Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Classic Kindergarten!

Primary classes are always a blast in the Stone School Library!  A special welcome to our kindergarteners, who were pleased to learn that our resident dragon, Dusty, is a vegetarian.  This week, we have been focusing on getting children familiar with the canon of picture books, meeting new characters from classic stories.  For some of us, this is time with old friends, and for others, a chance for new acquaintances!  Just a few of our favorites:

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish (What are drapes?  What is a feather duster?  And why don't the Rogers clean their own house?  This is a very mysterious book for some.)

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile from The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber  (Splish, splosh, swish, swash, we enjoyed making bathtub sound effects.  And ha-ha!  A crocodile can't really stand on legs and work a hula-hoop, or set the table.  Time to talk about fiction vs. non-fiction!)

Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (We talked about the "big idea" with this one; what was the author trying to say?  "Be yourself, and you don't have to fight."  We also liked doing a bullfight dance to Michael Feinstein's musical rendition of "Ferdinand the Bull.")

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (So many children were so excited to show their scars after hearing about the main character's trip to the hospital!  And we had a nice chat about how to recognize the Caldecott medal, and how the Eiffel Tower in in Paris, France.  There is even an elevator to the top, even if we can't see it in the illustration.)

The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack (A big hit about a mischievous duck who tries to avoid a consequence, only to waddle into more trouble.  It was also an opportunity to talk about how the images we see in books don't always match the real people we know, especially in books written a long time ago.)

Sometimes storytime is long for children who are new to school.  As we build our reading and listening stamina, we might take a break to do our own illustrations of favorite parts of a story.  If your child brings one of these home, please invite them to talk about it, and to retell what they can remember about the story to you.  Better yet, pay a visit to the Chicago Public Library and re-read them at home...repeated re-readings build recall, sight word vocabulary and reading confidence.  Plus, you can check out so many more books, and sign up for additional storytimes so your cutie can practice listening skills in different settings, and make more friends with other booklovers!  I have personally been enjoying perusing 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up by Julia Eccleshare (even though my expiration date may have passed), and I also hope my own resource, How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, will be handy to anyone supporting an emergent reader.

Also, a large and special thank you to the kindergarten mommy who came in and did a very wonderful storytelling featuring a donated book in honor of her little boy's birthday! What a great way to celebrate...a gift everyone enjoyed, and sugar-free.  Guest readers and celebration donations are always welcome in the library. I also realize that circumstances do not allow every parent to make a visit or a donation.  Do know that reading aloud to your child at home regularly is truly the best gift of all, for both for your child and for the school.  Thank you for your support!

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