Monday, February 27, 2017

ReFoReMo Day 1: Marcie Flinchum Atkins Characterizes Strong Reader Engagement


Some picture books have kids on the edge of their seats watching, listening, and anticipating what's going to happen next. Sometimes their bottoms leave the seats because they have to stand up to tell you how they feel about a book. What makes those read-alouds stand out?

Rereadability
As a librarian, I sometimes read the same book to multiple grade levels. Parents have to reread some books dozens of times to their children. The book has to stand up to that many read-alouds. Can it keep a child’s interest? Can it keep the adult reader’s interest? Does it still have new things to discover each time it is read out loud? Is the text set up in such a way that the reader knows exactly how to read it?

Emotional Response
Many of these books are laugh out loud funny. I mean who can read “Yam-a-yam-a-ding-dong” from I Yam a Donkey without a burst of laughter? But the emotion evoked doesn’t always have to be humor. The reader might wonder in Du Iz Tak? Or have their heartstrings tugged in Be a Friend, or recognize the feeling of making a mistake about someone in Horrible Bear. They might see themselves in Stick and Stone, Penguin Problems, or in Be a Friend. The best books make the reader FEEL something.
 














Larger-than-Life Characters
Readers latch on to characters in stories. In all of these books, characters are larger-than-life. But that doesn't mean that they are all loud mouths. In Be a Friend, Dennis doesn't talk, but the reader sees him change as a character through his miming. Other characters react in loud ways. Nanette in Nanette's Baguette and Moose in I Love Cake both have meltdowns when they come to terms with what they've eaten. I Yam a Donkey has two characters that misunderstand each other in loud and silly ways, and the penguin in Penguin Problems has a lot of complaints.



Predictibility Mixed with Surprise
As I read these books with students, many of them couldn’t contain themselves. They’d shout out what they KNEW was going to happen. If the text and illustrations are peppered with tiny hints along the way, readers feel like they’ve been let in on a little secret. Shh! We Have a Plan sets up a pattern for readers to say, “I know what’s going to happen.” In Nanette’s Baguette, readers shouted, “Oh no, she’s not supposed to do that!” Many kids even knew that Donkey was going to eat the Yam in I Yam a Donkey several pages before it happened. Predictability with a little twist a book irresistible.
Respect The Reader
The best picture books offer layers for multiple ages of readers. Stick and Stone has a very low word count, but I’ve had a fifth grader read it and say, “Whoa, that’s deep!”
Du Iz Tak? has a made up language and Best Frints in the Whole Universe has made up words. Both give readers of all ages a puzzle to figure out. The reader has to make much of the meaning using the clues the author and illustrator have left for them.

As we write picture books or as we select picture books for students, do they have some of these elements? What other elements in picture books make them engaging for children?


Marcie is giving away two copies of her Mentor Texts for Writers eBook at the conclusion of ReFoReMo. To be eligible, be sure to comment on this post and strive to read mentor texts daily.
 









Marcie Flinchum Atkins has been an elementary educator for 19 years. She is currently a PYP/IB librarian in Falls Church, Virginia by day and writes books for children in the wee hours of the morning. She holds an M.A. and M.F.A. in Children's Literature from Hollins University. She blogs about mentor texts at: www.marcieatkins.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MarcieFAtkins and read her great mentor text, Ancient China, at a library near you!



306 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. While I don't write humor well, I LOVE reading it! :)

      Delete
  2. Nanette is such a great character, running through many emotions and taking us with her. What a masterful moment in Horrible Bear when the girl recognises what has happened. I'd love to have experienced reading that as a child.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both of those characters are perfection, right? I remember reading Nanette's Baguette and thinking that Mo Willems totally nailed that "all is lost" moment for Nanette.

      Delete
  3. Engaging readers should be the first thing we think about as writers. Great examples here and I can't wait to look out for the books that I'm not familiar with. Thanks, Marcie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! This post helped me think about my own picture book writing in the same way that I approach choosing books to read aloud.

      Delete
  4. "Read it again!" Is what you want to hear. And reader engagement is what you need to get there. Thank you Marcie!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lots of great examples here. Thank you, Marcie!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Predictability mixed with surprise...what a great insight! Thanks for a great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's a bit difficult for me to master but great to see how others do it.

      Delete
  7. Great points, Marcie. I really appreciate you sharing the reactions all these books get during your storytimes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I feel lucky to get a front row seat to reader reactions. :)

      Delete
  8. A great way to start us off on ReFoReMo! Thank you for these great recommendations. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for this post, Marcie, reminding us to engage our readers.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your librarian always knows what kids like to read. Thanks, Marcie for reminding us of key elements in great books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! It's always fun to see how kids react.

      Delete
  11. Well done! Great post with great information. Thank you. And, sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing, Linda! :) I so appreciate having IRL writer friends like you. :)

      Delete
  12. Thanks for the post Marcie it is a good reminder that our PB's need that spark that makes the reader want to read them again and again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! And make the adult want to read them again and again too. I find that if I don't want to read it over and over, then I'm not going to read it in my library.

      Delete
  13. Great choices! These books are tons of fun. I am going to strive for more of a fun factor in my writing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. LOVE I Yam a Donkey! Great job laying out why these books that are reread-able.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I mean "Yam-a-yam-ding-dong!" I swear, if I had read that as a kid, I would have squirted milk out of my nose! :) So fun!

      Delete
  15. I love how these books show big emotion in such creative ways. Thanks for your post!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great reminders and great texts to bring home the points. Thanks, Marcie!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great take on picture books. Thank you.

    Sue D'Agosti

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think your fifth grader said it best, Wow that was deep. After reading Stick and Stone, I came away thinking, low word count, multi layered, humor, soft gentle flow and rhythm, play on words...I confused...not just plain jealous...How did they do it? I don't know but I do know I turned the last page and went right back to the beginning of the book to learn more! I did that three times! Librarians are some of the smartest people I know. Marcie, thank you for sharing your list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth Ferry is brilliant. I am blown away every time I read that book. How did she get all of that into so few words? Genius!

      Delete
  19. I am heading to my weekly volunteering in a K-8 library this morning. It is such fun to see the enthusiasm students have for certain books. Thank you for starting the week off with a great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have fun in the library! It is a place of constant inspiration for me.

      Delete
  20. Great post. I am going to have to strive for predictability with a twist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Me too. Hard for me to master, but I am striving for it.

      Delete
  21. I'v seen and experienced what the characters in Horrible Bear had experienced many times, which is why that one stuck out for me. These were all great books today though! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ame Dyckman is a genius! I'm also a huge fan of Wolfie the Bunny. Both of those books have spot on pacing. Every single word matters. She's also a genius at making sure the reader knows EXACTLY how to read her books out loud.

      Delete
  22. Thanks you for sharing your mentor text w/us. I adore simple text with big messages!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree with that! :) Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  23. Great examples! I am going to pick up my books a the library today!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Predictability with a surprise stuck with me. But I think it's all about sparking the emotional response you mentioned here. Thank you for your insights on readability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, evoking emotion is so important. It's something I have to take a look at in my current Works in Progress too.

      Delete
  25. Oh, how I love ReFoReMo (and Marcie's posts!)! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how I love your books, Tammi! Your books are always AMAZING examples of ones that engage readers. I read I LOVE CAKE to my PreK kids last week. They were HILARIOUS! Talk about having kids engaged.

      Delete
  26. How wonderful to be a PB librarian and read PB all day long! You get to do the best kind of marketing research--finding out firsthand what kids really love. How do they react to quiet, lyrical stories?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a lucky gal! I do read lyrical, quiet stories to kids too (and I love writing them as well). I read OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW to kids last week. They loved it. I also read LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET to K-2 kids this year. There is so much to talk about and be in awe of in lyrical stories. Great question!

      Delete
  27. Great post Marcie! Now I can't wait to read I Yam a Donkey and Stick and Stone! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for the great selection of mentor texts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. It's such a fun thing to do--come up with book lists. :)

      Delete
  29. Thank you for the great post!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lots of great food for thought in this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It was a great practice for me as a writer to think about my process in selecting books for young readers.

      Delete
  31. I was particularly fond of Best Frints Forever. Thanks for suggesting the interesting reads!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love that book! Kids get so crazy for the words that they just *know*!

      Delete
  32. I love the double perspective - mine, too!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great post, Marcie! Of those titles the only one I haven't read yet is "Stick and Stone". One thing I noticed and loved is how they are so different among each other, but you see those qualities you talked about in all of them. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, some are quiet and serious, some are a barrel of laughs. :) But they all engage readers. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Great post, Marcie! Of those titles the only one I haven't read yet is "Stick and Stone". One thing I noticed and loved is how they are so different among each other, but you see those qualities you talked about in all of them. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I haven't read all the books in this post yet but we've loved Best Frints and Horrible Bear this week - I've been asked to reread them multiple times. They both show that you don't need many words to get across a beautiful story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I have been typing the text of some of these books that get so much across in such a few words. It's my way of being like, "How did he/she DO that?" :)

      Delete
  37. Excellent post, Marcie! I love your comment about peppering hints in the text and illustrations. This is something I need to work on in my own writing :). Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Of course an illustrator is such an important part of this.

      Delete
  38. Always happy to add ReForReMo texts to my reading pile!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Great post, thank you! I love some of these books and haven't read some others (but will soon!) It's helpful thinking in these categories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! And test out the qualities on other books you have available. What are some other factors that contribute to engagement. I was so glad Carrie asked me to reflect on reader engagement because you could do this with any picture book.

      Delete
  40. Thanks, Marcie! I'm guilty of only reading books in my library pile once before returning them. I think I'll start taking a slower approach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny. I have really noticed the need for rereadability as a librarian. If I can't tolerate reading it 6-12 times, then I'm simply NOT going to do it. I can't be bored myself. All of these books I read multiple times and every single time, I got something new from them.

      Delete
  41. I love clever picture books that make me laugh! Thanks for starting off ReFoReMo with a charming selection and for sharing your insight, Marcie.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I really appreciate the commentary that Marcie made on considering readers of multiple ages. When I think of some of my favorite books, they are books that children of the young school age bracket, children of the older school age bracket, and parents all enjoy reading! The ms I have in the works strives the span that audience. I'm excited to work on it tonight! Thanks, Marcie for all of the book recommendations, and for your insights!
    Jennifer Broedel
    Facebook.com/JBROEDELAUTHOR
    JBroedelAuthor@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I think so many books can span multiple age groups, especially in the hands of a good teacher. Our amazing teachers are always coming in to find rich books that can withstand deep thinking and discussion as well as ones that are models of good writing. A great picture book can be used for so much!

      Delete
  43. Re-readability is SO important! It's taken me years to realize that (for some reason). But it can turn a good story into a great one and make it so much more publishable! Thank you Marcie!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's something I work on with my own manuscripts too. If I can't stand to read it aloud 10x, then well, it's not there yet. It's taken me years too, so don't feel bad. :)

      Delete
  44. Oh I'm so excited about reforemo! It's off to a great start!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

      Delete
  45. Wonderful books to get us started!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love exploring the many things that make a book IRRESISTIBLE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm sure there are more than my ideas. I'm always discovering new things that make books irresistible.

      Delete
  47. I especially appreciate your "respect the reader" comments about layers in picture books, Marcie. Thanks for the great list of mentor texts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Good picture book writers and illustrators put things in their books for kids at all ages and levels. There's always something new to discover.

      Delete
  48. Du Iz Tak? Is crazy weird -- in a good way. It's such a different "animal" that it's challenging to me how I could even conceive how to create such an engaging world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I KNOW! It took me a couple of readings to fall in love with this book. The illustrations took me in from the first second though. But once I started spending time in it, I loved it more and more. It's definitely an example of a book that can work at so many age levels. I spent 20 minutes talking about one spread with 3rd graders.

      Delete
  49. Thanks for these valuable tips, Marcie; age levels and reading levels can be a tricky combination for readers. There are kindergarten students reading at higher grade reading levels and higher grade students who are still struggling to start reading. All of these books would appeal to a wide range of readers regardless of age and reading levels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, for sure! I find that these books have something in them for everyone. One spread in BE A FRIEND with just a few words engaged a discussion with my 4th graders for 10-15 minutes. Multiple layers helps teachers and librarians use the same book for multiple purposes.

      Delete
  50. Rereading texts now. Great reminders to consider reading audience. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  51. People often feel like PB's should be fun/funny. I like your reminder that the text needs to make the readers feel something even if it is not happy/goofy. Thanks for the great book suggestions, I have read some with my son but am excited to look at them in a different way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I'm not a very funny writer, but when I look at BE A FRIEND and STICK AND STONE, they aren't funny at all, but I feel deep emotions with them.

      Delete
  52. Thanks for the great start. I was particularly struck by Stick and Stone.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thank you, Marcie. Great mentor text choices. You picked plenty of my favorites. And great tips on making characters rich and relatable.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Great post. I'll definitely be adding the "new to me" books to my reading list. I've been thinking a lot recently about respecting the reader and how using interesting, but above-age/reading-level words, can challenge young readers, as well as treating them as capable "problem solving" readers who are not afraid of long or unknown words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! And remember, most of the time picture books are read aloud to kids, so they can handle harder language. We had discussions today about the word "foe" in TAKE AWAY THE A and "gawking" in THE BOT THAT SCOTT BUILT. Both were read to Kindergarteners and it was not above them. We just talked about what the word means. I love have engaging language.

      Delete
  55. Read alouds are the best, and something I hope to learn more about. Thank you for the wonderful list, and for telling us why these books work well. Also, Librarians Rock!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww! Thanks! I love being a librarian. Best job ever!

      Delete
  56. Excellent post Marcie. Wonderful mentor tests.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thanks, Marcie. You can be born with a love for something and a gift or talent for it but to be the best you can be with your gift, you study it, analyze it, play with it. Thank you for giving writers your insights as to what makes the best picture books. That's what we're all striving for, the best.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Marcie,
    Thanks for distilling the essential elements that make up a readable PB. Rereadability is vital.

    ReplyDelete
  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Thanks, Marcie. Love all of these titles!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Starting with this list is so funny, because I've already read many of them, and while they're not personally my favorite books (I tend to like more lyrical PBs), both my kids LOVE and remember them. My son saw "Penguin Problems" in the stack and clapped with glee: "You got this from the library again without me even asking?!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a HUGE fan of lyrical picture books. I love reading them and I love writing them. Have you read REAL COWBOYS by Kate Hoefler and BECAUSE OF AN ACORN by Lola Schaefer? They are two recent favorites.

      Delete
  62. I read these books to my kids yesterday and found that what you said about predictability is exactly right. My five year old yelled out what was going to happen next in Shh! We Have a Plan. Both of my kids loved the made-up languages in Du Iz Tak? and Best Frints in the Whole Universe - they had a great time competing to see who could figure out fastest what the words in Best Frints meant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! That's exactly what my classes were like. There was so much excitement over those books!

      Delete
  63. I love when kids stand up to tell you how they feel about a book, under the spell of read-aloud-ability and re-read-ability. Thanks for re-engaging us in another year of ReFoReMo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! For sure. They are like little popcorn kernels. :)

      Delete
  64. Holding the parents' interest is as important as holding the child's. The laugh out-loud choices you lists are superb! Thanks, Marcie, for posting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, so true! The reader has to be as engaged as the listener. :)

      Delete
  65. I love books with layered text or illustrations-something new to discover each time you read it! Thank you for the mentor text suggestions, Marcie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I wish I had the talent to illustrate. The illustrators make the book so rich!

      Delete
  66. Your examples from the field make this post resonate, Marcie. Ty.

    ReplyDelete
  67. What a fabulous post - and tons to help me with my own writing. Thanks so much, Marcie!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Appreciate your thoughts on mentor texts, very helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Great post, thanks for terrific examples of books that kids won't get tired or or grow out of!

    ReplyDelete
  70. I love the question about whether the text tells the reader how to read it. That's going on my revision checklist. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Ame Dyckman is a MASTER at this. Every time I read her books, I'm in awe of how she does this!

      Delete
  71. So many great books to learn from! "Make the reader FEEL something!" Thank you Marcie and ReFoReMo!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Lots of inspiration here! Thanks for so many fun titles to remind me of what makes a story compelling for kids.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Good stuff! The Yam book has gotten my attention! Will check it out. Thanks for the wonderful post!

    ReplyDelete
  74. Can't wait to read these ones over and over!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Whoa, I've got to get reading! So much to think about in a picture book. :)

    ReplyDelete
  76. What a great start to ReFoReMo! Thank you, Marcie, for the tips and mentor texts :)

    ReplyDelete
  77. Thanks, Marcie! Great start to ReFoReMo!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Thank you for your great ideas on what keeps readers and listeners engaged. I just finished reading "Horrible Bear" for the first time and enjoyed it. I bet children really connect with both characters. I love the different layers. It is a good example of how a reader and child might focus on different aspects of the story with each re-read. Thanks also for the list of suggested mentor texts. I look forward to reading them all.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I appreciate how you mention the emotional reactions of readers. It is so valuable for young ones to start feeling many different responses, so it was a nice reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Thanks for sharing your tip of predict ability mixed with a twist is irresistible. Yes, I'm still trying to master the twist at the end of my manuscripts.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Great choices and I love your thoughts on the important elements. I know for my kids the emotion aspect is huge. If they laugh out loud or feel worried for a character it is a book they will choose again and again.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Sharing this Your tube reading of Stick and Stone. The child in this video really adds to the reading. Since Marcie talks about emotional reaction, this particular reading was great to see how the child reacts.
    I love how he knew exactly what pine cone was doing to stone (teasing him) just from the illustration. And I thought it was pretty clever what he adds at the end (after the duo forms a '10' then becomes a trio...)
    Happy Reading!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLdM6m47daw&feature=youtu.be

    Also wanted to add that I had already read Be A Friend as a mentor text to my work in progress and it served me extremely well :)

    ReplyDelete
  83. Memorable characters & settings make for memorable stories. Thanks for leading the way to new discoveries.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Alice Fulgione - Great Post! As a former Kindergarten teacher, I also chose books that would hold the children's attention. I love, love love your book choices!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Thank you for your post. I appreciate the insight of librarians!

    ReplyDelete
  86. These were all new for me. I was especially impressed with the depth Beth Ferry managed to convey in a book with such a low word count, and how absolutely perfect her word choices were.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I love that you said the reader has to feel something, but it doesn't necessarily have to be humorous. That's important for someone like me--who doesn't write funny--to know. Thanks, Marcie :)

    ReplyDelete
  88. Thank you for sharing these stellar titles, Marcie. Grabbing the attention of a reader through feelings is an excellent hook. I've read many of these titles to my students during our after school reading and writing lessons. Even my college level students enjoyed reading a few of these titles as mentor texts.

    ~Suzy Leopold

    ReplyDelete
  89. Great suggestions and mentor texts to help us engage our readers. Thanks, Marcie!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Marcie, Thanks for the wonderful mentor text examples

    ReplyDelete
  91. We are starting off strong. Terrific examples. Thank you, Marcie.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Thank you so much for your advice. Great suggestions and I had so much fun reading the mentor texts.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Can't wait to read these books!!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hi Marcie - thanks for great mentor texts and a road map for keeping readers of all ages engaged. Great first post for ReFoReMo!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Thank you for sharing these titles and their merits, Marcie! I found myself re-reading the titles that featured inventive language.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Thanks for the reminder to keep a balance of both predictability and surprise. :)

    ReplyDelete
  97. Wonderful post, Marcie. I love the idea of picture books offering layers for multiple ages.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Thanks for sharing your insights about the components that support rereadability - something I think we all strive for in our writing. I especially like the notion of predictability paired with surprise.

    ReplyDelete
  99. These elements are absolutely on point. Thank you for your insight!

    ReplyDelete
  100. Love your examples and great insight on why readers respond.
    Thanks. Maria Johnson

    ReplyDelete
  101. Marci, Thanks for getting ReFoReMo off to a great start!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Great post and great examples, Marcie! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  103. Although I've read many of the books listed, I was especially intrigued and charmed by Du Iz Tak? I most certainly had to turn on my inner-child radar and turn off my adult-reading mind! This book certainly shows the importance of Carson Ellis's (an illustrator's) expertise in expanding the reader's experience--and certainly joy!--in learning the language and what the story is about. Well-earned Caldecott Honors!

    In Stick and Stone, I see the all-importance of "white space" and "less is more."
    And Penguin Problems and Horrible Bear, neither of which I'd read previously enlightened me on tackling problems kids (and adults) encounter many time! Thanks for sharing your expertise and opening me up to new reads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely great insights! Du Iz Tak? is a book that you have to spend time with, which makes it a highly engaging book. :)

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  104. A post to save and refer back to, Marci! Enjoying the recommended picture book texts! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  105. great advice, always keep re-readability across age groups in mind. thank you

    ReplyDelete
  106. Re-readability, so important but so easy to forget. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  107. Thank you, Marcie! I loved reading through your list of things that "make" a picture book. As a parent, and as a writer, I found myself going "Yeah! Yeah, that's right!" I definitely have to find your own China mentor text--my 9 year old will love it!

    Thank you very much for all these ideas and content to think about :-)

    ReplyDelete
  108. Predictability with a twist! Love this post! Thank you Marcie:)

    ReplyDelete
  109. Such a great list of things to think about when writing. I have my pile of today's books at home ready to read the second I get home from work! So many of them were on my to read list.

    Thank you for giving us such a great list of things to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Something many people don't acknowledge often, is that picture books reach readers of all ages. So many parents want to rush their kids into chapter books without realizing the value of a great picture book. Giving older kids the opportunity to read picture books is a gift without an expiration date. Like your fifth grade reader said, 'whoa, that's deep'!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Thank you for sharing your insight! I look forward to reading the books you mentioned that are unfamiliar to me and re-reading the familiar ones in a new light.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Thank you for a marvelous start to ReFoReMo. I love Stick & Stone and Be A Friend and books with readability. Looking forward to really examining the other books.

    ReplyDelete
  113. This is a great list. I found five in my library, with a few on hold. Can't wait to dive in, Marcie.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Great post with some terrific titles! Thanks Marcie!

    ReplyDelete
  115. Thanks! "Shh! We Have a Plan" is a favorite of mine. I love how Chris Haughton bases his PBs on quotes, adding a deeper layer of meaning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had kids shout at me, "It's a circle story!" and "Oh no, not again. Didn't they learn?" Love it! What's really important about this book is that the text repeats and doesn't change much. It's the pictures that change and carry so much of the story.

      Delete
  116. Thanks, Marcie, for the great examples. I think when you find a picture book that hooks the child as well as the adult, you've found a winner! I find children are often first hooked by the pictures, but the text is what engages and keeps them reading. Thanks for including just as many titles without author/illustrator creators as those that are one in the same. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! And oh how I wish I could illustrate. Pictures are so, so important. I love how Tammi Sauer leaves room for the illustrator. That's one thing I've learned so much by reading ALL of her books. Still haven't mastered it myself, but I'm trying.

      Delete
  117. I just took out Du Iz Tak? And when I read it, I couldn't help myself...I had to try to figure out the language...and I think kids will to...in fact, I'm going to read it to my grandson this afternoon...I'm really curious about what his reaction will be.
    These are great titles, Marcie..and I loved how you broke down what some of the important elements in each pb were...that really helps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Du Iz Tak? is good for hours of entertainment. Every group I read it to/showed it to found new details that I hadn't seen.

      Delete
  118. Great books to start out the month. Thanks, Marcie.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Thanks, Marcie! One of the best feelings ever is knowing that a book has hooked a child. Laughing together while reading makes such great memories. I'm looking forward to sharing some of these titles with my grandchildren!

    ReplyDelete
  120. Thanks for the great books and your insights, too. I love seeing the children (3-6 years old) in my class get engaged in a book. They've already heard some of these, but I can't wait to share more--and read more myself, too.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Thanks for sharing what you find in each book. These are fun to read! Some of them I don't want to return to the library....

    ReplyDelete
  122. Mentor texts are so helpful . . . thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Thank you so much! I love how these authors play with language - Nanette's Baguette, I Yam a Donkey, Best Frints in the Whole Universe - it's inspiring to see how they each do it so differently and how we all bring our own style to the language in our work.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Great post. Thank you! I loved hearing about the students' reactions.

    ReplyDelete