Monday, January 2, 2012
Looking for Newbery - The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale
First of all, let me apologize for going with a "re-post" so early in our yearly quest for Newbery winners. We spent the past week in Florida, a surprise gift to our children, and I'm still trying to wake up after 16 hours on the road and coming home to a house that looked like Christmas just ended a few hours ago, when it was really a week and oh yeah...school starts again tomorrow!
Let me just wrap up the apology by saying it was all worth it. As my kids get older I know these family trips will be getting fewer and farther between so I treasure every minute of them. There's a future blog post here I think, but for now, let's look for Newbery.
I posted The Cheshire Cheese Cat back in November and since then have gotten it into the hands of several students who absolutely love it. One of them even came to me asking about Charles Dickens books in the library. We discussed titles and, given the season, A Christmas Carol came up. She wasn't aware that the famous story done by the Muppets, Mickey Mouse and countless others was actually a literary classic written in the 1800s. I don't know if she went on to read any other Dickens classics, they would have been a challenge, but in any case this book served as an introduction to great literature.
I said in my original post that it would make a great read aloud, and I'll stand by that. The chapters end with great cliff hangers and the twists and turns are exciting and fun. I haven't seen this on a lot of lists so far, but I did find it on a list my friend Maria at Teaching in the 21st Century sent me on Twitter. She and I had a conversation with our Newbery Club members about the books we have been reading and I made the point that with all of the books I've read this year, I still don't think I've read the winner. Time will tell, and I'll still give my opinion.