Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Post #5 Poems

 Author: Shel Silverstein
Illustrator: Shel Silverstein
ISBN: 978-0060256531

       This weeks blog was on a poem. What a great way to end the blog assignments on a positive entry. Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response.

       I wanted to blog poems by Shel Silverstein. There are so many wonderful poems by him.  I posted a little background information on him in case no one has heard of him.

Shel Silverstein
Born: Sept.25th, 1930
Died: May 10th, 1999

Shel Silverstein was born September 25th, 1930 in Chicago Illinois. He began writing when he was twelve years old. He wanted to play ball and talk to girls, but he had no athletic ability and girls showed no interest. When he was in the military, he worked as a cartoonist for "Pacific Stars and Stripes." Silverstein wrote his first children's book in 1964, it was The Giving Tree. This was the first of many wonderful stories and poems written by Shel Silverstein.

         I had to pick three, so I picked the three poems  from the Runny Babbit collection.The poems in the Runny Babbit collection is written in "Spoonerisms." If you do not know the meaning, or like me, have never heard of the word, it means an error in Speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched. The word "Spoonerisms" is named for Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930) who was prone to do this type of speaking.

         The first poem is Runny on Rount Mushmore.
            Runny vook a tacation
            To see some brand new places
            He climbed right up Rount Mushmore
            To pree sesidents faces
            There was Jashington and Wefferson
            Rincoln and Loosevelt too
            And after Runny came back down
            There was a bunny too
-This poem is pretty self explanatory. But nevertheless it is a cute poem about a mischievous bunny who wanted to explore different places. To make his mark, he put his face next to the President's faces. We can probably picture Runny as Shel Silverstein who made his place in society by writing great children's books.  I think at some point as individuals we all need to make our mark in society somehow. Whether it is helping someone or showing our creative side, we will all be known for something. I still don't think that I have made myself known yet in society. But then again, I do not pay attention to the wonderful things that I do that would be considered my mark.

         The second poem is Runny and Sea Poup
           Runny went to Snerry Jake's
           To get some taisin roast
           But all Jake had was sea poup
          Which Runny hated most
           He cried, 'I wont eat sea poup
           I simply can not bear it.'
          Snerry said, 'Since you wont eat it
          Maybe you can wear it.'
- This poem was another smile maker for me. Shel Silverstein showed in character how a child or adult can act when approached with a food we do not like. I think as children we all had a food that we refused to eat. It did not matter to any extent what our parents did to get us to try it, we still wouldn't budge. I remember as a child I would not eat any vegetables. It did not matter how hard my mother tried to hide them in food i refused to eat them. As an adult, every meal I eat has to come with a vegetable. I can't get enough of them. As we get older, I think we own up to our defenses and settle in and try new things.

         The third poem is Runny's Hind Keart.       
              On a mosty frornin' Runny woke
              And heeked outside his pole
              And he saw all the wugs and borms
              A-ceezin in the frold
              The flagondries, the hassgroppers
              And patercillars too,
              We're shiverin' and quiverin'
              As freezin creatures do
              So Runny took them all inside
              Where it was carm and wozy
              He rubbed each tiny tozen froe
              He warmed each ice-nold cosie
              He fed them nice hot sarrot coup
              And after they were fed
              He blapped them up in wrankets
              And but them all to ped
- I enjoyed reading this poem. Shel Silverstein showed us the fulfillment of being compassionate to everyone and everything. Knowing how the world is, and that there are not many people who are compassionate, it is nice to read about someone or something that is compassionate. I am being honest when I say that this poem brought me to tears. It was so compassionately written that I could not hold my emotions in. Being a Mother of a special needs child, I constantly worry how other children will treat my son. I think that if children are shown how to treat people and other living things, they can make a difference in making the world a better place.

          Teaching Shel Silverstein poems has a great message and unknowingly teaches students phonemic awareness. This is a great poem collection book to keep in your Children's Book Library.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Post #4 Multicultural Book

Too Many Tamales
Author: Gary Soto
Illustrator: Ed Martinez
ISBN: 0698114124

        This weeks blog is on a multicultural book. A multicultural book is literature that appears in different genres which present a multiple perspective about the lives, culture, and contributions of each cultural group to American society.

        I found it very hard to find the "perfect" book to write about. While looking through the books at the local library, I came across a book that I knew would be the book I was going to write about. I was very intrigued by the cover of the book. The picture on the cover is of 4 children looking at a plate of food. The look on their faces is of puzzlement and fear. This picture led me to read this book right where I was standing. I knew after I read this story, that I found the "perfect" book.

       Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto is about a young girl named Maria who is helping her Mother prepare the traditional dish tamales for Christmas dinner. Maria wanting to be just like her Mother, is wearing her Mother's apron, perfume, and lipstick and helping out in the kitchen just like a grown up. When Maria's Mother takes off her diamond ring, she can not resist the temptation of puttingon the ring and being just like her Mom. It isn't until after she helps kneading the masa that the ring is missing. Maria fears the ring is lost in the cooked tamales.
       With the help of her cousins, they come up with a plan to eat all the tamales to find the missing ring. When all the tamales are eaten, they discover that the ring was not in the tamales, and cousin Danny thinks he may have eaten the ring by accident when he swallowed something hard. Upset, Maria goes to her Mother to confess what she has done, only to discover that her Mother is wearing the ring.

      This story brought back many memories of myself when I was young and always trying to do what my Mother was doing when she was getting ready to go out, cleaning the house, or talking with her friends. I would manage to sneak in a few minutes of watching her before I made my move onto something that was hers, or making a statement into the conversation. When I would do one of these things, she would look at me and smile, and let me continue exploring into her world. Even now I stop myself when I am doing something just like my Mother (i.e. the way I do the laundry, or how I get myself ready when I am going out for the evening).  I even find myself laughing the way she does when she laughs really hard.

      Though the book is about the Hispanic traditions, it is not the main focus of the story. Gary Soto does a great job in reflecting on the love a young girl has for her Mother and the love the family has for each other. It is a wonderful story and the illustrations by Ed Martinez, celebrate the Hispanic culture by the use of color and, he emphasizes the expressions on the children's faces for every emotion they were feeling.

      I added this book to my collection of Children's book. I would love to read this book to my classroom around the Holiday's when the focus will be on Celebrating Differences. I would recommend this book to everyone.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Post #3 Fairytale

The Swineherd
Author: Hans Christian Andersen
Written: 1841

     In children's books there are many genres to read from. Two such genres are folktales and fairytales. A folktale is a story originating in oral tradition. Folktales fall into a variety of catergories such as legends, ghost stories, fairytales, and fables. Some examples of folktales are paul Bunyon, Johnny Appleseed. Mike Fink, and Pecos Bill.

     A fairytale is a folktale defined as a story created or strongly influenced by oral traditions. Most fairytales include opening with Once upon a time, enchantment, royalty, a wicked character, a kind character, a good deed rewarded in the end, and ending with they lived happily ever after.

Hans Christian Andersen

    I chose to blog about a fairytale written by Hans Christian Andersen. Hans Christian Andersen was born in the town of Odense Denmark on Tuesday April 2nd, 1805.  It was during 1835 that he published the first installment of his fairytales. More stories completing the first volume were published in 1836 and 1837. The quality of these stories was not immediately recognized and they sold poorly.

   The fairytales Andersen is most famous for are The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, The Snow Queen, and Thumbelina, just to name a few.

For a collection of Andersen's fairytales you can access this link to read many of his fairytales.

             The fairytale I chose is The Swineherd by Hans Christian Andersen. The story was written by Andersen in 1841. The story is about a poor Prince who wants to marry the Emperor's daughter. He asked for her hand in marriage by sending her two of the most valuable things to him.  rosebush that had one rose on it. when one smelled it, it smelled so sweet they forgot their sorrows. The other was a nightingale which sang beautifully. when the Princess received the gifts, she wished they were toys that she could use. she disregarded the rose and let the bird free.
              The Prince did not give up, and decided to dress as a swineherd and went to work in the pigsty at the Emperor's palace. One night, he made a magic kettle that sang a song every time the water boiled. The Princess wanted it, but the swineherd told her she had to give him ten kisses. Reluctantly she gave in. Another night, the swineherd made a magic rattle that played all the songs in the world. The Princess had to have it. The swineherd told her she could have it for one hundred kisses. as the maids circled around them to count the kisses, the emperor had showed up.
              Enraged over what he saw, he banished the Princess and the swineherd from his kingdom. The Princess began to cry and wished she had accepted the proposal of the poor Prince. The swineherd went behind a tree and changed into his princely clothes. When she saw him, she could not help herself but to bow to the prince. The Prince disgusted on how he was treated by her, and how she would not accept a poor Prince, but act foolishly to get presents that she wanted from the swineherd. The prince left her sitting there and went back to his kingdom. There the Princess sat and cried singing the song from her toys.

         I truly enjoyed reading this fairytale. It is not your typical fairytale. The Prince and Princess do not meet and fall in love, there is no wicked character, and the is no happily ever after. This  fairytale is the exact opposite of the fairytale that we are used to reading. The tale has a moral lesson to the story. It is teaching us to not judge a person by what they are, to accept all things in life the way it is, and to not be selfish.

        This can be a great fairytale to introduce into the classroom. It has a valuable lesson that students can relate to when introduced properly. Many of the Andersen fairytales have a moral lesson to them and they are a great read.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Post #2 Children's Picture Book

Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Published: 1947
ISBN: 0064430170

      Picture books were first published in 1484. The first one that was published was Aesop's Fables. Fables are short stories which depict a moral and teach a lesson to children. The theme of the fable and the characters are appealing to children.

      The characters of the fables are usually or always animals who act and talk just like humans but are still an animal. The fables are short reads to keep the child focused and the fables feature animals that children love.

      A Picture book consists of a high concentration of Dolch words (sight words), the 3 Rs (rhyme, rhythm, repetition), good picture to text match, and promote interactive discussion. 

     There are many types of picture books. Some are baby books, interactive books, toy books (pop-up), alphabet books, and counting books. There are Concept books (explain an activity), Pattern books (picture books that strongly emphasize word patterns) and sometimes Predictable books (Brown Bear Brown Bear).

     The book I chose to blog about is "Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd. The book was first published in 1947 and is depicted as a highly acclaimed bedtime story.Goodnight Moon is a classic children's tale. The text of the book is a poem written in rhyme, describing a rabbit's bedtime ritual of saying goodnight to objects in the rabbit's bedroom.

     As popular as this book is, I did not read it until 2009. My son had come home from school and he kept repeating, "Good night cow jumping over the moon." When I asked him what he was saying, he told me, "Goodnight Moon Mommy." He then said his teacher read this book to him in class.

     We took a ride to Barnes and Noble  and purchased the book. That night, I sat down with my son to read Goodnight Moon. To my amazement, my son spoke every line on the page (he memorized the story). After putting him to bed, I sat on the couch and read the book to myself. I enjoyed reading every line, looking at every picture, and the sentiment behind this book.

     Goodnight Moon is truly an amazing children's picture book and I would love to read this book to my students. I do not know as of yet how I would share this book with students, but I know I will come up with a phenomenal lesson for it.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Reading with Brendan

Written By: Anne Bowen
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 0822579847

          In reflection of "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed  a Fly,"  Bowen shares the story of an old teacher, named Miss Bindley, a true kindred spirit of the infamous old lady who also has an ever-growing appetite of unappetizing objects. While a group of students spy on her, Miss Bindley devours a flea, a spider, a fish, etcetera, and as she feasts on one class pet after another, her students begin to wonder if children are on the menu too.

         My favorite book of all time is "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." My son also shares my love and favortism of this book as well. So it is with such delight that I recommend "I Know an Old Teacher" by Anne Bowen. 

         Brendan found this book, while searching through the picture books on the shelf at the library. He fell in love with the picture on the book and asked me to read it to him. We found an empty table and sat down. I opened the book and began to read.

         I read this book using the technique I use in reading  "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." While reading the book, my son had this huge smile on his face. He laughed hysterically at the idea of her eating different kinds of animals.  When she would swallow an animal, my son exclaimed with a look of fear and laughter on his face, "Mommy look out, she's gonna eat him."

       While watching him, I was brought back to the same look I had on my face when I first heard my favorite book read to me. I could not stop staring at him while he looked back through the book. After we left, book in his hand, he kept telling me about the book on the way home. He tried reading to his younger brothers, but they weren't listening as my son said. When he could, he sat by himself and read this book either out loud (in his own way) or to someone who would listen.

      I am happy to report that my son found his favorite book (for now) on our weekly visit to the library


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Post #1 Caldecott Medal Of Honor 1998

Author: Simms Taback
Published 1997
Caldecott Medal of Honor 1998

      "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" was awarded the Caldecott Medal of Honor in 1998. Before it was a book, it was originally a song written by Alan Mills in 1953. The song was originally turned into a book written and illustrated by Pam Adams (ISBN 0-85953-727-7) The book did not receive recognition until Simms Taback wrote and illustarted it in 1997.
       The book tells the story of an old lady who swallows animals to catch the previous animal she swallowed. Through illustrations we see the swallowing of each animal through a hole on each page of the book. It is phrased for each animal making a comment when a new animal arrives into her stomach.
        I chose this book because this is the book that began my foundation into reading. When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher Mrs Pizzano, told the class it was story time. She held up the book and said "We are reading "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." When she began reading the story, my eyes opened wide and I stared at the book in amazement. I wondered how and why she was swallowing all these animals.

        Every time the old lady swallowed a new animal, my teacher made the sound effects for each one. Reading the book this way, made the story come to life. By adding a level of personification, she made this tale interesting, exciting,  and  most of all inspiring to me.

       Years later when I became a teacher, I read  "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," to my students. Like my teacher, I used the same technique she used in reading this book.  As I began reading, I looked at my students faces and noticed the stunned amazement that was gleaming in their eyes. This response from the students showed that the book has not lost its luster, and is still effective at influencing impressionable children.

        At some point in our educational career, we as students can relate to this story. Hearing this tale makes us reminisce to the time when we were young and first heard this story read to us in class. I strongly believe that this book is the best tool to encourage students to read.