It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (brainchild of Sheila at BookJourney). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.
Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts
I have also written a post about my thoughts on the Accelerated Reader Program.
I am inviting fellow teachers, teacher educators, writers, librarians, authors, artists, parents, fellow book enthusiasts to share their own experiences and ideas about the AR program.
One of the reasons why we chose this theme for November-December is that it fits quite well with Christmas and stories about the Nativity. These two picture books are quite unique in the sense that they look at Christmas Day from the perspective of wild and domesticated animals who were there during Christ’s birth.
One Starry Night
Text by: Lauren Thompson Illustrated by: Jonathan Bean
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011
Borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.
The story begins “one starry night” with each full page spread featuring animals watching over and caring for their young. From a sheep watching over her lamb, a cow watching over her calf, a nanny goat looking after her kid, a pig caring for her piglet, a dog watching over her pup, a dove her dovelings among other creatures – the narrative culminates with Mary and Joseph watching over their newborn babe in a barn.
It is a deceptively simple story with just two lines of text per page. The second line is in italics and does not seem to be connected to the first line, as the italicized lines form their own rhyming verse, almost like a prayer of sorts, about what it means for Christ to be born. Teachers might also be interested to know that there is a section found at the beginning of the book that lists down the wild animals featured in the book, said to be be found in the Holy Land during the actual nativity story. These wild animals are said to be the cousins of the domesticated animals named in the actual text.
This is a great read-aloud best read in two voices.
We Were There: A Nativity Story
Written By: Eve Bunting Paintings by: Wendell Minor
Published by: Clarion Books, 2001
Bought my own copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.
For those of you familiar with Wendell Minor’s paintings, you would be glad to see them paired with Eve Bunting’s lyrical text in this beautiful book. While the domesticated animals were named, featured, and glorified in One Starry Night, the wild creatures take center stage in We Were There.
Each creature from the snake to the fat, warty toad are slowly slithering and crawling their way to that one humble place, filled with hay and rats where a Divine Being would soon be born:
I am BAT.
in a loop
I do not need the light of that new star
to show me where.
I will be there.
That except should give you an idea of how precious this book is. And here is my favourite illustration from the book:
Yes, these creatures were there. And even they know just how special a night this is. Merry Christmas, Monday Reading friends!
Just finished reading Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me for my adult book club. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I found that the ‘foreshadowing’ technique was used to such a degree that reading the last part of the book was kind of anticlimactic for me. Currently reading Walter Moers’ A Wild Ride Through the Night.
Moers’ fantastical worlds never fail to move me.
Read-a-Latte Challenge Update: 253, 254 (150)