I'm putting a bit of a different spin on today's Show and Tell. Instead of sending you all over the internet to visit some of my friends, there's no travel involved today. Today I'm sharing some of my all time favorite books and as always I invite you to link up and share yours too!
And Tango Makes Three is a book I first heard about on a morning talk show. Apparently, it was creating quite a controversy because it sorta-kinda deals with alternative lifestyles (well, as alternative as a couple of penguins can be). This is a true story about a pair of male chinstrap penguins in The Central Park Zoo who never mated with female penguins, but showed a desire to raise a chick. They tried to care for a rock and would huddle together, but of course they could not create a chick of their own. Zookeepers finally gave the pair an egg to care for and this book chronicles six years of their journey. It is truly amazing. What an incredible gift for same sex couples adopting a baby.
This next book requires some tissues. For real. Unfortunately, the situation represented in this work of fiction is all too real for many of our students. In this book, Tight Times, a boy and his parents are trying to make ends meet under some dire economic circumstances. Mom has gone back to work so the boy spends time with a babysitter that makes him really miss his time with mom. Like any young boy, he wants a dog more than anything and feels he is finally old enough, like his father promised. Well, things go from bad to worse when dad loses his job. Now the dog is totally out of the question. When his parents send him outside as they discuss their most recent bad news, the boy finds a kitten. You'll need your tissues right about here. What happens next is so real, so touching...so honest. It's hard to read this one aloud without getting teary eyed.
This next one is just perfection. In The Other Side, a black girl and a white girl watch each other longingly from either side of a fence they were both warned not to cross over. In their innocence, they can not understand why they can't just jump over that fence and play together. Finally, one spunky little girl decides that fences like that were made for sitting on together, not for separating friends. The end is hopeful, insightful and just plain beautiful.
This last one, Unlovable, also features a fence as a central element. But this time two pugs live on either side of the fence. One of the pugs, Alfred, suffers from low self esteem because of the cruel taunts of a mean kitty. Alfred introduces himself to a new dog on the other side of the fence, but he says that he is a Golden Retriever! He and Rex become fast friends and share many interests. Finally, Rex digs a hole under the fence and when he sees that Alfred is not a Golden Retriever...well, it's about as sweet as it can get! What a great lesson to introduce acceptance, self esteem, building friendships on common interests, and if you like Pugs, well forget it. You'll be hooked just from the cover!
Next up is Things that are Most in the World by Judi Barrett. It's a great book to introduce superlatives. It's also a great mentor text for word choice, fluency and ideas. It's a quick read, but the phrases and the illustrations are a big hit with the kids. Lots of laughs with this one. One of the pages tells the wiggliest thing in the world is a snake on ice skates.
If you'd like the form to use with your own class, just click here to download from Google Docs.
My very, very favorite chapter book for older kids is Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. I read it to my kids when I taught 4th grade. I don't read it to my second graders. It deals with topics that are a bit sensitive for the little ones: death, homelessness, segregation, discrimination. It is the kind of book that you read and just keep thinking of long after you close the cover. It's funny, sad, exciting, heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same. It's worth reading just for your own pleasure too, it's that good.
Hope you found something new to check out. I have a serious picture book addiction and I read like crazy. Between my Kindle and the Kindle app on my phone, my face is always in a book - like in line at the grocery store, at red lights, at lunch. I've thought about limiting my real reading time to only reading when I'm the treadmill as a way to motivate my booty to actually get on the treadmill. I haven't quite followed through with that idea just yet...
So, ready to link up? Feel free to share any post you have about any books you love, picture, personal or otherwise. If you've got a great activity that goes along with it, that's great too! If you do link up, it has to be a blog post (which can contain a product, but please don't just link directly to your tpt store).
Don't forget to add the button and link back here!