October is Open Minded
Books and resources for PYP attributes
I put a sticky note checklist so you can easily track which CT members have had the book. If some of your CT members are missing from the checklist, it is because I had a few extra copies. When you are finished, please return to the library.
The following information is included below:
- Titles of Open Minded books for each grade level
- A summary or review of the book
- Trailers for the books (if available)
Please let me know if you have any questions!
Third grade: They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
School Library Journal Review by Elizabeth Bird (edited)
Let’s say you wanted to teach a kid empathy or how our perceptions change depending on our own experiences and who we are. How do you show that in 32 pages? Well, you could pick up some cloying, toxic dribble that overuses words like “hugs” and “friendship”. Nine times out of ten, that’s what’s going to happen. Or...you pick up a book like They All Saw a Cat. It looks at first glance like it’s just about a cat. Delve a little deeper and you’ll find it about science and art and perception and empathy. And it does it all with very simple sentences, repetition, and a lot of white backgrounds. Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.
Everyone, everywhere sees the world different from his or her neighbor. Is it any wonder we have problems? The solution is to try and see things from another person’s view. Now, if the kids think you’re speaking literally or figuratively, it doesn’t really matter. You’ve planted the seed. Or, rather, the book has.
That tired old phrase to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” makes no sense to a kid. But travel a page through another animal’s eyes? There’s never been a better fictional picture book that allows you to do this. If we all see something as simple as a cat this differently, what else might we not see the same? It’s a treat to eye, ear, and mind, but don’t forget. We’re all going to see this book through our own lenses. What will your kids see when they look at it? Only one way to find out.
Fourth Grade: The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss
The Hope Chest Reviews (edited)
The Sneetches and three other classic Seuss short stories grace this volume which highlights the issues of racism and prejudice, as well as the importance of being tolerant and accepting of those who are different from us.
The Sneetches and Other Stories tackles mature themes in a non-threatening, even humorous, way that kids can understand. All four stories in the book have the underlying message of tolerance, acceptance and compromise with those who are different from us or with whom we may not see eye to eye.
In The Sneetches, we have the story of how the Star-Belly Sneetches think they are better than the Plain-Belly Sneetches, and as a result, the Plain-Belly Sneetches are excluded from the Star-Belly Sneetches's activities. That is until Sylvester McMonkey McBean comes to town with his magical machine that adds or removes stars, creating utter chaos, and eventually rendering stars irrelevant. I really liked this story about how our differences don't really matter.
In The Zax, we have two Zaxes who each have their own way of thinking and both absolutely refuse to alter their course. This leaves them at a stubborn impasse as the world goes on around them. I thought this was a great story about the importance of compromise.
Too Many Daves is about a mother who named all of her twenty-three sons Dave. I have to admit that I wasn't entirely certain of the meaning behind this one, but I think it was about how we are all the same and yet each one of us is also unique.
Last but not least, in What Was I Scared of? the cute, little, nameless protagonist is afraid of a pair of pants that walks around by itself, because it's so different than anything he's ever seen before. When he realizes that the pants are as scared of him as he is of them, the two are able to offer comfort to one another and become friends. I thought this was another great story about the importance of accepting those who are different from ourselves.
Fifth Grade: The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric
Fifth Grade: The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric
This book is written in prose and a few of the rhymes are a bit strange. Be sure to read it before you read aloud to your class.
Barnes and Noble Review
Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O'Toole were running and laughing-their first day of school was today! And they wondered just what was in store.
Would this be a good year?
Would school be a bore?
Everyone remembers feeling excited and nervous each fall on the first day of school. It's no different for Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O'Toole. But this year, there's not only a new teacher to meet, but a brand new kid as well. Lazlo S. Gasky doesn't look or speak quite like the other kids, and no one is sure what to make of him. In fact, they respond to his arrival at Brookhaven School by taunting and teasing him. But when Ellie realizes how tough it is for Lazlo, she reaches out, and after school one day they share an afternoon of soccer, strudel, and chess. Besides making a new friend, she and Lazlo teach their classmates an important lesson-one that isn't in their schoolbooks-about accepting people who are different...and in getting to know Lazlo, the kids learn that people aren't that different from each other after all.
From one of America's most respected journalists, The Brand New Kid is a heartwarming story about tolerance and the need to give others a chance that will entertain and inspire children and adults alike.