This May I will teach a class, Evaluating Children’s Literature. I am fortunate to teach women who are currently in the classroom teaching kindergarten-third grade. This year they will be commenting on specific books on a blog that I have set up. It will work like the Slice and they will all comment on a post that I have written about a book. The teachers in this program will be getting twenty-one picture books and short novels. The professional text we use is Mentor Texts (Dorfman and Capelli). I hope that this assignment will get my students interested in blogging and that they will also come up with ways to use these books with the children in their classrooms. Here is a sample of one of my posts about a classic that is still relevant in classrooms of today.
I pick one classic for our class every year. Why exactly did I pick this book? Is it because it is one of the titles from my childhood that I remember so clearly being read aloud by my wonderful elderly teacher Mrs. Feltman? Or is it because this book was stickered blue in the library in my hometown? Blue indicated the age that we should be before we read a particular book. A blue sticker indicated that either a second or third grader could read this book. The library ladies deemed it so. Back in the ’60s I was elated that it was blue because then my mom would approve. Or maybe it was because this book would literally change the trajectory of my life, as a reader and as a human being.
The Hundred Dresses, first published in 1944, literally slayed my heart. Wanda Petronski who lived way up in Boggin Heights walked to school and was told to sit in the back of the room because of the mud on her feet. She was teased by the popular girls in ways that crush a soul. If you have never read it aloud to your class, please consider it tomorrow.
“No young person…will ever forget it.” -Book Week
PS Eleanor Estes brought me into the reading club. I began reading Ginger Pye, Pinky Pye, and all of the Moffats books. I will forever be grateful.