Monday, December 1, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? - Dec. 1

A little over a week ago, at #ncte14, I attended the Children Literature Assembly's breakfast, and had the distinct pleasure of hearing Jon Klassen speak. As he shared two of his books, I Want My Hat Back and Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, it was delightful to look at the illustrations in each book again accompanied by Jon's commentary. Understanding the underlying thinking behind these illustrations had me giggling over and over, and I knew I wanted to reread both books.

After listening to Jon talk about the ending of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, I knew I had to reread it one more time on my own. If you haven't read this book, or it's been a while since you read it, it would be a good read. More importantly, it would be a great book to share with students. Having them share their thinking about the story would be a good way for them to process their understanding of the text. Having them see the pictures where the boys come oh-so-close to the treasure, but then back off, could lead to a conversation about frustration. But the conversation I would really love to hear is how students interpret the ending of the book - do they notice differences? Can they explain those differences? In all honesty, I totally missed it - this thing we call "close reading" - I was not engaged in that at all! My gut feeling is that given how visual many children are, they will notice, but then the conversation about the meaning they place on what they notice would be fun.

I also reread Flashlight by Lizi Boyd this week. It would be a great wordless picture book to help promote thinking and inferring and conversation. Each page not only tells its own story, but through cut-outs on the page, it gives a glimpse into creatures that may be on the next pages, as the little boy traverses the woods at night. The stories children could create as they use the beam of the flashlight to focus their thinking would be fun. Wordless picture books like Flashlight would not only be great for primary students, but it would have the same power in intermediate classrooms as well.

I hope you had some enjoyable reading experiences this past week. If you'd like to see what other children's books others read this week, head over to Teach Mentor Texts.  Thanks so much to Jen for hosting the kidlit version of IMWAYR!!

Happy reading this week!


  1. I was at the breakfast too and ended up thinking Jon Klassen is a genius. His mind works on a higher plane than mine does for sure! I can't wait to share his books next semester in my Children's Lit course now that I've heard him talk through them.

  2. Great books! I enjoyed both of them also.I love anything by Jon Klassen!

  3. Both these books sound brilliant. I've got Sam And Dave Dig a Hole, but haven't found time to get to it. I will have to find time for it soon!

  4. I think I'm just going to make a great big wish list on Amazon and direct my family to check there for Christmas ideas. :) These titles are getting added.

  5. Two lovely picturebooks that I have yet to read! :)