Title: A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
Bibliography: Raschka, C. (2011). A Ball for Daisy. New York, New York: Schwartz & Wade.
Annotation: Daisy loves her ball. She brings it with her everywhere: on walks, the park, even to bed. One day, while playing with another dog, her ball pops. Daisy is completely devastated when her owner throws away her ball. While Daisy and her owner are on a walk, they run into the same dog that popped her ball. This time, he had a new ball and gave it to Daisy!
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Grade Level: K-2
Readers who will like this book: This book would be a great addition to any classroom library. Teachers will love that this book can help students work on comprehension strategies through making inferences based on Daisy’s very animated emotions.
Personal Response and rating: 5; I instantly fell in love with Daisy. Her playful demeanor makes her irresistible. The use of illustrations is near perfect, we can always tell what Daisy is feeling.
Question: Have you ever loved a toy so much that you carried it everywhere you went?
Title: Peppe the Lamplighter by Elisa Bartone
Bibliography: Bartone, E. (1993). Peppe the lamplighter. New York, New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books.
Annotation: Peppe lived in Italy, before there was electricity. His father was ill, his mother was dead, and had eight sisters. They all lived with his uncle and Peppe wanted to help support his family so he looked for work. The butcher, the bartender, and the candy maker all turned him away. Through the grapevine, the town’s lamplighter heard that Peppe was looking for a job. He asked Peppe if he would light the town’s lamps while he was away fetching his wife. Peppe was thrilled! After disagreements with his family, one night, Peppe did not light the streetlamps and one of his sisters was lost in the darkness of the town. Once Peppe learns this, he rushes to light all of the lamps and finds his sister!
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Grade Level: 2-4
Readers who will like this book: Peppe the Lamplighter would be a great tool for teachers to use for teaching about the importance of jobs that keep a society running, as well as a great way to show students what life was like before electricity and the technology we have today!
Personal Response and rating: 4; I felt that this book’s message that no part is small was fabulously exhibited. Peppe’s struggle between helping his family financially and keeping them happy is an unfortunate reality in today’s world, so I really appreciated the cultural relevancy it provided as well as the historical context.
Question: Before electricity, do you think a lamplighter’s job was important to a community?
b.) Instruct the students to complete a ‘quickwrite’ summarizing the moral of the story. What did Peppe and the rest of the town learn?
c.) Using the ‘quickwrite’ reading strategy, the teacher can evaluate the students’ comprehension of the story as well as addressing writing and content area.
Title: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Bibliography: Yolen, J. (1987). Owl moon. New York: New York: Philomel Books.
Annotation: Owl Moon is a story about a young girl and her father, who share a whimsical adventure late on a cold winter night. The young girl is finally old enough to go owling, but she must keep quiet if she wants to accompany her father as he imitates an owls’ “whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whoooooooo” as they trudge through the forest. Suddenly, they hear rustling in the trees and the father flashes his light right at a huge owl. In that moment, time froze, as they stared at in amazement at the owl’s beauty and grandeur.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Grade Level: 1-3
Readers who will like this book: This book highlights a loving father-daughter relationship as well as exhibiting characteristics of growing up, and may be appealing to young girls and boys alike for both reasons. The illustrations also reminded me quite a bit of Minnesota during the winter and that may attract young readers as well because it makes the book relevant to things they know.
Personal Response and rating: 5; Owl Moon was an instant favorite. As I am extremely close to my father, and he practically lives outside, most of our time spent together is outside in Northern Minnesota; this book brought back many found memories of my childhood. This book also brought up a strong feeling of nostalgia for me; I wish I had more time to spend exploring the world with my father, like the young girl in the book.
Question: What other animals might you see in a forest? Why must the ‘owling’ be done at night? How would you react if you saw a giant owl staring at you?
a.) Choral Reading
b.) Instruct the students to repeat each line of the story, after the teacher reads it aloud.
c.) Using the reading choral strategy addresses oral language, fluency, comprehension as well as supporting English language learners. It applies nicely to Owl Moon because it is written in stanzas and will emphasize the overall mood of the story.