My one hundred books in one hundred lessons project has just begun. When I look at all the wonderful books in my library I have very mixed feelings. There are so many wonderful books that I love to read to classes and so many other wonderful books that I just don’t have time to read to classes so I have invented the one hundred book project. This term I will read a different book to nearly every class of the 33 I see each week. My usual pattern is to read the same book 4 or 5 fives times to each class in a grade. In this way no child misses out on my carefully chosen books but this also means I can only cover a limited selection of titles each term. For a change this term I will read different books to as many classes as I can. I have only seven weeks to complete this challenge which means I need to share fifteen different books with the children each week.
Our first week began with Kindergarten. I am not able to resist themes so this week I have selected my favourite Teddy Bear and other toy stories. First off I choose Corduroy by Don Freeman and the sequel A Pocket for Corduroy. This is such an old series. The first title was written in 1968 and the sequel ten years later but both continue to have a strong appeal to young children. Corduroy is special but he has lost his button. The Department Store where Corduroy lives is filled with wonder for the young bear. When he goes exploring he discovers the furniture department and luckily he finds beds with mattresses and these are sewn down with buttons. Corduroy has found his button but wrestling it off the mattress will alert the night watchman on duty that night in the store. You can sometimes hear young children gasp when they realize this guard might discover Corduroy and he might be in real trouble. The other exciting way to enjoy this story is by viewing the Weston Woods video.
In A Pocket for Corduroy our Teddy Bear is taken to the local Laundromat and accidentally left behind. During the night his adventures continue all because he now needs a pocket!
Continuing our theme of toys and Teddy Bears we also read Arnold the Prickly Teddy by Kym Lardner, Felix and Alexander by Terry Denton, Dougal the garbage dump bear by Matt Dray (this has a terrific combination of art work and photographs and lots of extra marks on the pages made by coffee cups, flies and dog paw prints) and finally today I read Boris and Borsch by Robin Klein. This last one is a long book, almost a junior novel, so it was exciting to see how the young children were engrossed and able to make lots of predictions.
Other books in my One Hundred Project this week have been Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport (here is a video of the whole book), Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti, Herbert Binns and his flying tricycle by Caroline Castle and Little Bo Peep’s Library book by Cressida Cowell. I looked at Little Bo Peep with Grade Four students as a way to begin our exploration of the Dewey Decimal system.
It is only Wednesday and we have read ten of my top books. Keep your eye on this blog as my students and I explore more wonderful picture books over the coming weeks. Next week Grade Five will continue the topic of African American rights and Grade six will discuss a range of picture books about the Holocaust. I will explore these in detail in my next blog entry.