that we are ALL learners. Little by Little by Amber Stewart and Layn Marlow reminds me of our students in a lot of different ways. This is the story about Otto who has I CAN list of the many great things he can do like roly poly (forward and backward), mud sliding, making sand castles, but there is one thing on Otto's CANT do list: swimming. Now please read the following lines from the book...
"Sometimes, Otto would pretend he could swim..."
"Other times, he would run along the riverbank, trying not to be left behind..."
These lines from the book remind me of my English Language Learners, who "sometimes, they would pretend they understand all, other times, they are just trying to keep up by saying and repeating all the English words they know trying not to be left behind".
At a staff meeting, when I shared with other teachers in my school some relevant information about working with ELLs, I quoted the book Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus because I was trying to make a point that learning a foreign language takes time, and that not everyone "bloom" at the same time. Well, I think Little by Little is a new book I will be sharing with the other teachers as well to make my point because at the end, Otto's mom helped him learn how to swim by breaking the steps down and doing it little by little ( a great message for us teachers! step by step!).
I truly enjoyed the illustrations in this book, every background page was kept simple by keeping it white all along, except when you get to the part where Otto goes way down to the Deepest-Ever Pool...makes you just want to clap for him, because he finally got it, and you can tell through the pictures it feels so good.