I don’t usually review books here on Literacy Toolbox. Instead I tend to save book reviews for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. More often than not, as I read a picture book, I read it with an educator frame. In other words, how can I use this book in the classroom? And so, books I review tend to find themselves on my educator blog.
However, I have come across several books lately that I feel parents would find helpful as well. So, this month on Literacy Toolbox, I will share books or apps that I have recently read and/or played with my kids.
I often look for books that help me help my children with big issues, such as diversity or bullying. Recently, I had a discussion about diversity with my four year old. I used Whoever You Are by Mem Fox as a discussion starter. This is the same book I read with my son when he was around the same age. It helped me to reiterate to my children that even though people may look different on the outside, we are all the same on the inside.
One by Kathryn Otoshi
My daughter’s preschool models virtues to their students and chooses one virture (such as cooperation, respect, etc.) a month on which to focus. As part of their virtues program, they invite parents to come in and read a book demonstrating that month’s virtue to the class. In January, students focused on respect and I was honored to be able to read to my daughter’s class. I immediately reached out to my Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter to locate a great picture book that would demonstrate respect. Mary Kuehner (@daisycakes), a librarian in Colorado, immediately recommended One by Kathryn Otoshi. It was a fantastic choice.
On Monday, I read aloud One to my daughter’s Pre-K class. It’s the story of colors, Blue is quiet and Red is a hot head. Red likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Green, Purple, and Orange don’t like what they see, but aren’t sure how to stop Red. Eventually Red becomes so big that all the colors are afraid of him. Then One comes along and with quiet strength teaches all of the colors how to stand up and count. All it takes is One!
This book is a bit complex, but it was simple enough that the preschoolers understood that Red wasn’t nice to Blue or the other colors and that was disrespectful.
This book would be a great book to read with preschoolers through second or third grade. Older children would have a greater understanding of standing up for themselves or their friends.
On a side note, my daughter obviously caught some of the details and complexities of the book because after school she told me that a little girl in her class was “hot” today. Recognizing that she was connecting to the book, I asked what happened and she told me that she stood up for herself and a friend when the “hot” girl was mean to them.
And so, with one book, I was able to help my child to better understand that it’s not OK to treat others with disrespect and it is important that we stand up for ourselves and others. Hopefully, a few of the other students walked away with the same message.
©2011 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.