Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mo's Mustache by Ben Clanton

It is one of the newest crazes, photos with a mustache prop.  Some even draw a mustache on themselves for the day.  It is a fun way to just show a bit of your "crazy" style.

Ben Clanton's picture book Mo's Mustache is a great read-aloud book.  My students loved reading about Mo and his monster friends.  Mo is excited to receive his big, black, beautiful mustache and all his friends love his new look.  Soon they all have mustaches of their own; pink ones, squiggly ones, small ones and extra long ones.  Mo is not happy once everyone has a mustache of their own so he gets rid of his and gets a new scarf.  What will his friends do now?

Mo's Mustache is filled with wonderful adjectives.  Sharing this book with children will expose them to the wonders of describing words and how they can really make a story memorable and wonderful.

Take a tour of your home and use creative adjectives to describe items in your home.  Your home will become even more interesting as you do this, just like in this wonderful picture book, Mo's Mustache.

Happy Daily Reading
Me and my friends with black mustaches of our own!

Reading Handbooks

It was 1989 and I was about to become a first time mom.
there are so many questions when your due date is just a few weeks away.  Fortunately, I attended a workshop about reading to your children.  At this workshop, I was introduced to the book The New Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.   This was the second edition of his book.  I loved it and immediately made a commitment to my unborn daughter that I would read aloud to her everyday of her life.  I managed to do that until about age 10, she then wanted to read on her own.  She loved reading, in fact, books were her favorite "toys".  My son, on the other hand, didn't enjoy reading aloud with me, but he did love library reading times and I did read to him as much as possible.  This book is a great starting point for parents and I highly recommend it as a resource to find quality books that you can enjoy with your children.  

Recently, I have absolutely loved reading the books The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller.  Donalyn is a teacher and her books are full of reading ideas for teachers but her ideas can be used by parents too.   She firmly believes in teaching children to enjoy, even love, books and reading.  She encourages young readers to find the book that is just right for them and he/she will learn to enjoy reading.  Her opinion is that parents and educators cannot force a child to love the same books that they do.  They have to allow them to find what books the children love.  In her classroom, Donalyn makes books available to her students. She shares what the books are about and just leaves them out for students to read.  She encourages book talks, which expose her students to so many different genres.  This enables the students to discover for themselves books they will treasure.

What better dinner conversation can you have with your family than what books you have enjoyed and then make those books available to your children?  You can have your children share what they like to read and maybe you'll discover another great book you like too.  The important thing is to share and make available a variety of reading materials to your children.

Happy Daily Reading

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

One of my all time favorite books is Princess Academy by Shannon Hale.  Miri and her family have lived on the slopes of Mount Eskel for generations.  They are miners just like everyone else in her village on the mountain.  Miri is small for her age and since losing her mother she has been the one to stay home and take care of the goats and the family home while her sister and father work in the mines.  Miri wants to help in the mines but her father won't allow it.  The prince from the kingdom at the bottom of the mountain has to choose his princess from Miri's village.  Suddenly Miri and other girls are sent to the Princess Academy.  Here is where the girls finally obtain an education.  They are competing to get the attention of the prince but also are gaining something much more valuable, an education.  Through the education Miri receives and because of "quarry speak" (something the villagers use to communicate) Miri is able to not only find the right girl for the prince but she enables her village to finally get out of poverty.  Her entire community is better because of her and the others that attended the Princess Academy.

After reading this book discuss with your children what Miri studied and what she really embraced as a student at the Princess Academy.  See if any of these same things are what your child is learning at home or at school.  Do you and your children have any type of family "quarry speak"?  Maybe you do and you don't even realize it!

Happy Daily Reading!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

There's a Wocket in my Pocket! by Dr. Seuss

Rhyming books are loved by children of all ages.   There's a Wocket in my Pocket! by Dr. Seuss is my favorite book written by Dr. Seuss.  This is a book I read every year to my elementary school students.   Some students really believe I have a Wocket in my Pocket whenever I read this to them.

This is a book filled with crazy characters that are found in a young boy's home.  Does he like them all?  No!  However, he loves his house with all the wonderful and not so wonderful friends he has found and he hopes to live there forever.  Who wouldn't want to find a Zamp in their Lamp or have a bedtime friend named Zillow on their Pillow.  As you read through this book look for a favorite of your own.

After reading this book you might want to check out what crazy characters are living in your home.  Or even create some and hide them around the house for your children to find.

Happy Daily Reading!