Each Tuesday, I read stories in my boy H’s Montessori classroom. In classic librarian form, I research and choose books I think they’ll like (and that I like, too!). Here are this week’s titles:
So Say the Little Monkeys, retold by Nancy Van Laan
Deep in the Amazon jungle, playful and active monkeys live. When night falls and a rainstorm drenches them, they promise to build a shelter – tomorrow. But when the day dawns bright and cheery, what are the monkeys to do? Repetition adds to the fun of this South American folktale, and the lesson learned by the monkeys – don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today – is worthwhile for all pre-k students. Share with ages 3-6.
Give Up, Gecko! retold by Margaret Read MacDonald
In the dry, dusty African desert, the animals are thirsty. Digging is out of the question – not all animals have tusks or horns – but all of them can stomp. So Elephant, the biggest, begins: “Elephant! Elephant! / Heavy! Heavy! Heavy! / Elephant! Elephant! / STOMP! STOMP! STOMP!” He gives up soon, as it’s hot and he’s tired. One by one, the other large and medium animals try, but they, too, give up. At last, little gecko gets a turn, and the value of determination and perseverance is seen. Wonderful illustrations with a catchy refrain, this Ugandan folktale is sure to please. Share with ages 3-7.
If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen
Young Jack thinks he could design a better house than the ones on his block. Full of expected rooms with unique features (a bedroom 200 feet in the air!) and unexpected rooms (a race-track room), Jack’s one-of-a-kind design home is a sure-fire conversation starter for all young children. Bold, cheery illustrations – a signature of Van Dusen – are spot-on. A wonderful story to use as an anchor text with the question: If you built a house, what type of room would you include? What features would it have and why? A favorite read-aloud of the students! Share with ages 3-9.