Saturday, March 7, 2009

Three books, Three writers, endless possibilities...

My close friends knows this about me...I love love love the work of Sharon Creech. She is a writer that holds a special place in my heart because of all the good memories that were possible to create in my class thanks to her books. Every year in my ESL class, we read one of her books and every group is so different, and so are their experiences and reactions to her books. One thing remains the same: our powerful conversation about the book and/or the characters. So today I would like to honor Sharon Creech and one her work: Love That Dog
Love That Dog

I am sure many of you are familiar with this book, but if you are not let me sum it up for you. Jack is a boy in Mrs. Strechberry's class who thinks that poetry is just for girls. Jack is a poet, but he doesn't know it (yet). Jack is giving a poetry a try by listening carefully to his teacher read the work of several poets including William Carlos Williams. After finding some inspiration in the work of the brilliant poet William Carlos Williams and his poem The Red Wheelbarrow, Jack decides to write his own poem where he slowly starts talking about his yellow dog. And that's when Jack's journey begins. 

We are so lucky to have other books that has been published in the last 10 months that can be used to support Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.  One of them, is the breath-taking work of Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet: A River of Words by William Carlos Williams. I fell in love with this book when I saw the front cover. This is what happens when  you put a talented writer and a magnificent artist together! This combines rhythmical text and an impressive mixed media illustration that you do not want to miss. And I am delighted to say that this book is a 2009 Caldecott Honor Book.
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams

Williams Carlos Williams' poem: The Red Wheelbarrow was one of the work mentioned in Sharon Creech's book Love That Dog. I don't think I have ever seen elementary children trying to hard to figure out why is the Red Wheelbarrow so important. I love all the conversation that this poem starts in a classroom. My ESL students, after constructing meaning together they understand it, they get it. Well, if you would like to stretch your students' brain a little further, I invite you to read with your students Little Boy by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds.

Little Boy
In this adorable book McGhee uses William Carlos Williams' The Red Wheelbarrow's poem as a starting point for this book. Think about the possibilities of all the powerful conversations you may have with your students when they hear you read this book? Why does so much depends upon a yellow cup? or a puddle to jump? Oh yes, this book is an invitation to great thinking, impossible to resist. 

There you go my friends...three books that were meant to be read together, side by side. 

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