearing this intriguing story we checked back to see how many of the items they had come up with were also in the story. What a great way to begin laying the foundation for later historical studies. The illustrations by Kevin Henkes makes this a great read aloud.
Fifth Grade–We had a rousing game of Library Jeopardy this week.
Sixth Grade–After viewing a Keynote presentation about Manzanar and a discussion of the Japanese internment during World War II, students heard So Far From the Sea by Eve Bunting. As always, Eve Bunting gives a human face to an historical event in such a way that tugs at the emotions and makes a lasting impact. This is an excellent book that explains a rather dark period in California history but does it without judgment or moralizing. The evocative illustrations by Chris K. Soentpiet alternate between black and white for historical images and color for present and help students follow those transitions. A sobering book, but one well worth reading to older students.