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Friday, November 15, 2013

Favorite Books

This week I began reading aloud two books on my all-time favorites list. Third graders are listening to Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. Second graders are listening to Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. I just love the voice of each story. India Opal Buloni is forthright, funny, honest, and insightful. Her narration resonates with subtle humor, careful observations, and thoughtfulness. The omniscient narrator of Charlotte's Web portrays the wonder of the Zuckerman's barn in such a way that I truly believe I have sat there with Fern, listening to Charlotte reassure Wilbur, hearing the goose's stuttering, cringing at Templeton's crass suggestions. The hour I spend each day reading those books carries me through all monotonous duties. 

The children so obviously know how much I adore these books and characters. There is never a behavior problem. All eyes watch me as I read. Giggled and smiles appear when I read about how Winn-Dixie smiled at the preacher. Several students whispered "salutations" after Charlotte said it to Wilbur today. The kids tell me how they can see the story in their minds, like a mental movie. Sometimes important discussions why a mom would leave her daughter and why Mr. Zuckerman would butcher Wilbur.

And sometimes, the discussion gets humorous. Like when one person asked what meat came from a pig. "Bacon," said one boy. "Ham," said another. "Lamb chops," said a third. The child next to him gave him a strange look and said, "Seriously? Those come from a lamb." Then one person asked, "Where does chicken come from?" The rest of the children chorused, "Chicken!" And that is where I brought the discussion back to the story. 


  1. Two of my very favorites too. I wish I had been there for the whole session, thanks for allowing me to be there in part...I love that they appreciate that these are favorites of yours...PS Do you know the book Letters to Anyone and Everyone by Toon Tellegen? (It is another very favorite of mine.)

  2. These are still two of my favorites... as an adult. The messages and stories ring true, forever.

  3. Thank you for sharing these classics with today's kids! And thanks to Sketchbook Wandering for her book recommendation!

  4. Perhaps I should reread them again?!