Monday, September 22, 2008

Books I Could Read A Million Times-PART 1

So, I have learned something important in my first few weeks as a librarian. Since I see every class, on a 4 day rotation, I often read a book several times over the course of 4 days. I choose one book to read to every class in the school. ( I got this idea from Bill at Literate Lives. My hope is that by reading the same book to all of the kids in the school, we have anchors to talk about--books that can be talked about at dinner tables at home, books that can be talked about with friends in other classes, etc.)

SO, sometimes I read the same book 20+ times over 4 days. Other books I read 4-8 times--to one or two grade levels.
What I have found is that one of two things happens quickly: Either I CAN'T STAND IT after the 2nd or 3rd read OR I love it every single time and never get sick of it. I look forward to reading it again. So, I am paying attention to those books that, honestly, I could read a million times and never get tired of. I figure if that happens, it is one of the best books out there. Here are a few that I have discovered so far.

Piggie and Elephant by Mo Willems
I never tire of these amusing characters. The stories are fun and enjoyed by all age levels. And, I find myself getting better at them each time I read them. I sound more like the characters as I read them over and over. I have not yet read one of these to the whole school but I plan to read the new one that comes out this fall to everyone. I don't think I will ever get sick of these two great characters! All of the books in this series meet my criteria for "Books I Could Read A Million Times". An added bonus--I have discovered that if I find myself becoming a bit grumpy or cranky, reading one of these to 1st or 2nd graders puts me back in a good mood! The fun of it just makes you happy!

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox
The rhythm and rhyme in this book is quite fun. And the fact that kids join in on each page to chant, "Where is the green sheep?" is also quite fun. This is a quick read aloud and one that kids ask to hear over and over.

Beware of the Frog by William Bee
This is a new one that I hope becomes a classic. This is the story of a sweet old lady named Mrs. Collywobbles. Really, I could say her name a million times. It is fun every, single time. (Kids like to say it too!) The humor and surprise in this story is quite fun. I love seeing the kids' faces when the surprises begin and continue throughout the book. It is funny because this story starts out in a pretty traditional way. Since I read it over 20 times this week, I know precisely when students become hooked and I know that once we get to that point, they are hooked for the book. It looks and sounds like your traditional fairy tale--but not quite. I was actually a little sad when I read it to the last class last week.

(I will share other books that I find that fit my criteria as I come across them. Not many books are that fun to read 20+ times so those that can, definitely deserve to be shared!)


  1. As someone working on their SLM degree, I find this interesting. As someone who teaches small groups all day in ESOL, I have the same issue and have also leared to treasure the favorite re-reads (Willems, Shannon, Woods, etc). I'll definitely pay closer attention to this phenomenon.


  2. What a great idea for blog posts. I look forward to seeing which titles you think are worthy!!!

  3. WOO HOO! Way to go Franki! I'd like to add When the Relatives Came, I love that book. New Socks makes me laugh EVERY TIME! And All the Places to Love makes me cry!

  4. Anonymous9:28 PM

    I'm liking this formula you're coming up with, Franki! Maybe try Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing? Maybe it's just me, but I laugh every single darn time I read it.

    I meet the new first graders tomorrow! Yay. (At the school where I volunteer, not Jr.'s school.)

  5. My class loves piggie and elephant books! We read them over and over and laugh every time!

  6. I know exactly what you mean. Although, I don't read them that many times in a short period, there are certainly picture books (and stories in the basal) that I love and look forward to reading each year. One of my favorites was a public library discard that I picked up at a sale. Playing Sardines was written by Beverly Major. Thanks for tempting me with more great books!

  7. I cannot resist Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard! I love the cadence, the art, the cumulative march past grumpy to the amazing finish!

  8. I love these finds...I have to agree with Bill and Nan...Grumpy Bird and New Socks are other primary read again and agains.

  9. When I was a kindergarten teacher my favorite book to re-read was Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch. I read it so many times that I would "read" it without actually looking at it!! The kids thought I was a genius. And then I would point out when they did the same fun!

  10. Anonymous9:24 PM

    I just read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to five kindergarten classes. I had some new learning as the more I read the book with the children, their comments took me deeper in the story!

  11. Anonymous10:32 PM

    We own around 200 PBs and there are very few that I don't ever tire of reading to my two preschoolers. For me, Bear Snores On never gets old. I also think Llama Llama Red Pajama and Knuffle Bunny hold up well over time. For something less well known, check out That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell.


Comment moderation is turned on.