The Horn Book » Lolly’s Classroom http://www.hbook.com Publications about books for children and young adults Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:25:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Picture books and early readers | class #2 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/picture-books-and-early-readers-class-2-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/picture-books-and-early-readers-class-2-2015/#respond Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:06:24 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46880 Now that our first class is done, we can move on to some in-depth reading and discussing. Last week we got our feet wet with two picture books, one a classic and the other a wordless exploration of culture. For our second class on March 5, we will read two more picture books, two easy […]

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Now that our first class is done, we can move on to some in-depth reading and discussing. Last week we got our feet wet with two picture books, one a classic and the other a wordless exploration of culture.

For our second class on March 5, we will read two more picture books, two easy readers, and one book about how art works:

We hope you will join our online pre-class discussion by following the links above.

 

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Mr. Tiger Goes Wild | Class #2 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/mr-tiger-goes-wild-class-2-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/mr-tiger-goes-wild-class-2-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:05:31 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46866 Mr. Tiger’s relationship with good manners — and his clothes — reflects a reality for lots of young children. They can try to be good for a while, but afterwards they just have to take a break and be themselves. The urge to let it all hang out is an old literary tradition. Straight-laced Edwardian […]

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Mr TigerMr. Tiger’s relationship with good manners — and his clothes — reflects a reality for lots of young children. They can try to be good for a while, but afterwards they just have to take a break and be themselves.

The urge to let it all hang out is an old literary tradition. Straight-laced Edwardian Beatrix Potter’s characters had a tendency to shed their clothes, as did some of Maurice Sendak’s (remember Mickey in the Night Kitchen?). Notice what happens when this book takes off its jacket.

Brown uses mixed media and digital coloring to achieve a somewhat old-timey effect. How does this book work for you? What do you notice about the pacing and other choices the author has made?

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That New Animal | Class #2 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/that-new-animal-class-2-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/that-new-animal-class-2-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:04:29 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46863 Here’s another picture book for our second class. There are lots of books out there that tackle an emotional issue in a heavy handed way. I’m not a fan of those books, but I love this one. What do you think? Does it accomplish its goal? Would it appeal to a child in a similar […]

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that new animalHere’s another picture book for our second class. There are lots of books out there that tackle an emotional issue in a heavy handed way. I’m not a fan of those books, but I love this one. What do you think? Does it accomplish its goal? Would it appeal to a child in a similar situation? How does it avoid sounding preachy — or does it? And what do you make of the ugly baby?

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There Is a Bird On Your Head | Class #2 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/there-is-a-bird-on-your-head-class-2-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/there-is-a-bird-on-your-head-class-2-2015/#respond Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:03:19 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46872 Mo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work including Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do you notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes […]

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thereisabirdMo Willems has become THE master of easy readers. With pre-book work including Sesame Street and animation, he had the perfect training to create child- and teacher-friendly easy readers. I think he deserves every one of his many awards. What do you notice in this deceptively simple book? What does he do with simple shapes and lines in the art and very few words to create distinct characters? Would you share this book with children who are learning to read?

(Note to the Mo fans out there: I recommended a road trip to Amherst MA to visit the Eric Carle Museum. While you are out there, save some time to visit the R. Michelson Gallery in Northhampton where you can see — and buy — original Mo Willems sketches of Elephant and Piggie.)

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Ling and Ting | Class #2 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/ling-and-ting-class-2-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/ling-and-ting-class-2-2015/#respond Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:02:34 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46870 This is one of two early readers (a.k.a. easy readers) for our second class. At the end of class, we talked about the difference between picture books and easy readers. How well do you think this book works in the early reader genre? Clearly it’s for somewhat more fluent readers than the Elephant and Piggy […]

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lin_ling & ting twice as sillyThis is one of two early readers (a.k.a. easy readers) for our second class. At the end of class, we talked about the difference between picture books and easy readers. How well do you think this book works in the early reader genre? Clearly it’s for somewhat more fluent readers than the Elephant and Piggy books. Do the situations match the age of the average new reader? What if a somewhat older child is learning to read at this level? Easy readers may not look as flashy as picture books, but in some ways they are more challenging to create. The author and illustrator must perform a balancing act to make the book inviting yet not intimidating. Imagine trying to create specific and engaging characters using very few words and clean, simple illustrations.

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Picture This | Class #2 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/picture-this-class-2-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/picture-this-class-2-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:01:26 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46868 Molly Bang‘s Picture This is her personal exploration as she works to analyze the emotional effects of art. Most illustrators go with their gut as they compose their pictures, but Molly wanted to see if there were some rules involved. An experienced illustrator, she says she began to understand art and composition better through this […]

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Molly Bang‘s Picture This is her personal exploration as she works to analyze the emotional effects of art. Most illustrators go with their gut as they compose their pictures, but Molly wanted to see if there were some rules involved. An experienced illustrator, she says she began to understand art and composition better through this exploration. This book was originally written for adults, but I know some teachers in later elementary and middle school who use the exercises in the second half of this book.

Did Molly’s explorations resonate for you? Help you understand pictures and illustration?

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Children’s lit class begins again http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/childrens-lit-class-begins-again/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/childrens-lit-class-begins-again/#respond Mon, 23 Feb 2015 00:10:33 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46737      The first day of my children’s lit class at Harvard Ed School will be this Thursday, Feb. 26. Once again, we are hoping you will all help us discuss our readings here on the blog. The students will be required to post comments (short ones, I hope!) and the more comments we can get […]

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Where the Wild Things Are     mirror

The first day of my children’s lit class at Harvard Ed School will be this Thursday, Feb. 26. Once again, we are hoping you will all help us discuss our readings here on the blog. The students will be required to post comments (short ones, I hope!) and the more comments we can get from the rest of you, the richer our discussions will be.

For our first class, we are reading two picture books…

…and three articles about creating picture books, from the March/April 1998 Horn Book Magazine special issue on picture books:

Join us!

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Mirror by Jeannie Baker | Class #1, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/mirror-by-jeannie-baker-class-1-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/mirror-by-jeannie-baker-class-1-2015/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 00:09:02 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46730 Wordless books present an interesting challenge to adults who share them with children. Is there a right way to read them? There is a heated discussion about this going on in the comments to Megan Lambert’s recent post about The Farmer and the Clown. The great children’s literature specialist Rudine Sims Bishop has talked and […]

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mirrorWordless books present an interesting challenge to adults who share them with children. Is there a right way to read them? There is a heated discussion about this going on in the comments to Megan Lambert’s recent post about The Farmer and the Clown.

The great children’s literature specialist Rudine Sims Bishop has talked and written about books for children needing to be both windows and mirrors. This book seems to me to be the epitome of that idea.

There’s so much to look at in this book. The format is unlike any other books I’ve seen. The juxtaposition of two cultures is done cleverly and, I think, with a great deal of subtlety and empathy. Can you spot the character who appears in both stories? Do you have thoughts about how you might prepare to share this book with children?

Carli Spina, one of last year’s children’s lit students, blogged about using wordless books in the classroom here last week.

To see the other readings for this week, click on the tag link below: “Books for H810F 2/26/15

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Where the Wild Things Are | Class #1 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/where-the-wild-things-are-class-1-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/where-the-wild-things-are-class-1-2015/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 00:08:24 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=46733 For our first class this year, we are again reading Where the Wild Things Are, a picture book that is now a classic, but was highly controversial in its day. It’s rare to find students who have never read Where the Wild Things Are, but every year there are a handful. For those who know […]

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Where the Wild Things AreFor our first class this year, we are again reading Where the Wild Things Are, a picture book that is now a classic, but was highly controversial in its day.

It’s rare to find students who have never read Where the Wild Things Are, but every year there are a handful. For those who know the book well, I’m interested in hearing whether you noticed anything new about it this time. Sometimes reading through the teacher lens leads to some trouble with a protagonist who does not model ideal behavior. How might you address that point?

Our first class will be Thursday night, February 26, and students will be posting comments to their readings here every week. We hope these discussions will reach beyond our classroom to include other readers of this blog. Having a more diverse and wide-ranging discussion can only help.

To see the other readings for this week, click on the tag link below: “Books for H810F 2/26/15

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Using wordless books in the classroom http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/using-wordless-books-classroom/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/02/blogs/lollys-classroom/using-wordless-books-classroom/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 11:01:32 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=42294 It is easy to underestimate wordless (or nearly wordless) picture books. At first glance, they can seem simplistic and their educational value can seem limited since so much focus is placed on reading in the classroom, but if used in the right way they can contribute to a number of learning objectives across a wide […]

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It is easy to underestimate wordless (or nearly wordless) picture books. At first glance, they can seem simplistic and their educational value can seem limited since so much focus is placed on reading in the classroom, but if used in the right way they can contribute to a number of learning objectives across a wide range of grade levels. The books below illustrate some of the types of wordless books that are available and offer some suggestions for how to make them part of your lesson plans.

arrivalThe Arrival by Shaun Tan
This book tells a universal tale of immigration through pictures of a man travelling to an alien world in search of work and a better life. The retro-futuristic setting, sepia-toned images, and alien language will make this book relatable to any reader. Geared towards middle school or older readers, this book could be used in a social studies or history class while reading about the immigrant experience in the U.S. and could just as easily be used in a literature class to teach students how to “read” images.

Robot DreamsRobot Dreams by Sara Varon
It might seem surprising to say that a wordless book about a robot and a dog who are friends packs an emotional punch, but that is certainly the case here. Varon successfully uses images to pull readers into the story and vividly convey emotions without the need for dialogue. The bright colors of the drawings will make this book appealing and accessible to readers in third and fourth grade, where it can be used to prompt discussions around friendship and how art can prompt an emotional reaction.

harris burdickThe Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg
Though not completely wordless, this book from famed writer and illustrator Chris Van Allsburg is definitely not a typical picture book. It consists of a series of drawings, each of which has a title and a caption and no further words associated with it. While the drawings all share an odd, off-kilter quality that makes them mysterious and not quite of our world, they are not explicitly connected to one another. As such, they make ideal short story prompts for virtually any age. This book could be used as inspiration for creative writings projects from grade school through high school. If you don’t believe me, you need look no further than the new version of the book published in 2011 under the name The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, which included a story written by a best-selling author to accompany each of the pictures.

mirrorMirror by Jeannie Baker
Here the wordless format is combined with a unique physical format that has readers unfolding each side of the book to reveal side-by-side images of two families, one living in Sydney, Australia and the other living in a small town in Morocco. This layout juxtaposes life in these two locations, showing readers the differences but also the important similarities between the two families. This is an ideal book for younger readers from preschool through early grade school, who will delight in pointing out the similarities and differences between the images. It would work well for teaching vocabulary related to the images as well as for larger discussions about cultural differences around the world.

I hope these ideas will encourage some readers to reconsider the place of wordless books in their classes, but beyond this, I would also love to hear how readers have already been using them. I hope you’ll consider sharing your favorite wordless books and how you use them in your curriculum in the comments!

 

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