Friday, 23 November 2012

Cures for the Common Core Blues: BOOKS, Vol. 5

I'm a bit behind on this series because our son, daughter-in-law, and grandbabies who live in Tanzania arrived in the states last week for a visit. Oh, and we had a booth selling crafts made there by Holly and her Tanzanian friend Suzy at the local Arts and Craft Fair for three days...a busy and joyful week!
Today I want to share a book by one of my favorite authors, Leo Lionni. Having taught high school for 25 years, I came late to his wonderful writing, learning to love it during the 7 years I taught elementary ESL. 
Inch by Inch was the first of Lionni's books to win the Caldecott Honor, with three more following. It's a fantastic book for integrating measurement skills; Scholastic has a lesson plan on this page. Not only is the prose wonderful; his illustrations are as well. The iconic Horn Book Magazine praises the book's “...lovely definition of cutouts against white space...rhythm of the composition...simplicity of the whole...” 

Weston Woods produced an animated version of the book in 2006, which costs $59.95, but ArtsEdge has a story performance, by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, online and FREE!

You and your young friends can read more about Leo on Random House's website, which provides tons of information for an author study - seven short chapters and an essay written by his granddaughter Annie Lionni. Your students can also 
  • watch him explain why he writes books about animals in a short video,
  • see how he makes a paper mouse(and try one themselves) here,
  • learn about his childhood and his imagination in this video,
  • see many pictures, including one of him playing his accordion!
I have other favorite Lionni books (he wrote 40!) that I'll share later, but in the meantime, please let Inch by Inch and Leo's personal story help cure your Common Core blues.

I hope you're having a happy Thanksgiving week; many blessings from my family to yours!