How do I know when my young patrons like, no make that LOVE a book I read aloud to them? Facial expressions? Sure. Comments? Certainly! Hand clapping at the end? Definitely! Yet--those still not the absolute proof that kids LOVE a book. So, what is? When I ask who wants to check out this book? Hands go up all over the place! I do! I do! Me! Me!
(Never mind how I settle this--oh, you want to know? I have tried having the interested children pull a slip out of a box. The one who draws the one colored strip gets the book. Fair, but this makes the children unhappy when they don't pull the colored strip. I've tried guessing numbers. Same result. So, what works when many want the same book? I put it aside and we go on to other choices. By the end the one who remembers the book I put aside gets it. If more than one is left, I promise it the following week. This works for me.)
What books become FAVORITES? Here is a list of favorite books from last school year:
"Molly the Pony" is a story of a Katrina survivor--this one a horse who later loses a leg because of a dog bite. Students were riveted to this story, especially when Molly became a therapy horse for children and older citizens also with a disability. They had so many questions and comments to make!
Another book which absolutely fascinated children is an older book--"Koko's Kitten" is the true story of an ape who learns sign language and eventually asks for a friend. They give her this kitten. A wonderful story.
A companion story is "Little Beauty" by Anthony Browne, which children love even more because of the surprise element at the end. Also, this book is filled with incredible illustrations rather then the real-life depiction through photographs in Koko.
"Katie Loves the Kittens" is so much fun to read. A highly excitable terrier, Katie is simply delighted when kittens join the household. However, her exuberance terrorizes the kittens and Katie must learn to control her excitement. See any lesson in this?
A book that, surprisingly, both boys and girls loved was Ladybug Girl. Please click here for my review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3I3XHSCFOGK6K/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
Basically, it is about the daily-ness of life.
An inexplicably beloved book is "William's Doll." William does not understand why his brother and father do not want him to have a doll. He wants to nurture it, put it to bed, take care of it. Finally, his mother convinces the father to allow this wish to fruition. William gets a doll. What a great lesson! To make this concept desirable, I brought in a doll before I read the story and asked for a babysitter during story time. Both boys and girls wanted to hold the baby. I showed them how then carefully placed our baby with a boy. I picked this particular class first because there is a William in it--a leader. He held the baby first.
(Note: I know there are two images for Katie loves the kittens. I don't know how to delete one.)
Books on my very ambitious TBR list (*denotes read)
- *Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox
- The Odd Women by George Gissing
- The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson
- How to Get Your Child to Love Reading by Esme Raji Codell
- The Cod Tale by Mark Kurlansky
- In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
- *Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
- Dag Hammarskjold by Elizabeth Rider Montgomery
- The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael L. Munk
- Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon
- Spiritual Writings by Flannery O'Connor
- Nightmares and Visions: Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Grotesque by Gilbert H. Muller
- The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor
- Flannery O'Connor's South by Robert Coles
- Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
- Sylvanus Now by Donna Morrissey
- *Vincent de Paul by Margaret Ann Hubbard
- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
- A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
- The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
- Readicide by Kelly Gallagher
- *Ruined by Paula Morris
- Say You're Not One of Them by Uwem Akpan
- Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio
- Silence by Shusaku Endo
- *The Assault by Harry Mulisch
- Kari's Saga by Robert Jansson
- *The German Mujahid by Boualem Sansal
- Western Skies by Joseph Conrad
- *The Giver by Lois Lowery
- *Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski