Saturday, April 01, 2006

Reading aloud is fun!

I've spent the past three days subbing at a local elementary. I had fun with great kids and some great read alouds.

The Wolf who Cried Boy by by Bob Hartman, illustrated by Tim Raglin, 2002

This twist on the fable, The Boy who Cried Wolf, is great fun to share with kids. The young wolf does not appreciate his mom's cooking. He is tired of sloppy does, three-pig-salad and lamburgers. He really wants some "boy" for dinner but his dad tells him they are hard to find in the woods these days. Over the next two days, little wolf cries "Boy!" in an attempt to get his parents to comb the forest for the non-existent meal and therefore delay dinner. Later, when an entire boy scout troop comes marching through the forest, the little wolf cannot get his parents to look, even as one creeps into their cave and sits on their sofa.

I Wanna Iguana by by Karen Kaufman Orloff, illustrated by David Catrow, 2004

Teachers can look to this story as a great example of persuasive writing. Young Alex is trying to pursuade his mother to let him adopt an iguana. In a series of hilarious notes between Alex and his mother, a negotiation of the terms and conditions of pet ownership is hammered out. There is a "money" page (the point where the whole class bursts out in raucous laughter.) David Catrow illustrations are wonderfully comic. One young listener observed, "That kid is really weird looking." The last page evoked a class wide, arm pumping "Yesssss..." along with Alex. Great fun!

Gator Gumbo by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert, 2004

This Cajun-style version of the little red hen has a real twist at the end of the story. There are wonderful rhythms and repeats that invite listeners to chant along with the story. Kids who are used to "happy, clappy" endings were open-mouth when has some of the characters come to a very bad end! I love cautionary tales!


Chris Barton said...

I haven't read I Wanna Iguana, but if the book ends with Alex getting his wish, I have -- from personal experience -- a great idea for a sequel (for Orloff or for any readers inspired by her tale):

Set 10 years later, when Alex's little green friend of old is big and surly and has overtaken an entire room: I Wanna Get Rid of This Iguana...

Camille said...

That is actually one of arguments his mom uses against the idea. The iguana will be over 6 feet long (illustration shows the iguana lounging in and taking up every inch of Alex's bed) and the iguana is Alex's best man at a wedding, though sadly, no one wants to marry someone with a 6 ft. reptile for a pet.

I did hear some very sad stories from kids who had owned iguanas that expired. Bleh! The stuff kids tell you...