Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Reading

Oh the days in summer allows us educators to press the pause button and to enjoy and get caught up with what's new in Children's Literature. I'm sure many of you will feel identify when I say that during the year, I get to hear a lot about great books but sometimes finding time is an issue. So, I keep a list of those titles so during Summer Time I can finally get to them.

Lulu and the Brontosaurus (Junior Library Guild Selection (Atheneum))One of the titles that has been on my "Get to it already!" list was Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst. Let me just say that all the positive things I read about this book, it is absolutely true. I can NOT wait to share this book with my students next year. I will definitely be put to wonderful use not only as a read aloud but hopefully for what I hope it can become one of our mentor texts in Writing Workshop. But first let me just tell you a little bit about the story. Someone is telling and writing this story about Lulu and her wish for a pet brontosaurus. This narrator have a conversation with the audience (you, the reader) about some of her/his choices when writing this book.  As this narrator tells her/his story, we get  to meet Lulu, a young girl whose parents always gave her anything she asks. Since she is an only child, her family feels so happy to have her and they want to give her everything! Lulu is used to hearing the word YES. On the few occasions, Lulu gets to hear the word NO from her parents she made sure she screamed and threw a tantrum. As a result, her parents always gave in with her demands.
One day Lulu, decides to ask for a pet brontosaurus! Yes, out of all the animals she could have as a pet, she chose a dinosaur. Well at this point, once again, the narrator is telling us (the readers) why she chose that pet. This time Lulu's parents are standing firm on their answer NO! So Lulu decides to take matters in her own hands, and so the adventures begin!
This book is just so perfect for elementary students because it provides a great story line, a wonderful lesson, interesting characters, intriguing choices (as to which the narrator explains his/her choices) and each chapter is short enough to keep younger children at focus.
The story provides three different endings and the narrator does a fantastic job explaining her/his choices for rewriting then endings. (Talk about powerful lessons rights here!)
Honestly, I can't wait to listen and learn from my students' reactions to this book.

Princess Posey and the Perfect Present: Book 2Another early chapter book is Princess Posey and the Perfect Present by Stephanie Greene . A year ago, I wrote about the first book in this series entitled Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade. Princess Posey and the First Grade Parade: Book 1You can read the review right here.  In this sequel, Posey continues to be the adorable girl she is but this time she gets in a bit of a problem. Posey LOVES her teacher, she loves her so so much that when it is her teacher's birthday, Posey thought this would be the best way to show her teacher how much she cares. Posey even had an idea of a unique present that would make her teacher's heart even happier. But when Posey realizes that her idea of a birthday gift is not an original, she is totally disappointment, angry at her best friend, and sad for letting it get to her. Pose would need to make a decision about all this. Keep on reading to find out how this adorable first grader still manages to find the perfect present and learn a bit more about herself.

Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off (Book 1)Next chapter book is actually a book in the series. Last year, we werer introduced to Freddie Ramos in Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off (Book 1). First, it's important to know that Freddie is an only child who lives with his mom. They're both very close to another, especially since his father passed away. They're very good at taking care of one another. One day, Freddie receives a special box from Mr. Vaslov which contained the most amazing purple shoes. You're probably wondering, what are some amazing about it? Well, these are just not your regular shoes, these are Zapato (shoes in Spanish) with extra power. It makes Freddie zooms from one place to another in no time. All Freddie wants to do is help people. These shoes allow him to not only do that but also get himself into some great adventures.
In book number 2 and number 3 Freddie keeps helping people either stay out of trouble or solve their problems. Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Springs into Action (Book 2)But in book number 2 Freddie Ramos Springs into Action, Mr. Vaslov is able to improve Zapato Powers by adding the coolest bracelet that Freddie has ever seen. Now the possibilities are endless and Freddie keeps improving his skills of helping people out in no time.
Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue (Book 3)In book number 3, Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue, the newest addition to Freddie's all improved powers is an awesome pair of goggles. Except that this time, this present is not from Mr. Vaslov. So,who's it from? Not only there is a purple squirrel that needs help, but now the goggles come from somewhere but Freddie has not clue from where. What I love about this series is that Freddie is a lovable character. He worries about his mom's being, he takes such a good care of her. He also likes to help people out and is always on the lookout for new adventures. Children will love it and boys will feel great seeing more boys as main characters. I think these series would be a wonderful read aloud addition to any classrooms.

This is what summer time is all about for me. It's about staying current with children's literature, it's about  finding new books to fall in love with next year. I love introducing my students to the latest literature. I want their knowledge to keep on expanding throughout the years and it is my duty to make sure that happens.

Happy Summer Reading! Enjoy the journey!


Cathy said...

I have been looking for some new early chapter books. I have not seen these so I look forward to checking them out. Thanks!

Stella said...

Thank you Cathy! I've been on a mission this summer to find some good ones and I'm really pleased with this selection!