We started HUGO CABRET. It was a fun day. Books from amazon arrived on time. I passed out the books. Kids shared books in groups of 2 and 3. The first few minutes were spent watching the kids lift the books up and down and talking about how heavy it was. Then they flipped through it looking for interesting thing--mentioning things they noticed.
It was a tricky read aloud, I must say. I read the Intro page and then the first 45 pages were illustrations. I had forgotten about that. I wasn't sure what to do, so I had them look at those 45 pages on their own. It took a while. Then we chatted. We pointed out things we noticed, shared characters we'd met, events that had happened, setting, etc. We also discussed whether that 45 pages was "reading". It was an interesting conversation. Since there were no words, a few students did not think that they were reading. But after lots of talk, most kids agreed that, of course it was reading. They were reading pictures, thinking, making meaning, creating a story.
The other tricky thing was that because they had a copy and you can look at it for hours, it was a little tough to have a conversation. We stop and talk often during read aloud. But, the kids couldn't really pry themselves away from the book to participate in the talk. The newness of the book was too fun.
The kids were all pretty excited. I think it will take us a few days of this book to really settle in, stop lifting it up and down in amazement, get used to the way we'll read it together, etc.
No matter how tricky this read aloud is, I can tell already that it will be worth it.