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review 2018-09-10 05:58
Oh, My!
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly - Simms Taback

Many children are already familiar with the "old lady" books. There are so many now! I am going to focus on one that delivers its own version of the original classic, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, by Lucille Colandro. The story uses rhyming text and hilarious illustrations to engage the reader. The main character, the old lady, swallows an entire menagerie of animals with each one being bigger than the last. Kids will enjoy the fun, colorful pictures and repetition. 

 

This book would be the perfect book for a lesson on rhyming words or sequencing. Have students cut and paste pictures from the story in sequential order or create a list of rhyming words following a class discussion of the rhyming words found in the story. 

 

Recommended for Ages: 5-8

Lexile Level: AD280L 

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review 2018-09-10 05:32
I Want To Be Friends With the BFG
The BFG - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

I LOVE Roald Dahl's, The BFG. Otherwise known as: the Big Friendly Giant. This was the first chapter book I truly enjoyed as I child, and I am currently reading my worn and tattered childhood copy aloud to my son every night. He always begs for me to read one more chapter, reminding me of the same love I had of the story growing up. The BFG centers around a young girl named Sofie, who is scooped up by the giant out of her bed one night. Terrified, because she believes the giant is going to eat her, she soon learns that the BFG is different from normal giants. He is friendly and caring and doesn't eat "human beans" at all. The BFG is full of humor and his silly, jumbled form of language will make any child laugh.

 

The BFG opens the doors for many lessons and activities including:

  • A lesson on character traits, both physical and inner
  • A discussion about the BFG's gobblefunk glossary, prompting students to create some made-up words of their own
  • Have students create a dream jar like the ones described in the book
  • Have students write about their dream(s)

 

Recommended for Ages: 8-12

Lexile Level: 720L

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review 2018-09-10 05:06
I'll Eat You Up!
Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak's, Where the Wild Things Are is truly a timeless classic. I enjoyed it over and over as a child and my kids enjoy it just the same. The story follows a mischievous little boy named Max who gets sent to his room without any supper. Upon being sent to his room a forest begins to grow...and grow...and grow. Max's imagination takes him on a journey to a faraway place to where the wild things are. And although the wild things gnash their terrible teeth and roar their terrible roars, Max is unafraid and tames them with his magic, becoming king of the wild things. After his adventurous travels Max begins to feel hungry and tired and decides to return home, where his dinner is waiting for him, still warm. 

 

The beautifully detailed illustrations are just as intriguing as the story. Where the Wild Things Are is an enchanting read, and one that many children will be able to make connections with (whether it be imagining faraway lands and monsters, getting sent to your room, or acting like a wild thing). There are some wonderful activities to accompany this book and some of my favorites include:

 

  • STEM Challenge: Design your own wild thing, foil boat, or paper bag tree
  • Writing prompt: "I feel wild when..."
  • Act out the action words found in the book (roar, march, jump, gnash, etc.)

 

Lexile Level: AD740L

Recommended for Ages: 4-8

 

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review 2018-09-10 03:55
No Pictures?! Really?
The Book with No Pictures - B.J. Novak

Oh, yes. If you did not think it was possible for children to enjoy a book with no pictures than this book will prove differently! If I were to sum up this book in one word it would be: HILARIOUS. The Book With No Pictures, by B.J. Novak, is a fun and entertaining book for children of all ages. The reader is at the whim of the author. The author gets the reader to read the absolute silliest things because, as the reader, "you MUST read whatever the book says....no matter what!" This book will force you to admit that you are a robot monkey, your best friend is a hippo named Boo Boo Butt, and the child you are reading to is the best kid ever. It's a great book to model reading with expression, and to show children how wonderful books can be even if they don't have pictures.

 

There are so many teaching ideas to go along with this book. Students could:

 

  • Write their own "Book With No Pictures"
  • Record an audiobook version of the story
  • Create artwork to accompany the pages in the book
  • View the hilarious video of the author reading the book: http://thebookwithnopictures.com/

 

Recommended Age Range: 5-8

Lexile Level: 490L


 

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review 2018-09-10 03:08
The Red Book

The Red Book, by Barbara Lehman, allows readers to experience the power of story through illustration alone, as it is a book without words. It's a magical story of a little girl who discovers a red book in a snow pile on her way to school. While at school, her curiosity gets the best of her. The girl opens the book and finds herself looking at a boy who is looking at a book with her in it! (WHAT?!) The children realize at the same time that they are seeing into each other's lives (I can already imagine the most interesting class discussion). The girl decides to set off in search of her new friend by purchasing a big bunch of balloons. As she floats up towards the sky she drops her book, causing both the boy in the story and the reader to ponder if she will make it to her new friend. The little boy can no longer see her in his book and looks very sad, although that moment is brief, because before he knows it, the girl lands right beside him! In the end, we see the red book that the girl dropped being picked up by someone else and we realize the journey is not over. 

 

This book has the ability to transport readers to a faraway place and really activate their imagination. The story can be told from so many different perspectives, and I would be interested to hear of the ways children would interpret it. I would use this book in a writing lesson and have students either write a brief summary reflecting their interpretation of the story or write a prediction about what they think will happen next (younger readers could use drawings to illustrate their predictions).

 

Guided Reading Level: A

Lexile Level: NP

Recommended for Ages: 4-7

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