Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Children Who Loved Books

The Children Who Loved Books
written and illustrated by Peter Carnavas
2013 (Kane Miller)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

A week from this Monday I will be meeting with my new second grade class. As a reader of Harry Wong's teacher education books, I know that the first day of school is very important and sets the table for the rest of the school year. You want to build community and set the tone for a great year. One of my tools for doing this will be reading The Children Who Loved Books.

In this wonderful new book, two children live in a home full of readers. Angus and Lucy's family is not one of the one percent, instead making do without a television or a car. This loving group of four lives in a modest camper, but what they do have is books upon books upon books. Not only good for reading, these books hold up toasters, cat beds, provide a way for Angus to climb out of the window and connect the family. One day, the mounds of bound text spill out the door and windows. This prompts Angus and Lucy's father to take all of the books away. With a clear home, nothing seems quite right. With more space in the home, there is more space between the family members as well which breeds loneliness. Fortunately, a book from school spills out of Lucy's book bag. The family gathers together to read the book and discovers how much they missed being on top of each other. The next morning, the family takes a trip to a place that holds a tremendous amount of books. Armed with plenty of reading material, this foursome realizes that they have everything they need.

This book is a superb metaphor for how books can bring us together. When you are trying to build a community of learners, this is an excellent lesson to impart at the beginning. It's important to build up the social aspect of reading, so find The Children Who Loved Books and share it with your class.

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