Families Are Different
By: Nina Pellegrini
Every family is different and that is ok. Nico, an adopted girl, who at first pays little attention to how she looks different than her parents; but over time she begins to see how her friends look like their parents. This book is a perfect read aloud to introduce my All About Me writing unit. In addition, topics such as adoption, family structure and working through the feelings of looking different are eloquently captured. The message Families Are Different, sends will touch every family no matter the family make-up…because as Pellegrini states: “Families are glued together with a special kind of glue called love.” 4 stars
By: Lil L. Alexander
Six fractured fairy tales that each carry a strong message/lesson about eating healthy and living right. Yummy Stories has endless possibilities in the classroom setting.
· What makes a story a fairy tale? Character roles?
· Fluency taught through the rhythm, rhyme and character voices
· Lesson/moral of a story
· Compare/contrast fractured fairy tale to original fairy tales
· Tricky words – great context clues to help the reader infer
· Settling a dispute
· Sharing, cooperation, helping others
· Having a healthy mind and body
This book would be great to share at a healthy kids institute or to connect phy ed/health class to literacy. The illustrations are colorful and packed with hidden pictures of fruits and vegetables. The last page is full of fun ways to “play” with your fruit and vegetables but also gives an enormous list of fruits and vegetable for students to try. Having a taste testing activity followed by persuasive writing about their favorite would connect to writing standards as well. Overall, Yummy Stories is a mentor text that can be used cross-curricular. 5 stars
By: Mallory Kasdan
A modern day look at life in an urban hotel told from a six-year olds point of view that obviously has a famous and wealthy mother. Students will love the endless contemporary references.
This multi-cultural picture has so many classroom possibilities:
· Comparing/contrasting to Eloise.
· Character development and inferring character traits.
· Comparing/contrasting Ella’s life to our own life.
· Although Ella seems happy with her life…what does she really want and thinking about the clues Mallory Kasdan leaves for the reader.
· Generating small moment ideas. The book is filled with so many ideas for students of all ages to relate to.
· Ella has important people in her life that many students would not consider to be their “go to” adults. Who are our students “go to” adults and why? The adults may be different but the reasons are probably similar.
· What are the positives/negatives of having a famous parent?
· Explain the meaning of Manny’s quote, “We are everything and nothing too.”
Ella is sure to capture students’ attention because it is so “hip” in the written language: iPad, caller ID, Wi-Fi, Bono, Zumba, texting, chillax, but also with the illustrations: skinny jeans, dachshunds, scooters, skirts/leggings just to name a few. 5 stars