Can you say, "Half-way point?" Woot! Woot! Thanks for sticking with me, but I can't take responsibility for your Barnsey/Amazon bill. However, I can totes empathize. I've been there before. Many times.
If you have your coffee and your fave list making pen already, let's not waste any more time.
At #51 is Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg. I have seen the movie, but never read this book before. I KNOW! To me, that is like a crime - I ALWAYS read the book first. It's another Caldecott, which makes me feel even worse about not reading it before.
(Click on the images for the links...shop til you drop!)
So, you guys know the story, right? Kids find spooky board game, kids play spooky board game, board game comes to life in the form of all sorts of jungle animals, kids finish game, throw it out the window and get everything back to normal just in time for their parents to return home with their guests. In the end, they see two other children running away with the game...
This is a MUCH LESS scary version. Fabulous for our friends in grades 1-3, in my opinion. At times, that movie was downright scary. In the book, things don't get quite so out of control, nor do other adults get involved. It's really a very creative story with absolutely beautiful black and white illustrations. BEAUTIFUL! If your friends are brave enough, you could totes Venn diagram the book versus the movie. (And who isn't tempted to just throw in a movie on those days right before a vacation or summer break?) Or, this is another great text to have on hand for those extra few minutes OR a last minute substitute.
Get ready for back to back Caldecotts, friends! Number 50 is Black and White by David Macaulay.
Um, wow. I feel a little speechless right now. Talk about a creative text!! So each page has four sections which could tell four different stories or all be part of the same story, depending on how you look at it. Let's see, there's a boy coming home to his parents on the train, some commuters waiting for a train at the station, a set of fairly odd parents and a robber with a bunch of cows. (Yes, I said cows. You read correctly.) Careful inspection of the pictures reveals aspects of each of these stories present in the other...and really, you HAVE to study those pictures and really think about what's going on. Basically, impossible to summarize since it is so dependent on how you look at the story each time. I say...get this one for your class. It will be fascinating to get their take on the story/stories. I'm thinking at least grade two for this one. I think your friends need to be a bit more sophisticated in their ability to interpret and comprehend a text to really dig into this one. I would totally go all the way up to fourth or even fifth grade with this one too...but that's just me...I love using pictures books with the older guys too.
Next, at #49 is King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood (who is also the author of The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear which I reviewed over here.) Another new title for Mrs. Mimi (and her bank account!)
First off, it's a Caldecott and you know I'm partial to those! And it is a pretty cute story. So there's this king who refuses to get out of the bathtub. The page appeals to the people to help him and one by one, some of them try to encourage the king to get out. They try serving lunch, holding a dance, going fishing, but the king decides that all of these things can be done from the tub, so FAIL. At the end of the day, the page gives up and simply pulls the plug.
This book is great for a number of reasons. First, it has a lovely predictable piece to it that would make for a great read aloud with the younger friends. You could make it super fun on repeated readings. Second, the illustrations are lovely. Third, it's kind of funny - or at least I think your kiddos will think it is. And no worries, while you will get a few giggles, the whole "being naked in the bathtub" thing is a non-issue. (Although when the king jumps out and is wrapped in a towel at the end, I can totally picture some of my naughty boys losing it, but hey...that is usually just par for the course.)
Ooooooo! Get excited, people!! At #48 is another one of Mrs. Mimi's all time favoritest of faves!! It's The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater!!! In this fabulous little book you've got a lesson about being your own person combined with endless possibilities for wonderful art projects!! Be still my Banrsey-loving heart!
Mr. Plumbean lives on a street where all the houses are the same, and that's how people like it. Until one day when a seagull carrying orange paint (just go with it) drops a big orange splot on Mr. P's house. His neighbors want him to fix it right away but instead of making his house look the same again, Mr. Plumbean paints his house with all sorts of colors, and adds a few palm trees, a hammock and an alligator. He says it looks like all his dreams. One by one the neighbors try to convince Mr. Plumbean to make his house look like all of theirs again and one by one, each of the neighbors ends up changing their house to look like their dreams. There's a boat house, a hot air balloon house and a palace house. And that's just the way the people on Mr. Plumbean's street like it.
Cut to my friends drawing huge pieces of art showing the houses of their dreams. Fab sub assignment or fab Friday-afternoon-this-is-all-I-can-handle-today assignment. LOVE IT. Plus, the added bonus of having a lesson about being an individual and following your dreams. Cha-freaking-ching, people.
To wrap up our list for this morning, we've got a newly minted classic among the little friends. #47 is If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. I have this one in big book form and it's a fave with my friends during partnered reading.
I think this is another book that doesn't really need a huge summary - it's pretty up there on the popularity scale. Basically, a boy has a mouse who asks for a cookie, but then...asking for one thing leads to another and another and another until, at the end, you're right back where you started. (And I imagine, the little boy is totally pooped.)
I used to use the big book version of this text to work on various reading strategies with my first grade friends such as using the first sound(s) and the picture, and/or listening to see if your reading looks right, sounds right and makes sense to name a few.
That's it for now fellow book lov-ahs. We're mid-July and mid-list! Hope you're loving both!