I teaching ‘evaluating literature’ at a local university. This is not your typical, pay the fee, get the degree master’s program. We like to call it doable intensity. Not every student is accepted into this Master’s in Literacy program, either, yet everyone survives and thrives. Over 50% of the students are published in reading and writing journals every year. Best practice is taught, best practice is expected.
Last year my k-3rd grade section dipped their toes into the blogging world, or at least the commenting world with great success. Each week, I wrote a post on the book of the week and the students commented about the book and wrote down ways that they would use it with their class…or what lines in the book demonstrated or mentored a writing move that their students might try. We built a community much like our ‘slicing’ friends.
Week one we talk about book awards and the criteria for the award. Of course everyone knows about the Caldecott award given for superior book illustration. I know that this year we are not supposed to do book reviews for the slice, but here is one I can’t resist. I predicted and loved that Locomotive won the Caldecott. It also won an honor medal for the non-fiction Sibert award. How fitting that it won in both categories. The story has detailed information on both of the end papers and the entire length of the book. Train aficionados will love this book. Any little boy or little girl who has a train set up in their basement or around their Christmas tree will love this book. It has a bit of a narrative imbedded in the book. The children will notice and even wonder why the family highlighted in almost every page wear blank or very serious expressions on their face. They will understand why, by the end of this delightful winner.
My new tradition is to get the new Caldecott for my granddaughter every single year. Oh how I love the book present. Oh how I love to give books !
PS My class get 21 brand new books for the class. I’m the lucky girl who gets to pick them out and give them out every year.