We talked about the Geisel Award and the Caldecott Award. We read
- You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant;
- The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary GrandPre; and
- The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat.
I pulled out other award-winning books from 2014, and a cheer erupted when I announced that Sam & Dave Dig a Hole (by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen) had been given a Caldecott Honor. Yep, they liked that book.
Our school holds a storytelling event in the month of February where students tell stories in their classrooms. Each teacher then selects a student to represent her classroom at a school-wide assembly. While the kids were preparing their stories, I decided to tell one of my own, so we celebrated Chinese New Year with following stories:
- Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young and
- "The Fox Borrows the Tiger's Fierceness."
After hearing "The Fox Borrow's the Tiger's Fierceness," one boy commented on the story's similarity to The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Similar it is.
We continued our celebration of Chinese New Year with Japanese stories:
- The Paper Crane by Molly Bang and
- "Little One Inch."
I used Steve Light's storybox to tell "Little One Inch." (When you look at the storybox, be sure to watch the video of Steve Light telling the story. Brilliant.) When I finished, a girl said, "Oh that was great! If you were doing the storytelling festival, you would win." All credit for that goes to Mr. Light. Thank you, sir. As an added bonus, I overheard my five year old telling the story this week with her brother's dinosaurs and bear. "Lemme out! Lemme out! Lemme out!"
We talked about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We read
- Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution by Don Brown and
- Gingerbread for Liberty!: How a German Baker Helped Win the Revolution by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch.
I loved pairing these books because while the art and storytelling styles are different, the themes are similar. And the students loved the stylized art in Gingerbread for Liberty! It was a great way to end the month.