The Horn Book » Lolly’s Classroom http://www.hbook.com Publications about books for children and young adults Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:39:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 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 […]

The post Folklore and poetry | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
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.

The post Folklore and poetry | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/folklore-and-poetry-class-5-2015/feed/ 1
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/#respond 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 […]

The post Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
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.

The post Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/mrs-chicken-and-the-hungry-crocodile-class-5-2015/feed/ 0
Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal | Class #5, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/glass-slipper-gold-sandal-class-5-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/glass-slipper-gold-sandal-class-5-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:03:48 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47717 One of the fascinating and mysterious things about folklore is that the same story types appear all over the world. Here’s a single picture book that tells a Cinderella-type story as found in several different cultures. I think children would need to first be familiar with a single, cohesive version of this story in order […]

The post Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
Glass Slipper, Gold SandalOne of the fascinating and mysterious things about folklore is that the same story types appear all over the world. Here’s a single picture book that tells a Cinderella-type story as found in several different cultures.

I think children would need to first be familiar with a single, cohesive version of this story in order to appreciate this book, but that is easily done. There are plenty of terrific stand-alone picture books of Cinderella, Cendrillon, etc., including our old friend John Steptoe‘s Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters.

What do you make of this one? Notice how the story is made cohesive, yet also kept separate, thanks mostly to Paschkis’s illustrations and the book’s design. Does this work for you? For children?

The post Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/glass-slipper-gold-sandal-class-5-2015/feed/ 1
Poetrees | Class #5, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/poetrees-class-5-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/poetrees-class-5-2015/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:02:14 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47715 As you know if you’ve read Susan Lempke’s article, there are lots and lots of books with poems about a particular subject — enough to read one every day of the school year. As she says, some work better than others as poems. What do you think of this one? Florian has several volumes of […]

The post Poetrees | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
PoetreesAs you know if you’ve read Susan Lempke’s article, there are lots and lots of books with poems about a particular subject — enough to read one every day of the school year. As she says, some work better than others as poems.

What do you think of this one? Florian has several volumes of this kind: poems about planets, amphibians, fish, mammals, seasons, etc. I think his poems and art work on several levels. In most cases, they are both simple and quite sophisticated.

One thing to bear in mind as you read any book that has multiple poems: you are not necessarily supposed to read the whole book in one sitting. Poems need breathing room, both on the page and in time. They are meant to be savored one at a time, so if you are reading this book all at once, give yourself a few beats to digest the words and images before you move on to the next one.

The post Poetrees | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/poetrees-class-5-2015/feed/ 0
A Kick in the Head | Class #5, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/a-kick-in-the-head-class-5-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/a-kick-in-the-head-class-5-2015/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 10:01:43 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47713 This is one of those books for kids that tends to be an eye-opener for most adults, too. Who knew there were this many poetry forms out there?! Notice how the book could be enjoyed by just reading the poems. OR, if you want to learn more, you can see what the form is and […]

The post A Kick in the Head | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
A Kick in the HeadThis is one of those books for kids that tends to be an eye-opener for most adults, too. Who knew there were this many poetry forms out there?!

Notice how the book could be enjoyed by just reading the poems. OR, if you want to learn more, you can see what the form is and use Chris Raschka’s symbols to help you remember. If you want even MORE, read the super-small print at the bottom of the page.

I hope you will all take time to read Janescko’s excellent introduction. He’s a teacher himself and knows how to explain poetry in ways that everyone can understand. Why all the rules? Well, would a basketball game be any fun to watch if there were no rules? Same with poetry. But he’s also good on why it’s okay to break the rules sometimes.

Most of all, I implore you NOT to read this book fast or all at once. If you were sharing this with children, you certainly wouldn’t. If you have to read it under time pressure (e.g. on reserve), then try to imagine it being read with children just a little bit at a time.

The post A Kick in the Head | Class #5, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/a-kick-in-the-head-class-5-2015/feed/ 1
Information books | Class #4, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/information-books-class-4-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/information-books-class-4-2015/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:06:38 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47460 In next week’s class, we’ll be talking about four information books: Actual Size by Steve Jenkins Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier Things sure have changed since I was in elementary school. Instead […]

The post Information books | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
informationbooks_2015

In next week’s class, we’ll be talking about four information books:

Things sure have changed since I was in elementary school. Instead of providing every fact known — or at least everything needed to write a report — information books nowadays aim to be as engaging as possible in order to get children interested in their subject. The idea is that it’s better to leave them wanting more and then provide a bibliography at the end of the book. I think this is a big improvement.

The other new development is that many new information books provide information on several levels, often using different typefaces. Every year, some of my ed students are frustrated by this kind of delivery, finding it draining or overwhelming, and they fear their students will dislike it, too. Others, particularly visual learners and those who know kids with attention issues, love it. I think the key is to let children explore these books rather making them “accountable for” reading and retaining every word. If the subject grabs a kid, then he or she might go through the book a second, third, and even fourth time, reading and noticing more and more.

Please join us in discussing these books at the links above. We’re also reading three articles related to Dave the Potter‘s Coretta Scott King award. You can find the articles at the links below, but we’ll discuss them here.

The post Information books | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/information-books-class-4-2015/feed/ 0
Actual Size | Class #4, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/actual-size-class-4-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/actual-size-class-4-2015/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:05:21 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47463 We are reading four information books for our next class, all picture books but for various ages. Steve Jenkins’s Actual Size could be read with very young children or with older ones depending on how you choose to share it. There is basic information in large type and details for older children in smaller type. The […]

The post Actual Size | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
Actual SizeWe are reading four information books for our next class, all picture books but for various ages.

Steve Jenkins’s Actual Size could be read with very young children or with older ones depending on how you choose to share it. There is basic information in large type and details for older children in smaller type. The information at the end provides more information for the adults who may need to field some difficult questions from kids.

What affect does the collage illustration have? Was this a good choice to illustrate this book? I’ve heard about teachers doing some creative classroom projects using this book as a springboard. I’d love to hear if any of you have ideas to share.

The post Actual Size | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/actual-size-class-4-2015/feed/ 10
Me…Jane | Class #4, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/me-jane-class-4-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/me-jane-class-4-2015/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:04:08 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47465 As picture book biographies go, this is one of the more irreverent ones. What did you make of it? What about the visual mix: McDonnell’s cartoon-style art, vintage stamps, Goodall’s childhood drawings, and photos? The year this was published, we had lots of discussion pro and con about the final photograph and the book’s editor […]

The post Me…Jane | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
Me...JaneAs picture book biographies go, this is one of the more irreverent ones. What did you make of it?

What about the visual mix: McDonnell’s cartoon-style art, vintage stamps, Goodall’s childhood drawings, and photos? The year this was published, we had lots of discussion pro and con about the final photograph and the book’s editor actually responded in one of the comments. You can read that post here.

Would you share this book with children? What ages? I’d also love to hear from anyone who HAS shared this book.

The post Me…Jane | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/me-jane-class-4-2015/feed/ 5
Feathers | Class #4, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/feathers-class-4-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/feathers-class-4-2015/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:03:14 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47471 Birds are great animals to study because they are found everywhere, not just in rural areas. I love looking at books about birds around this time of year here in New England. The snow is starting to melt and — if you listen carefully early in the morning — you can hear new birds who […]

The post Feathers | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
stewart_feathers not just for flyingBirds are great animals to study because they are found everywhere, not just in rural areas. I love looking at books about birds around this time of year here in New England. The snow is starting to melt and — if you listen carefully early in the morning — you can hear new birds who have been silent or away for the past few months.

What do you make of the multiple ways Stewart delivers her information? Some people who prefer reading books from start to finish and are confused or frustrated by this piecemeal delivery of information. Others — particularly visual learners — like being able to browse around, reading the sidebars or captions to experience the book in bits and pieces.

This kind of multiple delivery is becoming more and more common in information books for children. And of course it’s similar to navigating websites with menus and sidebars and hyperlinks. Notice how Brannen uses two different styles in her illustrations: a trompe l’oeil scrapbook style and a flatter, less photographic style for the pictures of each bird in action. What does this add to the experience.

I can’t resist ending this post with a little off-topic plug for my own springtime obsession: nest cams. Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology links to nests all over the US, and lots of teachers check in with their classes daily or weekly. Some of them have live chat options, too, with a knowledgeable moderator ready to ask questions and keep the conversation kid-friendly. My favorite is the great blue heron nest on Sapsucker Pond in upstate New York.

The post Feathers | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/feathers-class-4-2015/feed/ 5
Dave the Potter | Class #4, 2015 http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/dave-the-potter-class-4-2015/ http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/dave-the-potter-class-4-2015/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:02:40 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=47467 Here’s a biography of someone we really know very little about. What do you make of Hill’s poem? Do you want to learn more? Do Collier’s illustrations fill in some gaps? The information at the end tells us more, but in fact we are still left with a mystery. Do Collier’s collages match the tone […]

The post Dave the Potter | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
Dave the PotterHere’s a biography of someone we really know very little about. What do you make of Hill’s poem? Do you want to learn more? Do Collier’s illustrations fill in some gaps?

The information at the end tells us more, but in fact we are still left with a mystery. Do Collier’s collages match the tone of the text?

We’re also reading some articles about this book. You can comment on the articles on that page, but I’d love to know how they affected your appreciation of the book.

The post Dave the Potter | Class #4, 2015 appeared first on The Horn Book.

]]>
http://www.hbook.com/2015/03/blogs/lollys-classroom/dave-the-potter-class-4-2015/feed/ 9