Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I have had a very prolific reading week.  It must have been the snow days!  Here are some of the highlights of my reading week.  Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts blog for the weekly inspiration!

Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Lane Smith

This is the story of Lulu, a little girl unaccustomed to hearing the word no. When her parents tell her no, she can not have a pet brontosaurus for her birthday, Lulu runs away to find the dinosaur for herself.  Along the way Lulu is unkind and cruel to the forest creatures. When Lulu finally finds her brontosaurus, Mr. B., the situation is turned, as Mr. B. decides to keep Lulu as the pet. The clever and persistent Lulu is able to escape and return home, wiser and a little bit kinder.

I love the narrator's voice! She often speaks directly to the reader and has a rather spunky personality. It's almost as if the narrator is a character in the story. In the end, the narrator provides 3 possible endings too.

I read this chapter book to my class last week. They absolutely loved the sassy narrator and the very bossy Lulu. And they were as annoyed as the creatures in the forest when I sang Lulu's song, "I'm gonna get a bronto bronto brontosaurus!" I loved the shocking comments and giggles from my students when the narrator says Lulu was a "real pain in the butt!" and when Lulu throws a tantrum and tells her parents, "foo on you". "  Here's some of their comments: "She is going to get in trouble!" "She is so rude". "She is spoiled". "Her parents should be more strict with her."

I used the book for lessons on character traits, using text evidence to support your opinion, and to introduce the concept of how characters change from the beginning to the end of a story.

We are currently reading the sequel, Lulu Walks the Dogs. While Lulu has learned to say please and thank you, and she is no longer throwing tantrums, she still has a lot to learn about friendship, cooperation, and kindness. But we love Lulu - because we know there is a little Lulu in all of us. (Pssst... I read on Kirkus Reviews that  Judith Viorst is writing a third Lulu book and there is a Lulu musical in the works too!)

Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

A very simple, yet creative picture book about a little exclamation mark who doesn't feel like he fits in with all the other periods. After encountering a very inquisitive question mark the little explanation mark finally finds his inner self and is able to "make his mark".  A great little read that lends itself to great discussions about fitting in, being yourself, or the journey to find ones self.  I think my second graders will have no problem seeing the greater theme of this book, but I also think it might make a nice gift for someone struggling to find their own identity in the world.

Becoming Babe Ruth by Matt Tavares

This picture book biography tells the story of young George Herman Ruth, before he became the famous Babe Ruth.  It tells the story of young George, who at 7 years old, is sent to a boys reform school.  It is while at St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys that young George learns the game of baseball and is "discovered".  This is a wonderfully inspiring story about a baseball legend and where he came from, how hard he worked and how he always remembered and honored his past.  A great read for baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike!

What have you been reading?

1 comment:

  1. So great to see Amy & Tom have worked together again. I can't wait to see it. Thanks for sharing!