October 16, 2012

Read Up! Three to get you talking.

One of the joys of reading books with children is that many of the stories can fuel great discussion. You know, kind of like a Book Club--but one where everyone has actually read the book.  These three recent finds can really get the conversation flowing!

Happy by Mies Van Hout
Happy is a VERY simple book: each two-page spread has a single word relating to emotion on one page, and a drawing of a fish on the other. The colorful free-style sketches really pop against the black backgrounds.  The feelings we encounter include "Curious," "Nervous," "Astonished," and 17 more.  It’s a great vocabulary boost, a lot of fun to copy the faces, and a nice exercise to talk about one’s own feelings.  Happy is a book that works on several levels for different age groups, and I think is good for re-reading over time. 

Percy Listens Up and Percy Gets Upset by Stuart J. Murphy

Have you met Percy?  I just met him recently (he is new on the scene), and I am loving him—as are  preschoolers and caregivers alike in my storytime audiences.  As written & illustrated by Stuart J. Murphy, Percy is a child (well, a child who happens to look like a giraffe) who gets into real-life situations anyone can recognize; for instance, sometimes he gets mad, and sometimes he doesn’t listen.  In Percy Listens Up, the little guy discovers that he misses out on things when he does not pay attention.  In Percy Gets Upset (or as I discovered the book & shared it with my bilingual groups, Percy Se Enoja), our friend has several cranky outbursts throughout a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (sorry, I couldn't resist).  It’s fun to read each outburst aloud in a cantankerous, childlike tone, and see the recognition in peoples’ eyes.  Both of these Percy books (and there are more I've yet to explore) allow for a lot of conversation, whether in a group setting or one-on-one: have you ever been mad like that?  Do you still get mad like that?  Do grown-ups act that way sometimes?  What I really like about both books is that while they do offer those lessons, they are still very fun to read & share—a rare feat.

 READ UP!  I have many more great books to share with you.  Check them out!

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