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.

1 comment:

  1. Kim,
    I love the way you relate to this book on such a personal level. I also love the way you used the same reading techniques as your teacher did for you in your own classroom. It is so admirable for a student to almost mimic how he or she was read or taught something when they were a child to their own kids all grown up. I only hope my students take such a liking to something I taught or read to them, and use it one day when they are older.
    I enjoyed how you called this book your "foundation into reading". It is so true that it all begins with that one book that sets off the interests into teachers like ourselves. I like the passion you have and memories you shared in this blog.