Inspiration From The Distant Past

Inspiration From The Distant Past
Found note in an old book... warms the cockles of my bookish heart...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pseudo Celebrity

Ahem. Hello. It's me. I know. I haven't been around lately. I won't go into a looooong boring story about where I have been, BUT I will apologize. I apologize.
I am soooooooo SORRY!

Is that a tear I see? It's ok. I am here. Shh. I am here.

Let's move on, shall we? Stop looking back? Look to the future? A future filled with blog posts about books and book cases and book nooks. Yes. That is what we will do. Look to the future bookish posts. That's why you are my favorite reader. You are always so positive.

Awhile back, my kids' school hosted Celebrity Readers. The idea was to get exemplary people from the community and have them read to a few classes. They would explain why they loved reading, how it made them successful, and whatever else they thought may inspire young people and their spongy little brains. Our future, if you will.

So. Being the world famous blogger that I am, I volunteered. Actually, it was more like, "If you need readers to fill in, I'd be happy to come in. Just FYI: I'm NOT a celebrity. And I am not particularly exemplary. I will, however, sign autographs."

did, of course, mention that I love to read and, in fact, participate in a witty, fresh, and unique book blog. The organizer was im.pressed. Actually, she did like it. I sent her a link and I was IN, baby!

I got to read for both of my kids' classes. It was fairly easy to find a book for my first grader. But how do you choose a picture book for fifth graders? I asked the school librarian. No help. The books she had chosen, to me, were boring (Yes, I said it. Books a librarian chose were boring. I know that's sacrilege). So, I went online in search of books for fifth graders. It was still difficult, since I had to read reviews and reviews and make trips to our library to find something funny but not too babyish, not too adult, AND that could be read within 15 minutes.

"Wait a minute," you are saying. "Too adult? How could that be?" Excellent question. I am glad you asked. Well, many picture books that I found are, for example, studied in college classes. They use to them analyze attitudes and cultures and child psychology, et cetera, et cetera. And so it seems the author wrote them more for adults than children. Anywho.

Here are the books I chose for my kids.

Scapegoat by Dean Hale, illustrated by Michael Slack.

For my first grader, I chose Scapegoat.

This is the cutest story. It is about a goat named Oat and how she gets blamed for everything bad that happens.

As you can see in the title, the -oat is used throughout. Very helpful for teaching those vowel combinations.
The illustrations were bright and funny. The words had a nice rhythm.

Bottom line: the kids loved the story and asked me to read it twice! Even the teacher was laughing.

The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups
by David Wisniewski 
For my fifth grader, I found The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups.

Ok. This story was hilarious. It finally reveals the real reasons behind all of our rules. Why do we tell kids to eat their vegetables and drink their milk and not to pick their noses?

Life as we know it could end otherwise.

Check out this book for all the details. But I warn you, there are those that would like to keep this a secret, so be very careful!

Bottom line: at first the kids were fidgety. But a few paragraphs in and I had their full attention. They were giggling and "ewwwing", and crept closer to see the pictures. The teacher even stopped her work a few times to listen and laugh.

I am really proud of schools these days. They are really stressing reading, and getting the community involved in these projects is a great idea. I just wish more parents and neighbors would take half an hour occasionally and get involved.

What about you? Do you have a recommendations for next year? Have you participated in a project like this? If there is nothing like this in your local schools, maybe you could take the initiative. Everyone loves being read to, and it's a lot of fun for the reader as well!


  1. Well, of course the organizer was impressed!

    Looks like you chose perfect books. The schools here invite parents to read during Dr. Seuss week but that is about it. And I think the headstart has a day for dads to read. There ought to be more read alouds-- I'll get right on that!

  2. Oh yes, can I have an autograph?


  3. What a terrific find. I'll be looking for that secret book. Will I need a secret password in the book store?


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