Book reviewer extraordinaire!

Posts tagged ‘United States’

The Letter D

I have been reading books to my PreK and Kindergarten students. Big surprise. The authors all have last names that begin with the letter D. This week I read a great book to them called Sody Salleratus by Aubrey Davis.

I had no clue what sody salleratus was or meant, all I knew is the author’s last name began with a D and it looked cute. We actually learned that sody salleratus was also known as baking soda. This story is not really about baking soda. It is an Applachian Three Billy Goats Gruff. The Old Woman decides to bake biscuits and needs her sody salleratus. She sends Boy to the grocer to buy some, which he dutifully complies. On the way back home he crosses a bridge only to be accosted by a large grumpy bear. Once the bear eats Boy the story moves on. The Old Woman proceeds to send Girl, then Old Man, and then herself to find out what has taken them so long to return home. All are eaten by the bear. Oh, did I forget to mention that they had a squirrel living on the mantlepiece? Yep, and squirrel goes last to find Old Woman, Old Man, Girls and Boy only to discover the bear and his boasting at eating them all.

Squirrel ends up outsmarting the bear and … well, there is a happily ever after to this story that includes the biscuits, thanks to the sody salleratus, and a bear skin rug.

The kids love the repetitive story line and begin to “read” it with me. They love the roaring and growling of the bear. Sody Salleratus is a fun little tale great to share.


The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Times Square / dusk

Times Square / dusk (Photo credit: George Rex)

Cover of "The Cricket in Times Square"

Cover of The Cricket in Times Square

A sweet little cricket finds himself lost in the big subway station in New York. He longs for his home in the meadow in Connecticut. He meets a lovely mouse and friendly cat who help him promote his musical talent. He is found by a little boy whose family owns a paper and magazine stand. The family business is suffering, they have a series of unfortunate events, and life is tough for them all. The cricket brings about fame and fortune before he sadly tells his friends he wants to go home.

Another great period book to discuss with students. Different cultures,  immigrants, opera, lifestyle differences between the city and countryside, and economics. Enjoyable read.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

Book Report Covers

Book Report Covers (Photo credit: m kasahara)

This story still chokes me up. Not because of the dog but because of the boy. It is an old-timey story of what it was like when America was new in Texas. Men had a job to do to provide for their families. That job took them far and wide away from their families. This is the story of how a family had to make changes and make do without their protector and provider. It is the story of how a boy became a man and how his perspective of family changed as a result. Love it!

What I find amazing is the fact that my students did not feel saddened at the loss of the father, the innocence, and the dog. Nothing. No emotion. Does that mean my students are no longer capable of feeling? I don’t think so. I do think they see so much drama, not the good kind, on television they have become apathetic. They feel no empathy because it is not over-dramatized and the emotion of this book must be felt to understand the book. It makes me sad that these children are spoon-fed emotion, action, and reaction without requiring understanding and sympathy for what others have gone through. This actually terrifies me as I wonder what this group of children will become without developing that inner emotion and empathy for others.


Don’t flog me, please!!!

I have had an eventful summer so my blogging has been limited. However, my reading has not!

I received a wonderful call from the assistant superintendent for our district asking if I could spend some money … FAST! A couple of hours later I had spent about 25K! As a result, I went back to work early and began reorganizing my library to accommodate the new materials and then to process the new materials.

The downsides (yes, plural) are 1) lack of work free summer – I have not had one of those before, and 2) I was asked to process the new textbooks for all of the new materials teachers were receiving. We had enough funding left over to purchase all new materials for every subject and every grade level. AWESOME! Well, except for the processing part.

We officially go back to work on Monday to get ready for the students after labor day. I still have 33 boxes to open and process in two weeks by myself. I don’t mind because the students will be excited!

Now, onto blogging about the books I read this summer!

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