I read a ton of amazing books this summer, but two of them really jumped out at me as perfect to begin the year with: Bob Staake's My Pet Book and Brian Won's Hooray for Hat! They bookended our library classes perfectly.
My Pet Book grabbed students K-4 immediately with its illustrations. They loved seeing the picture of the boy walking his book (But it doesn't have any legs!). They loved how the boy's face turns purple later on. We all had a sense of desolation when they realize what has happened, but the ending always brings applause.
Bob Staake's word choice had students' thinking as well. Words like charity and rarity gave them a chance to do a little problem solving as they worked to figure out the meanings.
My favorite line of course is when they boy answers his mom's question as he is heading up to bed and he simply says, "Because every book's a friend." You can't say it better than that.
After watching two book trailers (Hooray for Hat was one of them) and checking out books, we settled in for one last story. Hooray for Hat is the perfect ending for so many reasons. It is such a fun book, but it also exemplifies our district's Core Ethical value of kindness throughout.
Students love seeing Brian Won's illustrations and participating, chorusing, "I'm GRUMPY!" and "Hooray for Hat!" I love surprising them at the end as I read, "Hooray for FRIENDS!" I am certain that this year, I will be able to remind them that everyone needs a hat once in a while.
Best wishes for a fabulous year of reading and learning!