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Friday, February 25, 2011


One of this week's I Love to Read month clues for kindergarten, first, and second grade students was this: “The wolf was overjoyed and fetched the basket and the rope, then threw one end of the rope to the top of the tree.”

A kindergarten class proudly turned in their correct guess early, noting that a student had the book checked out and recognized the words! He brought the book for the teacher to read to the whole class.

A second grade class shared their confusion about the book during library time. They thought it was a Chinese version of a tale with the big, bad wolf in it. Which story includes the big, bad wolf? I asked. The Three Little Pigs, of course, they told me. Are there pigs mentioned in the clues? Their thought processes were almost palpable. A quiet voice in the back row asked, "What about Little Red?" They eagerly went off to search the catalog for a connection...and brought me the correct answer in minutes.

The book, of course, is Ed Young's Caldecott Medal winner Lon Po Po. Two students in the same classroom told their teacher about the correct Chinese pronunciation, brought their Chinese dictionaries to school, and wrote what they agreed to be the characters representing those words. Monday morning's announcements of the correct answers will include their voices telling us the title in Chinese.

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