Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Great Language and Word Play: 3 New Books

I received three books that I'll add to my books to share with kids when we are thinking about words and language. When I think about talking to kids about words, I want a variety of books to share. I want fiction and nonfiction. I want books with strong language and books that just have fun with words. I want my students to look at words and how they are used in many different types of text. Today, I found three books that will be great additions to word study talk.

COOL DOG, SCHOOL DOG by Deborah Heiligman is just plain fun. If you remember the book FUN DOG, SUN DOG, this is a sequel. Tinka is the dog in the story and each page tells us a bit about her . She is "a fun dog, a sun dog, a run-and-run-and-run dog". The pictures and the rhyming, rhythmic phrases help us get to know and come to love this dog! This would make a fun read aloud and kids will love the sing-songiness of the book. With older kids, I might really look at the way the author uses these fun phrases to tell us so much about this dog. Word choice is critical!

THE BUSY TREE by Jennifer Ward is a different type of book altogether. It is not quite nonfiction but it is a close look at one tree-a busy tree. The book starts at the roots of the tree and looks at so many part of the tree. We see how much can go on in one tree. The thing I like most about the book is the language used to tell about what is going on. Each page has 2 lines of rhyming text but I like so much more than the rhyme. What captured me was the way that each thing is described. For example:
"These are my branches, leafy and high,
a sidewalk for squirrels that soar through the sky."
I can see using this book in Writing Workshop and looking closely at the words the author uses to describe the tree.

SNORE, DINOSAUR, SNORE by John Benall-Brunello is a story told in VERY few words. Three little dinosaurs are trying to wake their mother up. But she won't budge. Each page uses only 3 words but the combination of words and pictures tells a great story. Younger kids will love the story and will do lots of picture reading. For older kids, I think this book would start great conversations about the great verbs that tell the story.

*All three of these books were review copies provided by the publisher, Marshall Cavendish's Children's Books.


  1. I love this post! I love your perspective of thinking and looking at words that provides wonderful language/words for our students! Excellent! Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. You guys provide so many wonderful resources - I love this site! :)

    For some playful holiday fun with words, check out The Great Mizzariddle by Roland McElroy. It's a very creative Christmas story that plays with silly word combinations. For example, if someone is smart and intelligent, he's smelligent. The North Pole becomes the Nole. My daughter LOVES it! :)


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