I just revised my rating on this one from 4 to 5 stars. Why? I realized that any book that made such a big impression on me that I remembered it 30 ye...moreI just revised my rating on this one from 4 to 5 stars. Why? I realized that any book that made such a big impression on me that I remembered it 30 years later had to be pretty amazing. That said, I haven't seen a copy of this book in at least 30 years, but I remember the pictures of what happens when Lazy Tommy's electric house goes haywire, dumping him out of his bed upside down, and the robot arms squirting toothpaste on his toes. I remember checking this one out of our school library over and over again. I'd love to see a copy of this one now--just to view it as an adult. (less)
According to old family tales, I requested that my parents read this one to me so many times that they resorted to accidentally on-purpose "misplacing...moreAccording to old family tales, I requested that my parents read this one to me so many times that they resorted to accidentally on-purpose "misplacing" it for a while--just long enough to get a chance to read something else to me. :D That said, as an adult, I struggle with rating this classic. As a kid, I loved all the craziness George gets into and how the man in the yellow hat loves him regardless. Now, I find myself cringing at so many things-George being stuffed into a bag and taken from his home, George smoking a pipe, George being put "in prison" for "fooling" the firemen. That said, I'm finding that many of my students (so far, the K-2 ones) love this story. There are usually giggles when George thinks he can fly, gasps when George goes to prison, and big grins when George shares his balloons with the other animals at the zoo. So, what I now do is this.
I introduce the concept of copyright date as a book's birthday and where to find it (verso), and how to tell how old a book is. Then, to put it into perspective, I tell them the story of my parents hiding the book, and we talk about what it was like 70+ years ago. Did people dress the same? Did cars look the same? Telephones? The kids seem to be fascinated with the idea of a dial-phone (need to find one and bring it in). As we read, we spend some time discussing some of the things in the pictures that might not be familiar to the kids now. Other things that we end up discussing? Why the words say they row out to the big ship when the row boat looks bigger than the ship (they love pointing out that it only LOOKS small "cuz it's far away"). Good chance to introduce a new vocabulary word--perspective--and appeal to my visual learners. Then we talk about whether this story is "made up" or "informational" to lead in to reading a non-fiction story. I've been paring this with "Chimpanzees" or "Jane Goodall." Gotta say, I'm having fun all over again with this story. :D (less)
A sweet story with one of my favorite Sesame Street characters, Grover. Neat way to illustrate the old saying "the only thing to fear is fear itself"....moreA sweet story with one of my favorite Sesame Street characters, Grover. Neat way to illustrate the old saying "the only thing to fear is fear itself". (less)
Wonderful for a wide variety of grade levels because you can focus on so many different aspects. For older students, it's great to read in conjuction...moreWonderful for a wide variety of grade levels because you can focus on so many different aspects. For older students, it's great to read in conjuction with Palatini's The Three Silly Billies when talking about folk & fairy tales. It's also great when talking about descriptive language--there are many examples but my favorite is that instead of saying "an ugly troll lived under the bridge", Galdone says that the troll "was as mean as he was ugly." You can then point to the picture and ask the kids "How mean was he?" With younger students you can use it as a fairly tame intro to folk tales and it works well for pointing out similarities and differences, comparison (little, medium and biggest), & counting. (less)
This story is definitely one of my "long-ago-but-fondly-remembered" books. Now, truth be told, I don't remember a lot of details, more like images and...moreThis story is definitely one of my "long-ago-but-fondly-remembered" books. Now, truth be told, I don't remember a lot of details, more like images and snippets of the story and how it made me feel. Anytime I can remember those kinds of feelings and snippets from that long ago (25-30 years), I know that the story was powerful. (less)
Don't remember the illustrations from when I was little, but I do remember being impressed with the idea that Danny and his friends gave the Dinosaur...moreDon't remember the illustrations from when I was little, but I do remember being impressed with the idea that Danny and his friends gave the Dinosaur a chance to be the winner in their mismatched game of hide and seek. When I shared this with some of my younger students (as a comparison between fiction and nonfiction titles re dinosaurs), they seemed to catch the same thing. (less)
Loved sharing this one with my son when he was little and am now rediscovering it for lessons. For the younger grades, it works well for discussing rh...moreLoved sharing this one with my son when he was little and am now rediscovering it for lessons. For the younger grades, it works well for discussing rhyming words--"'mush' is kind of like oatmeal or porridge, but does 'brush' and 'hush' rhyme with 'oatmeal'? No!" With all the grades, I'm surprised at how many students have not noticed the mouse that Clement Hurd hid in each of the color pictures--and all of the grades--K-5--have seemed to really enjoy this mouse scavenger hunt. Also take a moment to point out that Clement Hurd included a painting of a picture from Runaway Bunny. Many of our aspiring illustrators get a huge kick out that.
With 3rd grade and up, I always point out the title page and ask them to locate the copyright date--they are usually surprised that it was published in 1947--and to put it into perspective, I point out that not only did many of their parents, but probably their grandparents grew up with this story. That's a great segue for introduction of parody and Michael Rex's "Goodnight Goon." (less)
I needed a filler for today due to some unforeseen scheduling changes and ran across the Scholastic iconographic DVD version of this story read by Pet...moreI needed a filler for today due to some unforeseen scheduling changes and ran across the Scholastic iconographic DVD version of this story read by Peter Gwynne. Had forgotten all about it until seeing the cover and remembered that I had liked it as a child. I showed the book using my ActiveBoard and with subtitles on so that the students could follow along. For my 1st and 2nd graders, I used it as a tie-in to picking out "just right" books to help them grow their reading muscles. Petunia thought that just carrying a book around made her wise, just as many students check out books they aren't ready to read, adding to their frustration and reenforcing their perception that they are simply bad at reading--when it's more that they're trying to bench press 200 lbs. without building up to it. For my 3-5 grades, I wondered if they would just turn off--thinking it was a "baby book" (hate it when they say that!), but even my 5th graders seemed to enjoy the story--with 4th ad 5th really getting the humor that seemed to go over the heads of some of my younglings.
As for library lessons with my older students, Petunia offered a good opportunity to explore the concept of main idea as the lesson a character learns in a story and how main idea can vary with our own unique perspectives. (Yes, I have a problem with the standardized test questions about main idea--all too often--I don't agree with any of the choices offered.) I'm wondering how many of them I may have confused by introducing them to the idea that none of us ever reads the same book. Critical thinking in action!(less)