Thursday, January 31, 2008

MArley and Me

Title: Marley and Me
Author: John Grogan
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks, 2008
Genre: novel, autobiography
Age: middle school

Summary: This book is told by John Grogan about the life of his rambunctious lab, Marley. They Marley and he is so cute but he chews everything, pees on everything and is deathly afraid of thunderstorms. He helps this family through some horrible trials, including the miscarriage of a baby, a little girl getting stabbed next door, being on the big screen and with work. His wife breaks down and starts beating on big ol Marley one day when she has had enough, and tells john to get rid of him. After a couple weeks her anger blows over, from the miscarriage and accepts Marley once again. He is the biggest goofball anyone can come across. He even flunks out of doggie training school. After Marley gets a little older the move upstate, were there is tons of snow. Marley loves to play init. As the years go by john notices ol' Marley becoming deaf, not being able to make it up the stairs. And it gets really hard for john to watch. Finally Marley dies and its a sad time for everyone, including the reader!

Response: oh my goodness this is the only book I have ever cried in. I balled like a baby! I loved Marley it is any young pup and any spoiled dog that is the baby and gets away with things. John does the best job describing the scene and Marley's expression. You actually feel like you are there watching the scene unfold. This was the greatest book in the world.

Teaching connections: I would absolutely give this to a middle school class to read to learn and feel lose. You get so attached with Marley and watch him grow up and in the end he has lived a long great life, but it makes you break down anyways.

Title: No, David!
Author: David Shannon
Illustrator: David Shannon
Publisher: Blue Sky Press, 1998
Genre: Humor/Picture book
Age Range: K

Summary: This book is about a little boy who likes to get into trouble. David hears “No” more than any word. He drags mud through the house, plays baseball inside, runs around naked, plays with his food, and won’t clean his room. But finally when he gets sent to time out mom ends with a “yes” and an “I Love You!”

Response: I can definitely see why this book won the Caldecott metal. The images are hysterical. Anyone that has kids or that has worked with small children feels like they can relate, I know I can. I worked as a two’s teacher for four years, and I have said “No” more than any word in that classroom. I love how this story ends; it’s just like real life, because no matter how mad the kids make you they always have your heart!

Teaching Ideas: This is a wonderful book. It would be a great book for a child’s first book. It has only a few words but it is fun and entertaining. This would be a good book to talk about behavior issues and attitudes. Also the book ends on a good note, of family love. The students can discuss their own families maybe even bring in pictures to make an art collage.

The Rain Came Down

Title: The Rain Came Down
Author: David Shannon
Illustrator: David Shannon
Publisher: Blue Sky Press, 2000
Genre: Picture book/Humor
Age Range:K-3

Summary:One Saturday morning it started to rain which first made the chicken’s squawk and after that ciaos just broke loose in the household. The dog was barking, the baby was crying, the mom was shouting. Then the policeman stopped by to see what all the commotion was about and then started the town in ciaos with cars honking, people yelling and arguing, things falling, people bumping into each other; until, the rain stopped. After the rain had stopped people were getting along, cars went on their way, the children got ice cream, and the family even went on a picnic all together mom, dad, baby, dog, cat, and chickens!

Response: I really liked this book. And once again the illustration was great. I really liked how this book could be used with a little bit older kids who have started to read full sentences. The book is very clean looking because the writing is at the bottom on all the pages and the pictures on top. This book makes me really want to know what his art media type is. The characters are cartoony but so life like I really like the way he can make the appearance that things are shiny. I am not real sure why I just think it makes it look more life like and funny. Also once the ciaos in town starts I really liked how on each page the people who were arguing were all similar. For example the beautician was arguing with the barber, the baker arguing with the pizza maker, and the little girl was arguing with the boy. It made the story even sillier.

Teaching Ideas: In the standard course of study for kindergarten one of the objectives is to identify different weather features including precipitation, wind, temperature and cloud cover. This would be a great book to spark a conversation and a lesson on weather. It's funny with wonderful illustrations so would be a great way to begin a lesson! Another lesson that could come of this book is being able to relate to situations, you could discuss how weather makes you feel.

Good Boy, Fergus!

Title: Good Boy, Fergus!
Author: David Shannon
Illustrator: David Shannon
Publisher: The Blue Sky Press, 2006
Genre: Humor/ Picture Book
Age range: K-1

Summary: This book is about a cute, spoiled and very happy white West Highland Terrier dog named Fergus. Fergus starts his day with chasing cats, belly rubs, and not doing amazing tricks but always ends up with a "Good Boy, Fergus!" He gets in trouble and makes messes throughout his day but once agian always ends up with a "Good Boy, Fergus!" He gets to chase motercyles and pee on anything in sight. He ends his day with a heaping bowl of dog food, and of course whip creme too! and finally drifts off to sleep when night comes.

Response: This is one of David's newest books, and probably my favorite. The illistrations are really what gets me. They are so bright and colorful, with simpy techniques but so much charecter. Fergus is not very detailed but he has so much expression on his face in each picture, you can tell excatly what hes thinking! This book reminded me of a picture book version of my favorite book in the world, Marley and Me. Another thing I really liked is his writing font, it's very simple and fun looking. As the words get bigger you can just hear the tone getting louder. I especially like the page were the words are large and very close together as if he is just pleading with Fergus to come in. I actually really like in some of the pictures how there was very little background behind Fergus, it was just one color, to really keep your attention on him. The story line was as cute as it could be. A cute and very happy pup gets into EVERYTHING. I have a little terrier of my own, althouh she is not as bad as Fergus, I definiatly see her in him! She always has that happy grin and chases cats and beggs for food, and of course the sweet little face ends up eventually with what she wants. She is always a "Good Girl, Zoie!" All in all I love this book!

Teaching Ideas: This book would definiatly keep the attention of a small children because of the hallerious story line and amazing picuters.It could be easily intergrated into a kindergarten or first grade classroom. In kindergarten the standard course of study states observe the similarities of humans to other animals, using basic needs, growth, and movement. With this book we can definiatly see that dogs and people need similar basic needs such as food, water, love, and shelter.(ok, some people would say love isn't a "need" but I think it is so I threw it in there.) Also you can use this book to show the animals movement jump, walk, run, and lay (which people can do too, you can even ask your children to do these movements.) Then maybe point out that dogs can scratch their head with their foot, not all people can do that. That would somrhting silly to try! A real activty you could have your studnets do (in first grade or up) is bring in a stuft animal and tell them that this is their live pet and they have to make a journal of everything they have done and given their pet. This will enhance writing, responsibilty, show basic needs, and compassion. Another quick idea is you could do a small lesson on nutrition, and mention how dogs arn't supose to eat whip creme!