Archive for ‘Classics’

March 1, 2012

The Lorax

I would like to thank morninglightmama for her recent posts about The Lorax, which got me interested in the book. Learn how the story of The Lorax came to be.

Now on to the review. Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Title: The Lorax
Author & Illustrator: Dr. Seuss
Publisher: Random House, 1971
Book Type: Fiction

Ages: 6 and up
Themes: Environmentalism, Greed

Famous Sentence:

“Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.”

Synopsis (from Random House):

Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty.

Activities:

There are a multitude of links for activities related to this book.

Classroom:

Entertainment: Watch The Lorax movie. See trailer below.

Websites: Check out Seussville and The Lorax Project for more Dr.Seuss related activities and games.

Why I Like This Book:

I have to admit I only came to learn of this book due to the movie release. I love this book for the same reason I love The Grinch Who Stole Xmas. These books first appear to be a fun rhyming, colorful, silly looking stories but later reveal themselves to be exquisitely deep and profound. Perfect combination attracting both young and old.

I like that the story is told in the past through the memories of the Once-ler. This POV adds a sort of realism to the story, that yes there was this wonderful place that was ruined by the Once-ler’s greed. The ending of the story sends a pivotal message that we have the ability to protect the environment and that if we don’t than no one will.

Here is the book trailer for The Lorax Pop-up book. It is just gorgeous. I will need to go buy it.

Here is the movie trailer. Okay, I am dying to see this movie. Too bad its PG and my kids aren’t old enough yet. Doh!

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

December 2, 2011

Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Big Orange Splot

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site’s Perfect Picture Books to see the other books recommended.

Title: The Big Orange Splot

Author & Illustrator: Daniel Manus Pinkwater

Publisher: Scholastic, 1977

Suitable for: K-3

Themes: Individuality, Self-Expression

Opening Sentences:

Mr. Plumbean lived on a street where all the houses were the same. He liked it that way. So did everybody else on Mr. Plumbean’s street. “This is a neat street,” they would say. Then one day… A seagull flew over Mr. Plumbean’s house. He was carrying a can of bright orange paint. (No one knows why.) And he dropped the can (no one knows why) right over Mr. Plumbean’s house.

Synopsis: An orange splot on the house inspires Mr. Plumbean to transform his house into something of his dreams. The neighborhood is inspired to make their dreams too.

Activities: This story is perfect for teaching kids individuality and self-expression, that it is okay to be yourself. You can find numerous activity plans created by fellow teachers by doing a Google search. The link I have provided here is suitable for young kids. It involves the child drawing the house of their dreams on Mr. Plumbean’s street and writing a sentence about it. Here is a link to another activity plan which is more involved.

Why I Like this Book: This book teaches in a very creative and simple way, that it is okay to be yourself and that people will still like you. Heck you may even inspire others. The story teaches kids to be confident in who you are but without arrogance. Mr. Plumbean was brave in making his house into an explosion of color and disrupting their neat street. When the neighbor came over to discuss the house situation, Mr. Plumbean simply offered a glass of lemonade and good conversation, resulting in the neighbor transforming his house as well.

The story is illustrated with bright, bold, gorgeous colors done in a simple drawing style that mimics the art of kids. The writing uses colorful and funny expressions. “Plumbean has popped his cork, flipped his wig, blown his stack, and dropped his stopper!”

August 28, 2011

Corduroy

“Suddenly he felt the floor moving under him! Quite by accident he had stepped onto an escalator — and up he went!”

“Could this be a mountain?” he wondered. “I think I’ve always wanted to climb a mountain.”

Corduroy is a bear sitting on a toy department shelf waiting day after day for someone to buy him. One day a girl named Lisa wants to buy him, but her mother says they have no more money to spend and he has a missing button. That night Corduroy embarks on an adventure to find his missing button, which doesn’t go well. But the next day Lisa comes back to purchase him and takes him to his new home, a small, quaint, and perfect little place for Corduroy.

This is a beautiful simple story about a bear wanting to find a home, and a girl looking for a friend. I love the fact that Lisa likes Corduroy just the way he is with one missing button.The story does a great job of making the reader care about the little bear who just wants to be loved and find a home. Young kids will enjoy the adventurous parts in the middle, when Corduroy discovers the escalator or the rest of the department store.

The 40th Anniversary Edition has a special treat at the end for fans of the book or children’s literature. It has a draft of the story with some editor marks, some early illustrations of the book, and letters between Don Freeman and the editor.

Recommendation: Add to Home Library

Author & Illustrator: Don Freeman

Coduroy

If you liked Corduroy I recommend for older readers the middle-grade book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.  A selfish cold-hearted china rabbit toy gets separated from his owner and begins a journey where he learns about love, sorrow, loneliness, and compassion through the people that he meets along the way.

November 15, 2010

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

“A told B and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.”

This delightful, colorful ABC book will have young kids laughing and asking you to read it again and again. Young letter ‘a’ is a bit of a troublemaker daring the other young letters to follow up the coconut tree. What happens when all the letters are in the tree, “Uh-oh” is right. That is when the fun really starts with the whimsical words and rhyme.

The book shows both uppercase and lowercase letters in a humorous way. It is good for teaching letter recognition to toddlers.

Recommendation: Add to Home Library

If you like this book also check out:  AlphaOops!: The Day Z went First by Alethea Kontis

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