How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Earlier this week one of my students wore a Grinch shirt and I was instantly reminded of the classic Christmas story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. I read the book to my class and my students were very familiar with the characters and story line. (Perhaps because they have seen the movie, but I'd like to think they've heard the story a time or too as well).

How the Grinch Stole Christmas tells the classic tale of the Grinch, who lives alone on a mountain with his dog Max. He loathes Christmas and wants to prevent all the Who's down in Who-ville from singing and enjoying their roast beast on Christmas Day. The Grinch devises a plan to steal Christmas from the Who's. Upon returning to his mountain he discovers that the Who's are still celebrating despite their lack of Christmas decorations, gifts and food. Christmas is more than the things that you can buy, it's a feeling inside. Will the Grinch return Christmas or continue with his plan to steal it away? I bet you already know. Don't forget this classic Christmas story this holiday season!

Room on the Broom

There are so many fabulous Halloween children's books, so this week's book selection took a bit of thinking. Lately, I find myself saying to my students almost daily, "Today I'm going to read you one of my favorite stories." The truth is I'm not crazy about Halloween and I'm not a huge fan of scary things, but you say the word Halloween in Kindergarten and the kids get super excited. Their small little faces light up with glee at the mere mention of the word. I could be wrong, but I think it might have something to do with the candy. So even though, I'm not jumping for joy as Halloween approaches, I can appreciate a good holiday themed book. I also love the rhyme and repetition of this particular Halloween read. The illustrations are vivid and colorful as well (I'm a sucker for cutesy illustrations).

Room on the Broom, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, tells the story of a witch and her cat out for an evening ride on her broomstick. As the weather picks up, her things take flight. Some friends help her retrieve her things, but want a ride in return. Will the broom be able to carry all of her friends? What will happen when a dragon wants to eat the witch? You'll have to read to find out!

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Guy

When I was a child, I grew up living next door to my Granny, who we visited daily. A few of the things I remember most about spending time at her house was her love of Jeopardy, belief in a daily cup of coffee and after lunch rest time, and her zest for learning. She was a high school English teacher and after school we spent a lot of time playing learning games. One rhyme that she used to tell that sticks in my memory the most is "The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." If I close my eyes I can still see her face and hear her reciting, "I don't know why, she swallowed a fly? Perhaps she'll die." I used to love this rhyme, because of it's repetition (I'm a sucker for repetition and rhyme) and also because of the absurdity of a little old lady eating a fly and other animals. I mean seriously, who eats a horse? Having a bug theme in my classroom, I love to start out the year with a puppet set of the poem for the kids to act out. They love playing the parts and feeding the animals to the old lady. We also make our own paper puppets and feed them to a little old lady with a sandwich bag belly. So fun!

So you can image my delight, when the first library book my son checked out in kindergarten was There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold. This is a book in the Fly Guy series about a boy named Buzz and his pet Fly Guy. In this story, Buzz and Fly Guy are visiting Buzz's grandma, who accidentally swallows Fly Guy! Of course she swallows, all of the typical animals in sequence (spider, bird, cat, dog, goat, cow) but just as she's about to swallow the horse, Fly Guy shouts, "Buzz!" When Buzz replies, Fly Guy flies right out of grandma's belly followed by his animal friends. Grandma doesn't die and it's a happy ending for all. A fun twist on a familiar rhyme that young listeners and easy chapter book readers will all enjoy!