|Number One on our Top Ten list!|
However, this by no means solely represents the extent of the books that blanket our classroom. We have book bins of favorite authors (Todd Parr, Dan Yaccarino, Nancy Carlson, Ezra Jack Keats, Mo Willems), favorite characters (Curious George, Rotten Ralph, Froggy, Clifford) and popular themes (holidays, planets, community workers, school, friendship, animals, etc).
Students bring books from home to share with the class and constantly create their own little books "in the style" of the books that surround them. I love when they do that!
|Number Two on our Top Ten!|
This year they came up with a preliminary list of 25 books. From there they voted on the Top Ten.
It was a huge surprise for me to see that Five Little Ducks retold and illustrated by Ivan Bates came out on top. This was just a cute, simple book I chose from the library one morning. I suppose one should never underestimate the power of a catchy tune and the inherent appeal of waddling like a duckling.
The second most popular book was no surprise. Clay Boy by Mirra Ginsburg and Jos. A. Smith has elements of The Gingerbread Boy (which was in the top 25) and The Three Billy Goats Gruff but ultimately stands on its own. It is virtually impossible to resist the charm of Clay Boy even as he gobbles up everything and everyone in his path.
|Number Three on our Top Ten!|
I think this was also the first time that author/illustrator Dan Yaccarino entered my consciousness. Afterwards, I began to notice that he was responsible for many of the books I was reading to my students.
Once I realized this I invited him to visit our school and he graciously accepted! In addition to that visit he also gave his time and talent to support the fundraising event held at the Children's Museum of the Arts for art education in our school. His book Lawn to Lawn also made our Top Ten in the Number Eight position.
|Number Four on our Top Ten!|
But I think the reason our students voted for this book is because we have a student, Camilla, who shares a name with the know-it-all character in the book. Our Camilla was not amused (and she is nothing like the character in the book) but it proved intriguing to everyone else.
|Number Five on our Top Ten!|
Washington Irving's The Headless Horseman is a story that I do not always read to my kindergarten students because it can be a little frightening (especially the way I tell it) although it is one of my favorites. However, I gauged the bravery level of this group and went for it.
Their reaction was immediate and positive. Instead of harping on the scary elements, the students focused on the humor in it. I had kids throwing "pumpkin heads" at one another on the playground all week. It was fantastic to listen as they excitedly recreated their playground dramatics using character names ("I'm Brom Bones and he is Ichabod Crane") and mounting their imaginary horses.
Their reaction gives me great hope that they will take most favorably to the stories from Greek Mythology I plan to teach them in first grade. If they like headless horsemen, they'll love Medusa!
|Number Six on our Top Ten!|
I have a limited edition pop-up book from Scholastic that amps up the interest in the story if needed. And the classroom is heavily decorated with Curious George touches. I'm glad he made the cut again this year!
|Number Seven on our Top Ten!|
I discovered this book while browsing at the bookstore last summer and it thrilled me. Sometimes I wish that I could go back in time to hang with Margret and Hans Augusto Rey and feel the excitement of their literary journey as it unfolded. When I held this book by this incredible illustrator I thought of them.
I contacted Zachariah about a school visit and last November he generously made time to do just that! His latest book No Fits, Nilson! just came out this month. My sweet co teacher, Michelle, gave it to me as an end of the school year gift. I wouldn't be surprised if it is on the Top Ten list next year.
|Number Nine on our Top Ten!|
The Rainbow Fish is a popular, award winning book that aims to instill good values, like sharing, in young children. Rainbow Fish comes to understand that friendship is more important than his superior beauty, a message that deserves to be told again and again.
|Number Ten on our Top Ten!|
The Rocket books are excellent for beginning and emergent readers and writers.
Initially our Top Ten had a five-way tie for tenth place which we had to have a special vote to resolve. It was close but in the end, Rocket took the honors.
Still, honorable mention must go to the other four books that were edged out. They are Otto Goes to School and Otto Has a Birthday Party by Todd Parr and We Are In a Book and There's a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems.
Thank you to all of the talented authors and illustrators for providing me with superior material to share with my students. And congratulations!