A Hat, A Crocodile, Pictures, and a Big Number

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If you walked into the school library before school starts in the morning, you might find Mary and I choosing a book to read to our Children’s House students.  It’s not as simple as it seems.  There are many wonderful books for young readers, but reading to a group of three and four-year-old kids requires a special kind of book.  It can’t be too long.  It can’t be a story that is better shared one-on-one.  Also, the story can’t be too complicated or rely on looking closely at the illustrations because of the group setting. And most importantly, the perfect book makes kids laugh.

A Good Day For a Hat by T. Nat Fuller checks every box.  It’s bright and funny, and I can’t think of a young child who won’t love it.  “Today is a good day for a hat,” says Mr. Brown the bear on the first page.  But when he opens the front door and sees rain, he goes back inside to get his rain hat.  The craziness continues when the rain turns to snow, a parade goes by, and a rodeo comes to town. Luckily, Mr Brown is prepared for every occasion!

After reading A Good Day For a Hat, I didn’t expect to be equally enthusiastic about the next new book on my list, but with Laura Amy Schlitz and Brian Floca’s names on the book cover, I felt anticipatory happiness.  Schlitz can apparently write for every age with equal sparkle.  She is the author of the beautiful young adult novel, The Hired Girl and the Newbery-winning Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!  Her new early chapter book, Princess Cora and the Crocodile is witty and charming and a perfect read aloud.  Young listeners, especially those with crowded after-school schedules, will love it because it’s not only funny, but it puts kids in charge of teaching the adults a lesson about the importance of free time.

Pictures from last week….

A 4th grade student trying to select a book.  The assignment is to read a “classic” children’s novel. She is understandably torn, but I tried to explain that the books aren’t going anywhere!  She can read one now and then come back for another one later.  The books are: Sarah Plain and Tall, Holes, Dear Mr. Henshaw, The Secret Garden, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond.  She really can’t go wrong…..

It’s always fun to see the book projects our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders make, but this one caught my attention from across the room.  A salute to Dayton’s most well-known inventors.

And a look ahead to Kate DiCamillo’s next book.  La La La: A Story of Hope will be released on October 3.

Lastly, the big number.  Drumroll please…..

This is my 900th post!   Happy Reading….

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