We all do this. I just never thought of it as blessing books. We do it when we read a book aloud and cause students to want to read it themselves. We do it when we give book talks or have the kids give book talks. We do it when we recommend a book or an author to the readers we are guiding. We do it when we bring in books on a topic that our students have suddenly become passionate about. We do it when we display books prominently in our classroom or school libraries. We do it when we create a list of books shared together this year or a Shelfari page that highlights our favourites.We do it when we send home summer reading lists.
In my job, I bless books when I read them at workshops or in your team professional learning communities. I bless books when I bring them into your classrooms and share them with your students. I bless books when I add them to my Shelfari page. I bless books when I loan them to you.
But here is what I learned from Richard Allington. We need to be blessing five books... every day. Books and reading are that important. Not surprisingly, one of the findings of researchers is that people who read a lot get better and better at it. Young readers need lots of practice reading. That practice is most effective when it is in materials that they CAN read and WANT to read. Allington says that our focus needs to be on putting interesting materials,that they can read, in front of them.
The books I am going to bless today are all picture books. I love picture books and do not think they are just for those who can't read chapter books.
This Plus That by Amy Krause Rosenthal is subtitled Life's Little Equations. It describes words or ideas through equations like:
you + me = us
soul + colour = art
It doesn't have a lot of print but it conveys big ideas.
Questions, Questions by Marcus Pfister of Rainbow Fish fame has exquisite illustrations and will appeal to readers who like to ask big, interesting questions.
One by Kathryn Otoshi , is about bullying amongst the colours. That Red is a real hothead and it takes the numeral 1 to show the others that everyone counts. :)
Woolbur, the tale of an independent minded, non-conforming lamb by Leslie Helakoski, speaks to the creative among us. Those who just don't follow the herd.
Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian makes me laugh, as many of my favourites do. Written as a daily journal, it describes one fish's journey from lonely to a life filled with relationships.
For more information, click on the book on my Shelfari shelf.
Please comment below on books or magazines that you "bless". Together we know many, many great books that will motivate our students to read and read and read.