Monday, November 10, 2008

Melvin Might?

My students were THRILLED this week when they saw that I had a copy of the new Trucktown book by Jon Scieszka!  They have loved SMASH! CRASH! and were thrilled to see another one with the characters that they met in the first book.

MELVIN MIGHT? is about Melvin, a cement mixer.  Melvin is a worrier. He worries about everything! When one of his truck friends needs help, Melvin is worried that he can't do it. This book has a theme that is similar to The Little Engine That Could and also reminded me of Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes.  This is a great story with the same fun and colorful illustrations that we came to love in SMASH! CRASH!  There are also repeated lines that the kids naturally jump in on. And, just like the first one, this book has a great fold-out spread!  

Lots to love about these books.  Kids enjoy the stories and the illustrations.  Scieszka clearly understands young readers.  He gives them a story that works but also thinks about the text--giving them places where they naturally feel invited to join in.  And he uses great language--words kids love--"roars", and "soars"--and fonts that show kids how text can be read.  You know how I feel about leveled texts taking over our classrooms. Jon Scieszka's Trucktown books remind us that great authors can write great books for kids, without using controlled vocabulary and limiting text options.  Instead, these books support new readers by engaging them in a great story and giving them language that invites them to participate, notice words that are used again and again. .  Isn't this the best way to support our youngest readers?

9 comments:

  1. Ditto!! I had a student ask if the third book was out yet. Then one of my boys asked to start a vehicles basket of books.

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  2. I love the personality of these trucks. I can just imagine how much younger students must enjoy them!

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  3. I have yet to take the time to take a look at the Trucktown books, but they definitely sound like something my little nephew would be interested in. Thanks for your recommendation!

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  4. This looks great! Thanks for your great review and recommendation. David Shannon illustrations, what could be better?

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  5. I like the sound of this one. I'm going to see if my library has it. Thanks!

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  6. Just in time for the holidays. My nephew Levi will be thrilled!

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  7. Saw these at the booksstore and in the basket they went to be purchased. WIll be a big hit. You are right Scieszka understands young readers.

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  8. I haven't even SEEN any of these books yet. Gotta get my hands on some.

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  9. Thanks for the recommendation! My four year old son would love that book!

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