Welcome 2015! Today’s stories featured animals and their owners. I’d been saving Sam & Dave Dig a Hole for something special (it was my fav book of 2014), so the first week of 2015 seemed like the time to share it. Add in some Ezra Jack Keats – my all-time favorite author/illustrator – plus some new titles from David Elliot and Polly Alakija, and a diverse, kid-friendly read-aloud experience was made.
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats
All Peter wants to do is whistle. He just knows that it would be the coolest way to get the attention of his beloved dachshund, Willie. He tries and tries, but he can’t. Determined, he practices whenever he can until, finally, he surprises Willie with his very first whistle. Peter’s trials of learning to whistle (and persevere) is understood by all children – it’s tough work, after all, to figure out how to get that sweet sound. Keats created a timeless story with one of the most likable characters out there. Highly recommended. Share with ages 3+.
This Orq (he cave boy) by David Elliot
Meet Orq. He cave boy. He has pet woolly mammoth. Woolly mammoth name Woma. Written in cave-boy speak, Orq is determined to get his beloved Woma inside his family’s cave. His mom, however, is less than thrilled with Woma’s smell, shedding, and surprises. This gentle story of love and devotion between pet and owner begs to be read aloud. Don’t be surprised when readers beg for repeat readings! New in 2014! Share with ages 3-8.
Counting Chickens by Polly Alakija
Tobi has one hen. When his friend’s cow has a calf on Monday, Tobi’s hen lays an egg. And on Tuesday, when his friend’s sheep has two lambs, Tobi’s hen lays another egg. So goes the days of the week – his friends’ animals have babies, while Tobi’s chicken lays eggs. It’s only as the days pass that the magic of egg-laying is seen: in 21 days, the eggs hatch. Baby chicks! And a year later, those chicks have laid eggs and there are even more chickens! A diverse title to showcase days of the week, sequence counting, and farm animals. New in 2014! Share with ages 3-6.
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
On Monday, Sam and Dave decide to dig a hole. Their goal: to find something spectacular. As the hole gets deeper, the boys decide to try different techniques – digging sideways, in different directions – but to no avail. There is just nothing spectacular…so they think. Readers will delight in Klassen’s clever illustrations that are, truly, something spectacular. It’s the illustrations that will prompt shouts of “the jewel is RIGHT THERE” and “NO! Dig the other way!” as readers dig toward the end of this unexpected gem. Barnett & Klassen (Extra Yarn) are back and better than ever. Highly recommended. New in 2014! Share with all ages.
Read-Aloud Tuesday is when I read aloud in my son’s Montessori classroom (ages 3-6). Young readers are demanding and honest: I strive to share the best of the best with them each week.