#IMWAYR – April 25, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. This weekly roundup is a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share recommended (or not so recommended….) titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

Don’t Throw It To Mo

mo

Mo Jackson is the smallest and youngest player on the Robins football team. The players of a rival team don’t think too much of Mo as a player. They think he’s too small and too much of a butterfingers to be taken seriously. But Mo believes he has what it takes to play football, and so does Coach Steve.

This early reader is perfect for sports-mad youngsters who will immediately relate to the optimistic little boy who sleeps in his football helmet snuggled up to his football. There’s a great bit of dramatic tension as Coach Steve suggests an exciting new play, and the ending is sweet and satisfying. A fun little book for emergent readers.

I’m New Here

new

Imagine you’ve been whisked away to a distant world where everyone speaks a strange, indecipherable language, follows bizarre, unusual customs, and seems to fit into a society that you simply can’t understand. Now imagine you’re a small child going through this confusing and unsettling experience. Imagine how lonely, confused, and at times frightened you might be!

This is the everyday reality Anne Sibley O’Brien gently discusses in her beautiful, deeply empathetic picture book. Three young children from different cultures share their experiences adapting to life in a new country. Significantly, O’Brien touches on the language confusions that newcomer children can face, but also shares the culture shock that can be an even more unsettling experience. One child, Fatima, talks about feeling like she fit in at school in her home country, a sense of belonging she feels that she’s lost.

“Back home I was part of the class.

I knew just what to do.

I fit in like one of many stars in the night sky.

 

Here there are new ways.

I cannot see the patterns.

I cannot find my place.”

Language barriers are among the most obvious challenges that newcomers can face, and are perhaps the easiest to recognize and navigate through, with the help of supportive and skilled teachers and instructors. But a child experiencing culture shock might do so quietly, inwardly, and without any obvious outward signs. It takes skilled, caring, dedicated and observant teachers, support workers and others to support children through these challenges and empower them to find strategies to thrive in their new surroundings.

Empathetic, child-centric and empowering, this is a beautiful story to share with anyone who works with young children, regardless of where they might be from.

My Lucky Day

lucky

This picture book is a little bit older (2003), but what a fun story to share with school-aged kids! A little piglet stumbles upon a big, bad, very hungry fox. While it looks at first as though it’s going to be lights out for the little pig, this pig is a bit more clever than it might appear, and has a few tricks up its little pink sleeve. This story-with-a-twist is reminiscent of Mo Willem’s That’s Not a Good Idea, in that the traditional tables are turned, and the apparent victim turns out to not be quite so helpless after all. Lots of fun to share.  

Hope you’ve all been having a great reading week!!

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20 thoughts on “#IMWAYR – April 25, 2016

  1. I think I’m New Here is a wonderful book to share with students about how it must feel to be new AND fight the language barrier too. Thanks also for the other too, Jane. They both sound good for the younger kids.

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  2. I’m New Here looks like a terrific companion to My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald. Great books to talk about how to welcome students from other cultures, or even from across town, into our classroom. My Lucky Day looks like a great book, too! I loved Get a Hit, Mo! (a baseball book by the same author) so I’ll have to give this one a try. Have a great week!

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