Read-In Week 2012

As Read-In Week 2012 wraps up, I was delighted to have visited my daughter’s elementary school as a guest reader. It was something I did last year when she was in Kindergarten, and I wanted to do it again, this time with her Grade One class. As it turned out, the school wanted me to read to a couple of other classes as well. Soon one class turned into five classes and, long story short, I was in for an extended storytime. Just as well, as I was having the hardest time trying to narrow down my selections. Working in the Children’s Library has its advantages. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to read to each class, but I knew that it wouldn’t be until I got started that I would know for sure which books I would pull from the sack. I was a little worried going in, but I had my coffee, I had a sack full of books, and I was ready to have some fun! Here, then, is what turned out to be my “set list” for Read-In Week.

My itinerary for the morning

Special Needs Class (Grades One, Two, and Three)

Opening rhyme: “One Is a Giant”

One is a giant who stomps his feet,

Two is a fairy, nice and sweet,

Three is a mouse who crouches small,

Four is a great big bouncing ball,

Five is a king who wears a crown,

Six are the children who all sit down

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

Mortimer by Robert Munsch

Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash

Grade One (part one)

Opening rhyme: “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!”

Zoom, zoom, zoom!

We’re going to the moon!

Zoom, zoom, zoom!

We’re going to the moon!

If you want to take a trip,

Climb aboard my rocket ship.

Zoom, zoom, zoom!

We’re going to the moon!

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,

Blast Off!

13 Words by Lemony Snicket

Flight of the Dodo by Peter Brown

Grade Two (part one)

Opening rhyme: “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”

Nothing by Jon Agee

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas

Grade Two (part two)

Opening rhyme, “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!”

Beware of the Frog by William Bee

Nothing by Jon Agee

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Grade One (part two)

Opening rhyme: “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!”

More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt

Flight of the Dodo by Peter Brown

Where the Wild Things Are (recited) by Maurice Sendak

My wonderfully indecisive sack of stories

By the end I was spent, but I was so glad I went. It was fun to read to the students, and they did a great job interacting with the stories. One of the highlights of my visit was having my daughter help me read 13 Words. I read the story while she was responsible for the thirteen feature words. I was so proud to have my daughter stand beside me in front of her Grade One class reading words like despondent, haberdashery, and mezzo-soprano.

I wish to thank the students and staff of Lorelei Elementary School for inviting me and making me feel so welcomed. I thoroughly enjoyed the morning and I hope I can come again.


Craicmonkey’s Storytime Delights #8

It’s time for Craicmonkey’s Storytime Selections, the Read-In Week edition!

This edition includes books that are suited for a slightly older audience as we head into Read-In Week. Keep these titles in mind if you are planning to visit an elementary school to do some reading to the students.

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema (illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon)

What’s one of the worst things about summer? All together now: Mosquitoes! Don’t you hate it when they buzz in your ear? I wonder why they do that. Well, the answer is in this retelling of a West African tale about an annoying mosquito and the chain of events that he sets off which culminates in the sun not being able to rise! Pesky mosquito!

This book is filled with lavish illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon that are sure to catch the children’s attention. I especially like the way the characters become exaggerated when each animal is recounting their portion of the story. This lends itself well to how the story shows that assumptions can get out of hand and how personal testimony can sometimes be unreliable. This story also shows that through investigation we can trace outcomes back to their origins, and get to the truth.

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizaz (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury)

Once upon a time there were three little pigs… no, wait! That’s that other story. No, this story is about three little wolves and one big bad pig. How big? How bad? Well, the first house built by the wolves is brick! That’s right, no flimsy straw or sticks here. However, it doesn’t seem to matter how fortified the wolves make their homes, the big bad pig breaks through. Is there nothing strong enough to stop this sinister swine?

This book has beautiful artwork by Helen Oxenbury, who does a magnificent job of conveying emotions through facial expressions, not to mention the intricate details that come through her watercolours.

Nothing by Jon Agee

Otis has just sold his last antique and is about to close up shop when a wealthy customer comes in asking what’s for sale. Having a now empty shop Otis replies, “Uh, nothing.” Little does Otis know that nothing is just the something this customer has been searching for. Soon nothing is quite something as the whole town joins the buying frenzy.

Using his trademark dry humour, Jon Agee shows how easy it is for people to buy into the latest trends, even when they make little or no sense. The story can also serve as a reminder that while one can be perfectly happy with less, just make sure you’re not paying too much for it.

Flight of the Dodo by Peter Brown

There’s nothing worse than when a bird flies over and poops on you. However, if you happen to be a penguin, then it serves as insult to injury as you are once again reminded of the fact that you cannot fly. Well Penguin has had enough and soon rallies the other flightless birds into creating their very own flying machine, ironically (or perhaps defiantly) named, the Dodo. The Waddlers have finally entered the domain of the Flappers and are loving it! That is until they come to realize that flying can be tricky, and even dangerous. Soon the Waddlers are wishing for solid ground. Can it be that the Flappers are the ones to bring them back down to earth?

Delightfully illustrated by Brown, this is a triumphant yet humbling story about dreams realized, boastfulness backfiring, and the thrill of target pooping.