The Horn Book » Lolly’s Classroom http://www.hbook.com Publications about books for children and young adults Thu, 28 May 2015 01:44:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Behind the Scenes of the Little House books http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/lollys-classroom/behind-the-scenes-of-the-little-house-books/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/lollys-classroom/behind-the-scenes-of-the-little-house-books/#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 10:01:34 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47377 How much time do you devote to researching the books you give your students to read? If you have the time or are really interested in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pioneer Girl may be for you. This scholarly book with notes and appendices, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, is for true fans of […]

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pioneer girlHow much time do you devote to researching the books you give your students to read? If you have the time or are really interested in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pioneer Girl may be for you. This scholarly book with notes and appendices, edited by Pamela Smith Hill, is for true fans of the series and not necessarily for casual readers.

You may know that with the help of her daughter, writer Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, wrote a book series to tell of her family’s days of trying to prosper on the American frontier. What you may not know is that the fictional children’s books series had its origins in a nonfiction manuscript for adults.

The editors have taken pains to verify and provide evidence that supports the facts surrounding the Ingalls family journey, using census records, newspapers accounts, etc. Wilder leaves out most of the family’s encounters with others (for example, when they stayed other families on their way to their next home) in order to shape a story of one family’s attempts to conquer the frontier. They actually had more contact with their extended family and neighbors than one would guess from reading the books.

Pioneer Girl shows how Wilder rearranged the details of her real life into a fictional series about one family’s determination. She shaped her parents into consistent characters, even if that meant changing details. Wilder also omitted many of the unsavory things she and her siblings were exposed to — such as public drunkenness, lecherous acquaintances, an aunt’s divorce, and love triangles among neighbors — because such things would not have been welcomed in children’s books in the 1930s when her books were first published.

To say that I was fond of Little House on the Prairie and the other books in the series is an understatement. I read them over and over. And now, after reading Pioneer Girl, I know that the feelings those books stirred were no accident: these are the very feelings Wilder intended to evoke.

However, while I loved the stories, there was much I didn’t understand. I felt confused when Laura’s father participated in a minstrel show. I wondered over an Indian breaking into the house. I did not know how to process the way people of color appeared in the books. When I was older and asked my mother why she didn’t tell me I would have been a slave if I had lived back then (something that may or may not have been true — I don’t know that all of my ancestors were slaves), she responded that she didn’t want to dampen my imagination.

As an adult, I don’t fault my child-self for the fascination nor adults for recommending these books. They have something to offer, even if I think I might have benefited from getting more historical context. If nothing else, someone might have told me just how difficult the pioneer life was (and that it was not as simple as the Oregon Trail computer game made it seem).

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At the museum http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/lollys-classroom/at-the-museum/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/lollys-classroom/at-the-museum/#respond Thu, 21 May 2015 14:49:19 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=45182 Museums are great places to experience fun, learning, and often even hints of mystery. They spark the imagination and make us question things we have never considered before. As such, they make a great setting for stories that can inspire a love of museums, history, and art. Perhaps because the middle school years often include […]

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Museums are great places to experience fun, learning, and often even hints of mystery. They spark the imagination and make us question things we have never considered before. As such, they make a great setting for stories that can inspire a love of museums, history, and art. Perhaps because the middle school years often include museum field trips or perhaps simply because this is the perfect age for museums to catch a reader’s imagination, there are many great middle grade books set in museums. This list offers lots of options, particularly for art and history fans.

WonderstruckWonderstruck by Brian Selznick
This Schneider Family Book Award winner alternates between two stories set in two different time periods. Ben is a young boy growing up in the 1970’s. As the book opens, he loses his hearing in a lightning strike but nevertheless decides to set off alone for New York City to find his father, eventually ending up at the American Museum of Natural History. Interwoven with Ben’s story is Rose’s story, told entirely through pictures. Rose is growing up Deaf in 1920’s New York City and runs away to the American Museum of Natural History. Both this museum and another play a key role in this unique and engaging story of family and love.

mixedupfilesFrom the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
This Newbery Medal-winning classic tells the story of two young children who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Hiding away until the museum closes in order to stay there at night and exploring with tour groups during the day, they manage to discover a mystery related to the latest exhibit. Their investigation takes them from the museum to the Connecticut home of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, an art collector with information that allows them to complete their search. This book has inspired a love of art, mysteries, and museums in generations of young readers and it is sure to continue to do so for years to come.

Under the EggUnder the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Theodora Tenpenny is an expert at finding things. For the most part, she finds free stuff on the streets of New York City, from books to a snowboard. But now she has even more pressure on her than usual — taking care of her mother without her grandfather’s help after his sudden death. Her grandfather left her with some perplexing words about a hidden treasure just before he died. When Theodora thinks she has discovered a valuable painting underneath a painting done by her grandfather, all her problems as well as the mystery surrounding her grandfather could be solved, until she starts to worry that her grandfather may have stolen it. Readers will love seeing New York City through her eyes as she tries to solve all of the mysteries her grandfather has left for her.

Moxie Rule BreakingMoxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne
Set in Boston, this book uses the real life mystery of the burglary at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as a jumping-off point for a suspenseful mystery that finds Moxie and her best friend Ollie tasked with finding the paintings to save their loved ones. Moxie’s grandfather may or may not have been involved in the robbery, but either way, his former associates in organized crime think that he has the paintings and they want Moxie to get them back. She and Ollie take off on a race through the city to find where the art has been hidden all these years. Whether readers already know about the heist before starting the book or not, they will love the tense race through real-life Boston locales and will definitely end up wanting to go to the museum.

Chasing VermeerChasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett; illustrated by Brett Helquist
Mysterious letters, coded messages, visions of figures from famous artwork, and pentominoes all come together in this mystery about a Vermeer painting stolen en route to the Art Institute of Chicago. When two middle schoolers at the University of Chicago Lab School get caught up in this disappearance, it is up to them to put together coincidences and clues to save both the painting and their teacher. The book also includes additional information on the code that is used throughout the story, which is sure to inspire an interest in cryptography amongst many readers. They will enjoy this tour through art history and Chicago’s Hyde Park and the twists of the plot are sure to keep them guessing until the very end of the book. Chasing Vermeer is the first in a series that introduces readers to other aspects of art history.

sixty-eight roomsThe Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone; illustrated by Greg Call
Also set at the Art Institute of Chicago, this mystery centers around the museum’s sixty-eight Thorne Miniature Rooms that display detailed interiors from various points in history. This book, the first in a series, starts with some children discovering a way to explore these rooms while on a school field trip to the museum. Once they find out that they can enter this world, Ruthie and Jack can’t wait to explore some more, leading them to sneak back into the museum where they get caught up in further adventures. Combining magic and mystery, it will capture the imagination of young readers and is sure to make them want to visit the Thorne Rooms for themselves.

Do you have other favorite books set at museums? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Best book bracketology http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/lollys-classroom/best-book-bracketology/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/05/blogs/lollys-classroom/best-book-bracketology/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 18:19:34 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=48496 It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. A fresh, clean bracket has names neatly penciled into open slots, representing optimism and promise for excitement. Meanwhile, the sweetness of the beginning is quickly thrown into tumult, as surprises abound and unpredicted losses become the talk of Twitter. The competition is fierce, […]

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It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. A fresh, clean bracket has names neatly penciled into open slots, representing optimism and promise for excitement. Meanwhile, the sweetness of the beginning is quickly thrown into tumult, as surprises abound and unpredicted losses become the talk of Twitter. The competition is fierce, and the stakes are high. Naturally, I’m talking about March Picture Book Madness!

I was scouring through my daily dose of teacher blogs (a heavily addicting recreational activity, though I highly recommend it) when I came across an article in one of my absolute favorites. The Nerdy Book Club (yes, that’s its real name) was advocating for countrywide participation in a March Madness book battle. Over 700 schools across the US were putting in their picks for top-seeded picture books, middle grade novels, or young adult fiction. The website would then generate a bracket, with classrooms everywhere participating in the “madness!” My class just had to get in on all the fun — what an exciting excuse to indulge into picture books, and providing a fun incentive for read-aloud time!

Worried that your school may not have the funds to take on this challenge? Have no fear! Our grade level team didn’t enter the actual pool. We decided to use the list of books selected on the website as guide, and see which ones we could find in our school library. For ones that we could not find, we simply supplemented with other incredible picture books that we found! I put on my artistic hat and created my own bracket out of a large piece of card stock.

Just as the March Madness basketball brackets stem from different regions, the picture book bracket had two distinct categories: books written prior to 2014, and books written throughout the 2014-2015 season. This created a wonderful opportunity for all of us to explore the latest in children’s literature, as well as revisiting some old favorites. Check out the picture below for our classroom picks (click to see it larger). I know we’re past March now, but the fervor is still in the air as we come to our top pick. I hope you’ll consider an activity like this next year as it really isn’t that maddening to organize!

 marchmadness_500x368

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Mock book award results | 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/04/blogs/lollys-classroom/mock-book-award-results-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/04/blogs/lollys-classroom/mock-book-award-results-2015/#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 02:22:42 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=48389 My children’s lit students just met for the last time, and we spent most of our three-hour class in mock book award groups. I had been thinking about trying mock awards in this short six-week module for a few years, but this year Maleka Donaldson Gramling, the terrific course TF, thought it would be worth […]

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mockawardwinners2015

Committee results from left to right: the two Caldecott groups, Geisel, and Sibert.

My children’s lit students just met for the last time, and we spent most of our three-hour class in mock book award groups. I had been thinking about trying mock awards in this short six-week module for a few years, but this year Maleka Donaldson Gramling, the terrific course TF, thought it would be worth reconfiguring some tried and true aspects of the course to make room for this lengthy process. I am happy to report that it was worth it. The students had lively and informed discussions and proved that they really have learned a few things over the past few weeks.

In working out the logistics, I relied heavily on advice from Calling Caldecott readers. With 23 students and a handful of auditors, we ended up with four committees: two for Caldecott and one each for Geisel and Sibert. Each student nominated one or two books and tonight they completed the project, meeting in committees (we separated the two Caldecotts into two different rooms), presenting each book, discussing, and voting. You can see a photo of the results above. Here is the full list.

Caldecott committee #1 had an even number of members and after several ballots were still in a dead tie. The final decision was made by coin toss:

  • Winner:
    The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat
  • Honor Book:
    The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Caldecott committee #2 had a more traditional experience:

  • Winner:
    The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary GrandPre
  • Honor Books:
    – Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo
    – The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Geisel committee choices:

  • Winner:
    You are (Not) Small by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant
  • Honor Book:
    Tippy and the Night Parade by Lilly Carré

And the Sibert committee — the largest group — chose:

  • Winner:
    Eye to Eye by Steve Jenkins
  • Honor Books:
    The Right Word by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
    The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary GrandPre

The deliberations were fueled by snacks and each group had an instructor t0 help keep discussion focused on award criteria. I am so grateful to Maleka for moderating the Geisel group and to Lauren Adams (unofficial discussion facilitator and Adolescent Lit instructor) who oversaw the Sibert group. I bounced between the two rooms and helped the Caldecott groups.

What do you all think? Students? Other blog readers? Do you like their results? After all, part of the real committee experience is dealing with the post-decision social media fallout.

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Last children’s lit class in 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/04/blogs/lollys-classroom/last-childrens-lit-class-in-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/04/blogs/lollys-classroom/last-childrens-lit-class-in-2015/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 13:48:03 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=48106 It’s hard to believe that this half-semester module is finishing up in one week. Last night, students handed in their annotated bibliographies — the big written assignment in this course. Now we head into the last class for a little fun. We are reading Charlotte’s Web for dessert but most of our last meeting will […]

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It’s hard to believe that this half-semester module is finishing up in one week. Last night, students handed in their annotated bibliographies — the big written assignment in this course.

Now we head into the last class for a little fun. We are reading Charlotte’s Web for dessert but most of our last meeting will be all about book awards. We have two Caldecott committees, one Geisel, and one Sibert. Students chose which books to nominate and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all works out. I love seeing that there are some overlaps, not just between the two Caldecotts, but also between Caldecott and Sibert.

I hope some blog readers will weigh in on their slates — and on Charlotte’s Web — at the links above.

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Charlotte’s Web | Class #6, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/04/blogs/lollys-classroom/charlottes-web-class-6-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/04/blogs/lollys-classroom/charlottes-web-class-6-2015/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 13:35:59 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=48088 During our last class meeting, we will be holding four mock book award sessions. There are two Caldecott groups and one each for Geisel and Sibert. Check out the books they have nominated here and tell us which one would get your first vote. Charlotte’s Web has been my last class reading assignment for several […]

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Charlotte's WebDuring our last class meeting, we will be holding four mock book award sessions. There are two Caldecott groups and one each for Geisel and Sibert. Check out the books they have nominated here and tell us which one would get your first vote.

Charlotte’s Web has been my last class reading assignment for several years, and I call it our dessert book. While most of the students have already read it, I usually find that about a third haven’t, particularly those who didn’t grow up in the U.S. It also fits in with our award theme that day because it did not win the Newbery (though it was an honor book).

If this was your first read, what did you think? Did it live up to its reputation as a classic? If this was a re-read, what did you notice this time that you might have missed before?

We’re also reading an article about E. B. White from the Smithsonian Magazine website that sheds some light on the origins of this book. Rather than dividing up this week’s reading, let’s discuss both the book and the article in the comments of this post.

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Mock book awards | Class #6, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/04/blogs/lollys-classroom/mock-book-awards-class-6-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/04/blogs/lollys-classroom/mock-book-awards-class-6-2015/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 13:35:31 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=48090 During our last class, students will meet in mock award groups. I posted about this last week, but we’ve had some updates since then. We will follow the terms and criteria as outlined by the ALA/ALSC: Caldecott terms and criteria Geisel terms and criteria Sibert terns and criteria There are 5-7 students on each committee, […]

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During our last class, students will meet in mock award groups. I posted about this last week, but we’ve had some updates since then. We will follow the terms and criteria as outlined by the ALA/ALSC:

There are 5-7 students on each committee, and each nominated one or two books which they will present to their group when we meet on Thursday. After that, they will discuss their slates, vote, and present their winning books to the class.

Which book in each group do you think is the most worthy, and why?


 Caldecott committee #1

 beekle   rocco_blizzard   frazee_farmer-and-the-clown_17-x137   campbell_hug machine   maclachlan_iridescence of birds    maple   barnett_sam-and-dave_170x229   sparky

  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend written and illustrated by Dan Santat
  • Blizzard written and illustrated by John Rocco
  • The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
  • Hug Machine written and illustrated by Scott Campbell
  • The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
  • Maple written and illustrated by Lori Nichols
  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • Sparky! by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Caldecott committee #2

maclachlan_iridescence of birds   nana in the city   rosenstock_noisy paint box
barnett_sam-and-dave_170x229   morales_viva-frida_170x170   sidman_winter bees

  • The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
  • Nana in the City written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo
  • The Noisy Paintbox by , illustrated by Mary GrandPre
  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
  • Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen

 


 Geisel committee

cockadoodle    fix this mess    mr putter and tabby
soccer fence    carre_tippy and the night parade   You-Are-Not-Small

  • Cock-a-Doodle Oops! by Lori Degman, illustrated by Deborah Zemke
  • Fix This Mess! written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold
  • Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard
  • The Soccer Fence: A Story of Friendship, Hope, and Apartheid in South Africa by Phil Bildner, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Alexander
  • Tippy and the Night Parade written and illustrated by Lilli Carré
  • You are (Not) Small by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant

 


 Sibert committee
(looking at younger books because this class covers elementary school only)

bang_buried-sunlight_170x209   jenkins_eye to eye   gandhi_grandfather gandhi_170x178
powell_josephine_170x213   rosenstock_noisy paint box   bryant_right-word_170x231   Separate Is Never Equal

  • Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm, illustrated by Molly Bang
  • Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins
  • Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Evan Turk
  • Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  • The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary GrandPre
  • The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
  • Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her Family’s Fight for Desegregation written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

 

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Mock book awards | Class #5, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/mock-book-awards-class-5-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/mock-book-awards-class-5-2015/#respond Sun, 29 Mar 2015 22:48:19 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47896 This year, most of our last class meeting in Children’s Lit will be devoted to mock book awards. Each student selected a committee to join (Caldecott for picture books, Geisel for easy readers, or Sibert for information books) and chose one or two eligible books published in 2014 to nominate and present to his or […]

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This year, most of our last class meeting in Children’s Lit will be devoted to mock book awards. Each student selected a committee to join (Caldecott for picture books, Geisel for easy readers, or Sibert for information books) and chose one or two eligible books published in 2014 to nominate and present to his or her committee. Presentations will be followed by discussion, voting, and of course snacking throughout.

Each group will follow the terms and criteria as outlined by the American Library Association/ALSC:

Here are the books each committee will discuss (with a couple more still to be chosen). Please help us out by commenting on which book on each slate you think is the most worthy, and why.


 Caldecott committee #1

  • The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend written and illustrated by Dan Santat
  • Blizzard written and illustrated by John Rocco
  • NEW: just added The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
  • Hug Machine written and illustrated by Scott Campbell
  • The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
  • Maple written and illustrated by Lori Nichols
  • Sparky! by Jenny Offill, illustrated by Chris Appelhans

h810f_caldecott1_2015


Caldecott committee #2

  • The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
  • Nana in the City written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo
  • The Noisy Paintbox by , illustrated by Mary GrandPre
  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
  • Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen

h810f_caldecott2_2015


 Geisel committee

  • Cock-a-Doodle Oops! by Lori Degman, illustrated by Deborah Zemke
  • Fix This Mess! written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold
  • Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard
  • NEW: just added The Soccer Fence: A Story of Friendship, Hope, and Apartheid in South Africa by Phil Bildner, illustrated by Jesse Joshua Alexander
  • Tippy and the Night Parade written and illustrated by Lilli Carré
  • You are (Not) Small by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant

h810f_geisel_2015


 Sibert committee
(looking at younger books because this class covers elementary school only)

  • Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm, illustrated by Molly Bang
  • Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins
  • Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, illustrated by Evan Turk
  • Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson
  • The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary GrandPre
  • The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
  • Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her Family’s Fight for Desegregation written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

h810f_sibert_2015

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Folklore and poetry | Class #5, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/folklore-and-poetry-class-5-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/folklore-and-poetry-class-5-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:05:27 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47711 For our class on April 2, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

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Folklore and poetry

For our class on April 2, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them.

Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s popular singers have their own ways of putting songs across. Poetry, too, needs to be heard to appreciate the sound of the words — and spoken aloud to feel their combinations in your mouth. And of course poetry needs to be seen on the page because the line breaks, indentations, and even the leading are as important. Each of these four books is expertly illustrated, as well. So there is lots to analyze and discuss this week!

Representing folklore stand-alone picture books, Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile is a  hybrid of two story types: the trickster and the noodlehead. This story probably originated in northeastern Liberia where it was collected by Won-Ldy Pay. The second folklore book is Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal, Paul Fleischman’s compilation of tales from a variety of origins, all of the Cinderella story type — persecuted heroins with supernatural helpers.

Representing poetry, we are reading Poetrees, one of Douglas Florian’s themed poetry books, this time about trees. For our poetry compilation, we have the über-collection of poetry forms compiled by Paul Janeszco, A Kick in the Head. There are plenty of compilations for children that feature one poetry type — haiku, concrete poems, etc. This one has one of everything — or as close to everything as I’ve found for an elementary-aged audience.

Finally, we are reading Susan Dove Lempke’s Horn Book article, “Purposeful Poetry” from our May/June 2005 special issue on poetry.

We invite all of you to join our discussion this week in the comments of the individual posts linked above.

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Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile | Class #5, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/mrs-chicken-and-the-hungry-crocodile-class-5-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/mrs-chicken-and-the-hungry-crocodile-class-5-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:04:36 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47719 There are so many stand-alone folktale picture books that it’s hard to choose just one for us to read together. But I’ve used this one for several years because of its humor, voice, and authenticity. Interestingly, it also represents two story types: noodleheads (heroes or heroins who are a bit scatterbrained) and tricksters (a small […]

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Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry CrocodileThere are so many stand-alone folktale picture books that it’s hard to choose just one for us to read together. But I’ve used this one for several years because of its humor, voice, and authenticity. Interestingly, it also represents two story types: noodleheads (heroes or heroins who are a bit scatterbrained) and tricksters (a small person or animal who is lower in a hierarchy — like the food chain — tricking the higher-up character).

I urge you not to try too hard to find a message for children here. Lots of folktales are meant for pure enjoyment and escapism. One reason kids like trickster tales is because they can identify with the lower class or smaller characters, since most of the time in their world, the adult calls the shots — and wins the arguments.

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