Dust from the Book Fairy

Posts Tagged ‘lessons

The Day Leo Said “I Hate You!”
by
Robie H. Harris • Illustrated by Molly Bang
September 2008 •
Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers

I’ve been reading this book to my kindergarten through second grade library classes this week, and it has been a definite hit. An applause-after-the-story, read-it-again-now hit. It rates a 5/5 just on the students’ reactions. They are held rapt by Bang’s imaginative illustrations, which are a combination of drawing and Photoshopped objects, like the broccoli exploding around Mommy in one spread. They loved the crazy things Leo does and gets fussed at for, like squirting toothpaste down the toilet. The particularly observant ones have noticed that Leo’s stuffed dog and dinosaur react to his emotions by looking worried when he’s worried, etc. This book provoked a lot of conversation from the kids; I stopped just before Mommy’s reaction to Leo telling her “I Hate You!” and asked them what they thought.. Some of them were sure he was in BIG TROUBLE, and others admitted to doing something similar themselves. We talked a little about how angry words can hurt feelings, and especially about how it’s hard to take them back. The story ends with forgiveness and making amends, which relieved the students. Some of my teachers got to see it during Family Reading Night, and my behavior-assistance teacher decided to order her own copy, because it would be a great lead-in to talk about the hurtful power of words and the process of making amends with her students.

—posted as a comment at The Picnic Basket book review blog–

This week we’ve been reading Maybe a Bear Ate It! by Robie Harris with my little ones. (K & 1st). It is such a fun book, told just as much through the pictures as the minimal text. A little purple and green monster is reading HIS BOOK in bed. Then it disappears. He can’t live without it, and starts imagining all sorts of ridiculous things that might’ve happened to it. . .

“Maybe a bear ate it! . . . Maybe a elephant fell asleep on it!”

Then he starts hunting all over his house for it. . in the sink, in a shopping bag, even in the dryer! My observant children were edging off their seats, saying, “It was under his bed! It was under his bed!”

After reading it through once, we flipped back through it to talk about taking care of library books, and places to look when you can’t find your book

“Should you sit on your book like the elephant?” “NO!”

“How many of you have found something you thought you lost under your bed? (Lots of sharing time here. . .the best one was a little boy who found his puppy under his bed).

It’s definitely on my most recommended list, especially for librarians. . it’s a good lead-in to a book care lesson without feeling too didactic.

I read The Boy Who Cried Wolf by B.G. Hennessy to one of my classes today, since they’re studying fairy tales and fables in reading this week.  Before reading we talked about how a fable is a story that’s meant to teach a lesson, and I asked them to be thinking about what lesson this story was teaching while they listened.

Afterwards, I had the kids share their answers with a partner before talking as a whole group.  (Good way to get all to participate, and to eavesdrop and see how many in the class get it).  Then, anybody who wanted to could share their answer with the whole class.  My favorites:

“Don’t lie, ’cause nobody will believe you.”

“Don’t scam people, it makes them mad.”

“No pranking.”

Side note–I love this version of the story!  It has captivating illustrations (down to the lazy shepherd boy lying on the grass picking his nose!)  and fun text to read aloud.  Check it out on amazon.

Tags: ,

My library’s got a lot of ugly picture books.  If you’ve worked in a library, I’m sure you can relate–Unless you’ve lucked into a brand-new library, complete with brand-new books.  If you have, don’t tell.  It’ll just make me jealous.

I know I could, and in some cases should, drastically weed them.

BUT (WHINE ALERT) It’s only my second year.  I’ve already caused some heart attacks with my weeding of duplicates and literally moldy-oldies.  Some of them are classics.  Good stories, just unloved because the kids can’t get past the ugly, plain covers.

So, my 3rd-5th graders are picking out one of these unloved orphans.  They’re giving them a makeover with new covers.  We’re going to laminate the new, improved covers put them on the books. Students started this week by selecting a book to adopt, reading it, and thinking about ideas for the book cover.

And the best part of all: They’re excited about it!

From a Student: “Can we check it out first when we’re done?”

From a Teacher: “My kids came in from recess today and asked me if they’re going to get to adopt an ugly book in their library class this week.”

Hopefully I’ll have some pictures of rejuvenated books soon.