Friday, March 19, 2010

Smoky Night

In this book by Eve Bunting, a neighborhood riot leads to a fire that leaves a boy homeless. The boy is deeply concerned about his cat Jasmin, who is eventually found, and it sparks a meeting that could help to resolve tension in the neighborhood.

RJORJBOOKRachel showed her primary concern was about the cat by naming him the main character of the book. Rioting was a hard concept to understand.
Main character: The cat named Jazzmen
Setting: The boy's house
Here's what happened: The roads were old and people did wrong things. They were rieiting! (rioting) And it was broken down.
My favorite part: When the firemen fond (found) Jazzmen.


Audrey also got into the story once the cat took center stage. We enjoyed our storytime in the back yard with this book, and Audrey loved getting to go outside AND read AND eat a snack. Score.
Main character: the boy and the cat
Setting: the neighborhood
What happened: The boy got out of the house because there was a fire. Then he went to a special place that was safe. The cat stayed inside because he didn't know there was a fire. The fireman helped the cat.
My favorite part: The cats became friends.

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

Mordicai Gerstein relates a true story about an acrobat who sneaked to the top of the Twin Towers while they were still under construction. With a cable strung between the towers, he walked a tightrope above New York City. It was refreshing to read a thrilling, daring story about the towers when now they are known for tragedy.

RJORJBOOKRachel is drawing more word balloons in her art now. Go, comics!
Main character: Philippe
Setting: New York
Here's what happened: Philippe wanted to walk beetween two towers. But the police said "No!"
My favorite part: When Philippe walked beetween two towers.


Audrey was impressed with the acrobat's tricks throughout the book. We need to find a circus.
Main character: The boy who climbed over the buildings
Setting: New York City
What happened: The guy walked between the towers. He wasn't scared. He was having fun.
My favorite part: He was thinking about how to go on the tightrope.

The House in the Night

This book by Susan Marie Swanson incorporates black, white and marigold yellow into a poetic, circular lullaby. The girls liked the book, but when it came to breaking down the story, they had a difficult time with the specifics, and with good reason. To me, the book was about cycles -- the sun and the moon, the father and the child -- and the constants that remain despite the changes of time -- the key (invention), the book (art), the bird and stars (nature).

RJORJBOOKRachel rationalized the non-linear nature of the story by calling it a dream. And maybe she was right. The boy did curl up on his bed at the end and wait for morning.
Main character: The boy
Setting: The boy's house
Here's what happened: He liked the book and he dremed (dreamed) about it.
My favorite part: When he dremed (dreamed) about it.


Audrey wasn't sure which character she was supposed to be focusing on. There was no true protagonist in this story.
Main character: Maybe the boy, maybe the bird
Setting: In the night, in the house
What happened: The dad gave the boy the key. The boy read the book about the bird. The boy went to bed.
My favorite part: When the boy read the book.

Song of the Swallows

Leo Politi wrote this book about the swallows who flock to Capistrano on the same day every year, from the viewpoint of a boy who loved the birds so much he built his own garden while he waited for their return.

RJORJBOOKRachel confused swans with swallows while we were discussing this book, so we looked up the difference on the computer. Yay, internet!
Main character: Juan and Julian
Setting: the garden
Here's what happened: Juan loved swallows at the garden. The swallows went away to a warmer place.
My favorite part: When two bird swallows came to his garden.


Audrey tends to answer "inside" or "outside" every time we talk about setting, so we're working on different answers. I was thrilled when she remembered that this story took place in Capistrano!
Main character: Juan and Julian
Setting: Capistrano
What happened: The little boy loved the swallows. He made a garden, so the swallows would come.
My favorite part: When Juan was climbing up that ladder to get to the swallows' nest.

Nine Days to Christmas

This extensive story about a girl's wait for Christmas struck me as mundane, but the girls really liked it. Maybe it was relatable? The book is by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida.

RJORachel said this was her favorite Caldecott book so far. There were no monsters or myths or grand adventures -- just a girl who didn't want to say goodbye to her pinata once her Christmas party came.
Main character: Cici
Setting: Cici's house
Here's what happened: Cici waited for the Christmas party, and she stuffed her pinata.
My favorite part: When she was picking out her pinata.


Audrey, like the girl in the book, loved looking the pinatas. She loved the animal ones the best.
Main character: Cici
Setting: Outside their house, the market
What happened: Cici thought the pinatas were real. She picked out a star one. It's a thing that has a lot of candy in it, and you put on a blindfold, and you try to hit it, and the candy comes raining down.
My favorite part: When she picked out her pinata.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Story, a Story

This book was in Audrey's Raising a Reader bag, which she brings home every Friday from pre-K. Wow! A Caldecott book that we didn't have to hunt for at the library!

RJBOOKRachel and Audrey both said they enjoyed the scene with the jungle cat, who the book called Osebo the leopard of-the-terrible-teeth.
Main character: Ananse and Sky God
Setting: The villge (village)
Here's what happened: Ananse wanted the gold box with stories.
My favorite part: When Ananse got the tiger.


Audrey didn't seem to mind the protagonist was called a spider man. He even spun webs too, like a superhero.
Main character: The spider man
Setting: Outside in Africa
What happened: That spider man caught an animal and tied him by his feet. Then he caught the bugs too. Then he caught the fairy. Then he gave them to the sky god. Then the sky god gave the spider man the books.
My favorite part: The spider man caught the animal -- the leopard.

The Hello, Goodbye Window

My mother-in-law invited the girls to her house for the night, so they took this book with them. It is, after all, about going to grandma's house. Special thanks to Grandmother for helping Rachel and Audrey with their reports for this book.

RJORJBOOKRachel got some help on her spelling from Grandmother. She learned how to spell "favorite," "character" and "happened."
Main character: The little girl and Nanna and Poppy
Setting: Nanna and Poppy's house
Here's what happened: The girl went to her Nanna and Poppy's house.
My favorite part: When Poppy shooted (shot) her with the water house (hose).


Audrey's art here looks a lot like the book!
Main character: Nanna, Poppy, child
Setting: Inside the house
What happened: The girl goes in the kitchen and colors. She listens to Poppy's harmonica and counts the stars.
My favorite part: The girl is coloring.