Friday, February 6
Falling in Love With Books!
Preschool: This week the preschool students and I read The Big Blue Thing on the Hill by Yuval Zommer a brand new book that was just published last month! In this story we are introduced to the forest dwelling animals of Howling Hill. They are a happy bunch of animals who sleep all day and get up at night to live in happy harmony. One night this all changes when a big blue thing appears at the top of the hill. They have no idea what this thing is and try many different ways to get this thing to leave. The wisest old owl has an idea that just might get the job done. We laughed and talked about how the animals didn't know what this thing was and we all did (a big blue van). The preschoolers are becoming much more independent and confident when they come to the library and I have enjoyed getting to know them and learn their reading preferences.
Kindergarten: Monday is my usual day with Kindergarten classes so we had to do a wiggling around with schedules to fit everyone in. It also means that some of the classes read one book while the other classes read a different one. Either way the students and I had a great time laughing and reading fun literature together. We either read Goldilocks and the Three DInosaurs by Mo Willems or One Cool Friend, by Toni Buzzeo. Both of these books bend the expected and are fun to discuss with the students. In the Goldilocks story we laugh at the dinosaurs as they are trying to lure a young child to their home so they can gobble her up. In the fun and silly style of Mo Willems (Elephant and Pig books, Knuffle Bunny and Pigeon stories) we follow the basic storyline of the classic Goldilocks story with some fun and silly adventure along the way. One Cool Friend stretches our imagination a little as we watch the boy take a real penguin home to care for without his father's knowledge. Just when we think that the dad is upset with Elliot we learn that he has a tortoise in the house as well and is not shocked by the new animal in the home.
First Grade: First let me say that it was very fun to hear several first graders come up to me on Wednesday saying they couldn't wait for tomorrow. I had no idea what they were talking about but would then say because we get to come in and read a book with you Mrs. Brenner! What a warm feeling to know they are just as excited to visit the library as I am to have them here with me! We had a great day reading a hilarious and exciting book together, talking about what we are reading at home or school and then finding spots to read our newly chosen books.
We read Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken, by Kate DiCamillo. This book was a thrill to read to the kids, two groups of first graders erupted into applause as I turned the last page! What fun to enter into a different world with the children eagerly following along! Louise is a normal hen in a normal hen house who decides that living in the safety of her hen house is just not providing enough excitement and adventure for her. She sets sail on the ocean and has a run in with pirates, she joins the circus and tries her wing at the highwire, she even travels to a far away land and becomes imprisoned with a few new chickens. After every adventure Louise begins to miss home and finds her way back to her hen sisters. The children enjoyed the humorous illustrations, the tense drama and the warm notions in this great book. Kate DiCamillo has done it again, this is a masterpiece!
Not only have we had a great time talking about the books we read in class, I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing the students talk about what they are reading. It has been so amazing to watch them grow in their interest and ability as readers. Their confidence and excitement about their reading is truly inspiring!
Second Grade This week the second graders and I enjoyed the story Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo, see above in first grade to learn about this fun and adventurous tale!
Third Grade: Third graders and I have been reading a whimsical tale of a squirrel with super powers. Yes, you heard me correctly. A squirrel that finds himself being sucked into a vacuum cleaner facing death survives mostly intact (he is missing quite a bit of fur) and begins to show signs of his super strength, ability to type and a newfound love of life and people. The book is called Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamilo and it is filled with hilarious illustrations, excitement and tenderness.
Fourth Grade: The fourth grade classes and I decided to have another novel read aloud. These kids were so eager to start another one and after class voting, the decisions were made. Mrs. Phillip's class and Mrs. Olson's classes are both reading Saving Zasha, by . This story takes place just after World War II in Russia. It is considered traitorous to have a German Shepherd and two Russian brothers happen to find one that they promise to care for. There are many people searching for these dogs, some for good and some for evil but all want to take this loving, kind dog away from a family that has already lost so much.
Mrs. Capper's class has chosen Little Dog Lost, by . This is book written in prose that tells the tale of a little dog that wants a boy, a little boy that wants a dog and an old man who is tired of being alone. It is a very quick read and one that the kids are already very engrossed in.
Both books chosen by fourth grade are from the Iowa Children's Choice Nominee list and will be choices the kids can vote on in March.
It has been another great week in the library and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been reading next week!!!
Have a great weekend!