The Scholastic book fair starts this week at our school. I wish I could describe to you how excited the kids are by the book fair, but imagine a fifth grade boy (they tend to want to play things really cool) rushing up to you as a truck pulls into the parent up driveway, shouting "The book fair is here!" Just saying, at our school, the book fair is a BIG DEAL.
Scholastic generally offers a good supply of books at reasonable prices and I'm SO happy that my students think that books are fun and exciting. I read some research somewhere that kids who have books in their homes are more likely to be good readers (they had to do research about that?). The magic number of books (according to this research) was 50. 50 books that kids selected themselves in their homes and that would help them down the path of being good readers. Really? So in my way of thinking, I need to do whatever I can to help them get books into their houses, not just into their hands.
Here are a couple of books that I'm going to be strongly recommending at the book fair.
That is not a good idea by Mo Willems
I've been reading this book to the pre-k and kindergarten kids this week as part of a lesson on fiction and non fiction. It's really easy to see that this book is fiction because the characters are so hilarious. What's also great though is that you are making predictions about what is going to happen (between a fox and a goose) based on factual knowledge (foxes eat geese). So part of what makes this story so great is all the predictions you are making. The other thing that makes this story so much fun is how dramatic it is. I recommended it to a third grader last week who needed to work on fluency and her mom said it worked like a champ. So this one is my new favorite book.
Here's a book trailer for it.
Another one I really liked is called Mr. Tiger goes wild by Peter Brown. I loved the graphic art in the book and it has a really great message (be true to yourself). I think it would also lend itself well to fiction/non-fiction lesson. It would also be good if you wanted to compare and contrast to "Where the Wild Things are" by Maurice Sendak, the themes of fitting and behaving appropriately would be a good match. Here's the book trailer for that one.