Spring is finally coming on Cape Cod albeit it tentatively and and somewhat reluctantly. I have been inspired not to lose hope by the sight of the tiny green shoots peeking through the mud and lingering piles of snow. I have also been inspired by some of the wonderfully blogging being done by my fellow “literacy geeks” on new choices for read-alouds. I decided to ask some teacher friends about their favorite spring reads and thus a new post emerged. Some books are new, or new to me, and others are old favs….some are fiction nonfiction and a few hybrids mixed in. I hope that you find some inspiration and feel the urge to comment with some of your own favorites. Enjoy!
From the talented and creative pair of Steve Jenkins and Robin Page comes a new masterpiece nonfiction, Egg Nature’s Perfect Package. I kid-tested this treasure with a group of 1st graders and I didn’t think that they were going to let me leave. Each page of this book takes a look at “all things eggs” with beautiful illustrations and eye-catching true-to-life sized graphics of eggs from all kinds of animals. The reader can make some choices on what to read on each page because there are text, captions, labels , fact boxes, and time-lines – a plethora of non-fiction features that 1st and 2nd graders gobble up!
Moving on from eggs to feathers this new to me nonfiction published in 2014 and written by Melissa Stewart is a new favorite. Feathers Not Just for Flying provides a similar layout of text features and little-known facts about feathers but is designed like pages taken from a science journal. Many children in our district can relate to this set-up because they are developing their own science notebooks and would definitely want to choose this book as a mentor.
One last book that conjures up vivid memories of playing with my brothers and sisters in my backyard in spring is Mud by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Lauren Stringer. Simple text and bold full page illustrations of “gooey, gloppy, mucky, magnificent mud”make this a perennial favorite of mine no matter what the age of the listeners in front of me. It will make you want to run outside barefoot and jump into the first mud puddle that you see.
This has been fun and I’ll keep sharing more titles as my colleagues bring them to me. Feel free to share some of your own spring titles in the comment section. Who knows…maybe there will be some new text sets in our futures!