After a visit with Erna Fraser at the AVRSB, I thought I’d add a new feature to the blog: Of Interest to Teachers. I know that teachers are interested in the storytime books, but I usually don’t mention books that are not the best for preschool storytime. Read on, teachers, and parents, and librarians, and everyone who loves picture books.
Waiting by Kevin Henkes, Greenwillow Books
Five toys are waiting on a windowsill. They wait for rain, snow, the wind, the moon. And one just likes to wait and watch. While this seems like an unusual subject for a picture book, Henkes knows that waiting is hard for young children, and in this book, he raises waiting into an art – something that we should all learn to do with calm. His fine sense of design and easy use of line to change the mood create a sense of peace. What are you waiting for? Read this book. Share the lovely illustrations with a child.
Zippo the Super Hippo– by Kes Gray, illustrated by Nikki Dyson, Pan Macmillan
Not only is there a character named Roxi the oxpecker, but the super-big hippo bottom will send kids at storytime into fits of giggles. The chance to say (several times, no less) “You got ‘em with your bottom” will result in a resounding cheer from your audience. Super-hero storytime just got funnier.
Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin, Random House
Onomatopoeia storytimes, here we come! This story is all told through sounds—and in the right hands, could be a rip-roaring fun addition to fire safety storytime, or maybe one all about sound. The illustrations are bright – lots of reds and yellows, and there’s plenty of action in the pictures, too. And there’s a diverse cast of firefighters, including a woman. Weooo! Weooo!
Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins, illus by Paul O. Zelinksy, Schwartz & Wade
Save this one for the first snowfall of the year. Bring it out and enjoy the story of three toys pals who go out for a snowy adventure. There are plenty of great words and ideas to get kids thinking about snow, and about the world in general. A sweet tale to share, indeed.Would make a nice pairing with Waiting.
Everyone Loves Bacon by Kelly DiPucchio, illus by Eric Wight, Farrar Straus Giroux
Everyone loves bacon, right? Of course, that goes to Bacon’s head, and he really gets it in the end. He gets eaten, that is. Some may think that the ending is harsh for young kids, so read it yourself and decide before you share it. If too much for your preschoolers, save it for class visits, because elementary students will love the humour.Look for the Canadian reference!
Music Class Today! By David Weinstone, illus. Vin Vogel, Farrar, Straus Giroux
Music class time, and one little child is too shy to participate. With a reassuring refrain, the class leader finally gets him up to dance. A fun addition to music storytimes, and the shy child in your group might just be comforted by this message. There’s a downloadable song, song you can sing the book, and an activity kit as well that shows you how to make some easy musical instruments. https://soundcloud.com/mackidsbooks/david-weinstone-music-class-today
Of interest to teachers:
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illus by Christian Robinson G.P. Putnam’s Sons
A young boy and his Grandma take a bus trip across town to help out in a soup kitchen. The boy asks questions along the way, and his grandmother points out the beauty in his surroundings. City kids can relate, and rural kids can get a glimpse into life in the larger world. There’s plenty to discuss here, and Robinson’s signature folk-art inspired paintings bring this vibrant neighborhood to life.
Float by Daniel Miyares, Simon & Schuster
In this wordless book, a paper boat goes on an adventure, gets very wet, and is then transformed into a paper airplane. What seems like a very simple story is made complex through the illustrations. Miyares uses a limited palette of greys and yellows to move the story along. Look for hidden messages and foreshadowing in this richly designed story.