As a mother and educator I was delighted when I received a copy of a free ebook at The Stiletto Media – Kick Off Your Heels 12′ Event. As a book collector I love to spread the love and joy of reading to my boys. Upon arriving home I could not wait to share with them. We made this selection into a read aloud and incorporated it into our summer reading log. “The Very Worried Walrus” by Richard Hefter was an instant hit and I will explain why:
Character Traits and Connections (Text-to-self connections)
As we turned the first page my son was able to identify all of the character traits within the selection, from “loving” to “nasty”. He was able to identify through the illustrations the basis of each feeling and what the characters represented. The Very Worried Walrus was a familiar one for him, as he too worries at such a young age too. What will the new school year bring? Will my teachers be nice this school year? Will I have to make new friends or will my friends from second grade be in my class too? He even worried about learning to ride a bike just like Walrus. Throughout the story he expressed that the Walrus had no reason to be worried but he understood why he would be.
I knew that we had hit gold when he started to make text-to-text connections. He compared The Worried Walrus to the character of “Wemberly Worried” by Kevin Henkes. Like my son, this character worried about everything and the walrus was worrying about riding a bike. When the Walrus was picked up by the tugboat he immediately made the connection to the character Max in “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. Something as simple as the words, “splish, splosh, splish” connected to him to the story, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen.
The importance of reading
These connections are clear indications that we must read with and to our kids on a daily basis. With a new school year right around the corner we must model fluency to our children. Reading to your child daily will enable them to listen to you and receive that model of fluency. Take turns reading to one another so that you are able to listen to your child read, and zero in on any issues that he may be having phonetically. Take this time to ask your child questions that pertain to the story so that you are able to monitor your child’s comprehension. Reading Sweet Pickles books can assist in the preparation of a successful school year.
Disclosure: Although I was given a free ebook I was not compensated monetarily
for this post and these views and opinions are of my own.