Monday, September 29, 2014

Rediscovering Old Favorites: Frog & Toad

A month ago, if I were prompted to recall favorites books from childhood, Frog and Toad wouldn't have made the list. I had a general recollection of the books, but I couldn't remember any of the stories. A few weeks ago, I decided to use the Frog and Toad books to help teach character analysis to first grade. I could have chosen a "newer book," but for some reason Frog and Toad caught my eye. Now I find myself searching out more Frog and Toad books to read, for me. My favorite story is "The Story" from Frog and Toad Are Friends. Frog is sick so Toad decided to tell him a story. The problem is that he can't think of one and does ridiculous things like pour water over his head. I laughed along with the kids while reading it.

Then I discovered that their was an animated film, Frog and Toad Together. I never saw it as a child, but Frog's voice reminds me of one of the Fraggle Rock characters. My favorite story is "The Dream."

Saturday, September 6, 2014

10 Impact Books

I was recently challenged to participate in a social media meme to list 10 books that have had an impact on my life. Talk about hard choices! Listing 100 would even be a challenge. After a lot of thought, here are my choices:

1. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - My favorite book from childhood and a perfect model on how to be a friend. I named my daughter Charlotte after the main character; yes, she was named after a spider.

2. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne Shirley is such a kindred spirit. I always wish I could find a "bosom friend" like her.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - I still have the copy of this wonderful book that my Aunt Connie bought me when I was 11 years old.

4. Paradise Lost by John Milton - I was not a fan of poetry in my high school English classes. I read this in college and loved it, probably because it was poetry that told a story.

5.  The Wizard and the Glass by Stephen King - This is Volume IV of the Dark Tower series, and my favorite by a mile. Roland's story could be read as a standalone, and if you do not want to commit to the whole series, I encourage you to do just that.

6.  Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris - A book that made me laugh like no other. Whenever I have a bad day, I think of Rooster's advice. Read this book to find out what it is.

7. We Are In a Book! by Mo Willems - Willems is a genius! He makes listening to beginning readers enjoyable, a great feat indeed. These are perfect to share with an entire class or one on one with a child. 

8.  The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller - This book represents everything I am passionate about - sharing the love of reading with students. It also represents my online professional learning community that I have found through the Nerdy Book Club.

9. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate - Winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal, this book will make you cry. It is based on a true story of a gorilla living on display in a mall.

10. The Giver by Lois Lowry - Do you like The Hunger Games and Divergent? Lowry did dystopian fiction long before Collins and Roth, and in my opinion, she did it better. This book won the Newbery Medal in 1994.