Sunday, July 3, 2011

Top Ten 2010-2011

At the end of each school year I like to invite the children to think back on the books we read together and share their absolute favorites.  We create a long list and then vote on each one to come up with the top ten for the school year.

I enjoy this experience because the selections really represent the unique makeup of the class and tell the story of our time together.  The number one choice this year was Skeleton Meets the Mummy by Steve Metzger.  The story has just the right mix of humor and fright that the children craved at Halloween.  The fact that it was brought up for voting (and won!) 8 months after we read it is a pretty strong testament to how much they enjoyed it.

Humor and fright continued to be a winning combination with our kindergarten children. One would be hard-pressed to find a sillier, more amusing book than the number two choice, There's a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems. This Elephant and Piggie book, like all the others in the series, is a riot of laughs, double takes and pure fun.  If you enjoy the "I just flew in from Chicago and boy are my arms tired" style of humor (and let's face it, who doesn't?) then this one's for you.

The number three pick, Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins ranked high due to the illustrations. Sweet Lucy Cousins is not shy about showing the wolf getting his head chopped off by the woodsman in Little Red Riding Hood or playing with the size and placement of her childlike, colorful artwork.  The ingenious thread that runs throughout the book is the fact that at some point something in each of these stories is Yummy.  It may be the porridge in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the robbers meal in The Musicians of Bremen or even Little Red herself.

Another Perfect Day by Ross MacDonald slid into the number four position.  This is the story of an adventurer successfully battling all sorts of obstacles told through golden illustrations reminiscent of days long past.  The superhero quality of the lead character appealed to both the boys and the girls who stood up and cheered throughout our reading.  It turns out that the perfect day lives in the mind of a small boy with a clever imagination who is a bit of a superhero himself.

Alphabet books, a staple in kindergarten, ranked twice in the top ten. Alphabet Adventure by Bruce and Audrey Wood was number five while Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault came in at number eight.  Both books depict the alphabet as a group of feisty letters getting into mischief.  In Alphabet Adventure the dot on the lowercase i causes some trouble before coming to his senses while all the lowercase letters in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom need some looking after by the uppercase letters.  There are many alphabet books that I recommend and you can read more about them here.

One student single-handedly elevated The Rainbow Goblins by Ul Di Rico to number six.  This is a book that I had never heard of until she brought it in one day declaring that is was her favorite book and that she wanted to read it to the class.  It's a bizarre little tale but also very captivating.  I love when children introduce me to new books that they love.  What a pleasure.

Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail sailed in at number seven. I wrote a post dedicated to this book which you can read here.

Some old favorites and past Top Ten honorees made the final cut this year. In my eyes, no top ten would be complete without Curious George by H. A. Rey.  Although he hasn't always made the list, this year he charted at number nine.

And rounding out the top ten is It's Okay to be Different by Todd Parr.   Todd is certainly my favorite living children's book author and illustrator because his work carries a deeper message of acceptance, diversity and love while wrapped around bright, colorful illustrations. His latest, The I'm Not Scared Book comes out in August and I wouldn't be surprised to see it on the Top Ten next year.

Stay tuned...


Ms.M said...

My students and I love Skeleton Meets the Mummy too! :)

Ms. M
Ms.M's Blog
A Teacher's Plan

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing btw, have you heard of danny the dragon? i was thinking of getting this book as well but thought I would share it with you: .


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