These Books have Character: October 2016 Primary (K-2)September 20th, 2016 | Posted by in Primary (Grades K-2) | October | 2016-2017
These books work well for learning about character and narrative. We see emotions and actions well as satisfying resolutions from both Penny and Elinor.
Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins, 2013
When Penny finds a marble in her neighbor Mrs. Goodwin’s yard she can’t resist taking it home. Later she sees Mrs. Goodwin looking for something outside, and Penny begins to worry. She hides the marble in a drawer. She stays close to Mama all afternoon. She isn’t very hungry at dinner. She dreams about the marble that night. The next day, she puts the marble back, only to discover Mrs. Goodwin had left it out hoping someone like Penny would see it and take it home. “Penny rolled the marble between her fingers. It seemed even more shiny and smooth and blue than before.” Kevin Henkes is so adept at translating the emotional world of young children into entertaining stories that bring a smile and a sigh of satisfaction that it can be easy to forget how much skill goes into them. The latest “Penny” book for advanced beginning readers is as winsome and appealing as the others. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
- How does the author/illustrator let us know that Penny feels that she has done something wrong by taking the marble?
- Why do you think Penny’s mother tells her she can only go as far as Mrs. Goodwin’s?
- What does Penny see or dream about that she compares to the marble? How does the author/illustrator convey this information through illustrations or text?
A Poem in Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Schwartz & Wade, 2015
The students in Mr. Tiffin’s class featured in two prior volumes (How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?, The Apple Orchard Riddle) spend the weeks leading up to “Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day” and a school visit from poet Emmy Crane learning about poetry, reading poetry, and writing poems of their own. Overconfident Elinor is sure she’ll write more poems than anyone. But time and again she gets frustrated when the idea in her head doesn’t come out right on paper. She wants perfection. Instead, she’s the only one without a poem to share for Emmy Crane. The poet reassures her, saying, “No poem is perfect.” And when Emmy Crane asks Elinor to talk about her ideas, Elinor’s recitation of all the things she’s seen and felt over recent days is like a poem, of course. Margaret McNamara again hits just the right tone in looking at a classroom learning experience in an engaging, nurturing picture book blithely illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Highly Commended, 2016 Charlotte Zolotow Award © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
- Pre-reading: What are some different kinds (forms) of poems that you know?
- What do you think made it difficult for Elinor to write her poem?
- How do you think that Emmy Crane helps Elinor?
- Which kind of poetry in the book do you like best?
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