Sunday, June 27, 2010

Top Ten 2009 - 2010

Drum roll please,

My kindergarten children voted and their Top Ten favorite books for the past school year are...

Coming out on top - at Number One! - is Otto Goes To The Beach by Todd Parr! This book also made the Top Ten three years ago and I am happy to see it included once again. Otto was an overall favorite character this year. We read Otto Has a Birthday at every birthday celebration but I think what pushed this book to the top is Otto's bathing suit mishap. Poor Otto!

Todd Parr was also represented in the Number Five position with The Peace Book. This book continues the generous message found in all of Todd's work which is that of acceptance, love and celebrating differences.

His illustrations are colorful, welcoming and irresistible. This past week my students created a literacy center based on his artwork. Each student wanted to draw like Todd Parr using thick black dry erase markers on white boards.

They did a pretty fantastic job too.

Fairy Tales were also well represented. I give credit for this to the stupendous ASL storytellers who visited our classroom to retell the classic fairy tales in American Sign Language.

These were all recorded so the students could watch them over and over again. It improved not only their sense of story but their signing as well.

The hands-down favorite - and Number Two on our list - was a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Our storyteller, Whitney, based her character on the illustrations found in Paul O. Zelinsky's book. In his hands (and subsequently hers) Rumpelstiltskin is all bug-eyed, small, INTENSE and hilarious.

Other fairy tales on the Top Ten included The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt (Number Four) and Little Red Riding Hood by James Marshall (Number Nine).

I would love to post some of the ASL fairy tales here but need to get permission from our storytellers. Stay tuned...

Of course, no Top Ten list would be complete (at least in my eyes) without that mischievous little monkey Curious George. This book was voted Number Eight.

Here is the complete list of Top Ten Children's Books according to my kindergarten class for 2009-2010.
  1. Otto Goes to the Beach by Todd Parr
  2. Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky
  3. Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino
  4. The Gingerbread Man by Karen Schmidt
  5. The Peace Book by Todd Parr
  6. Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
  7. Good Night, Mr. Night by Dan Yaccarino
  8. Curious George by H.A. Rey
  9. Little Red Riding Hood by James Marshall
  10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
It is only because this post is getting rather long that I neglected to properly sing the praises of author/illustrator Dan Yaccarino.

He has two books in the Top Ten. His books are sensational so look for an upcoming post dedicated to them this summer.

Happy Reading!!


Betsy said...

ah...Curious George! No "Caps for Sale"? I loved that when I was a kid. :)

Gary said...

Caps for Sale is another winner! I was rooting for Harold and the Purple Crayon as well but these kids will not be swayed!

BTW, I just popped over to your blog and read your profile. I am loving your occupation.

todd said...

Thanks to Mr Wellbrock's class! How cool to pick not one - but two of my books. YAY! I am very proud. Given the love, inspiration and encouragement the class gets... I'm pretty sure that everyone in the class could write their own book.
Todd and Otto and Bully

Barbara said...

This post just reminded me that it's my turn to plan a read-aloud at the homeless shelter. I'm thinking "summer fun" for a theme, including your #1 beach book. Most of my kids have never been to the beach, so they may as well experience it through a story. I'm wondering if the shelter people would let them wear bathing suits and play with water guns if we were to read outside. Thanks for starting the wheels turning! Great list of your kids' top 10!

Dan Yaccarino said...

Hi Gary,


2 books in the Top10!


You have a really great blog. Thanks for including my book.

Hi to the kids!



Gary said...

Todd, I will have to show you the pictures that are "Todd Parr" inspired one of these days. Your books are some of the first I share with my kids so by the end of the school year they are very familiar with them.

In addition to the vibrant, happy illustrations the text is highly accessible for emergent readers because of the predictible, supportive pattern some of them have (we teach this as part of successful reading strategies of good readers) and strong picture/text connection. Great books! FYI - It's Okay To Be Different was squeezed out by a hair. :)

Barbara - This is a fantastic idea! I want to join you for "Summer Fun!". Keep me posted darling.

Dan - Because of student interest in your books I am going to make you part of our author studies next year. You will be in good company as in the past we have highlighted Todd Parr, Mo Willems and Eric Carle.

Thanks for making my job even more enjoyable - In the past I have even read Unlovable to my college students (all inservice teachers) and it made quite a splash. I am determined to share good children's literature whenever and wherever I can. Thanks again!

willow said...

Curious George was always a favorite with my three children! I have wonderful memories of all three cuddled up with me on the sofa with a good book.

Gary, the house and four acres where I live was named "Willow Manor" by a former owner. There was a long line of willow trees along the culvert that runs through the property, now long gone. Hence my blog name "Life at Willow Manor".

Brian Miller said...

very cool list...we go read at our sons school all the time and have read a few of those...our youngest starts kgarten this year so will be right back cool about the ASL storytellers too. thanks for popping in tonight...

Gary said...

Willow - It would seem that you have your hands full! Three children and four acres, wow. My mom says I loved Curious George as a child and I was thrilled to rediscover him when I started teaching. Thanks for the backstory, like George, I was curious.

Brian - How exciting. I hope your son enjoys kindergarten as much as I do.

Anonymous said...

Great books. I love curious george. I'm glad you are helping deaf people read instead of fighting against ASL because some people think ASL is bad for reading and writing. To me, that's just fighting against the grain.

Anonymous said...

how about 100 hundred Hundary aunts

Gary said...

Anon - For my dissertation I am actually highlighting how ASL can be used to aid reading comprehension and the fact that ASL and signing provides a window into the mind of the reader in ways that are unavailable to readers who use spoken language.

The book 100 Hungry Ants didn't come up but we did read it this year.

Thanks for your comments and for spreading the Curious George love.


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