"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

scary carrots, Creepy Carrots, they got the gist

"Mrs. Reed, are we going to read the scary carrots book today??" This was the question I was asked by students as they entered the library today.  I had book talked the Caldecott winners with the first graders last week. Aaron Reynolds' and Peter Brown's book clearly made a big impression.
I would make some reference to elephants and memory, but I don't really understand the whole elephant memory thing.  So, I will just say, wow.  With their busy lives, full days of learning and intervening seven days, I am impressed that student after student came in so eager to read the book.  I love the image of them holding onto their excitement and anticipation day after day until library class came around again. Lifelong readers in the making!

Did it meet their expectations?  You bet.

I loved watching their faces and the range of emotions washing over them - joy, fear, empathy, relief and surprise.

I had the students turn and talk about the page where poor Jasper is sure he is not going to fall asleep.  The room was buzzing with their stories of being scared.  I overheard one student tell another that once she had been really afraid at night because she had heard a strange sound.  She was lying awake in bed listening for more sounds when her little sister came into her room. She was thirsty. Scary or not so scary, what an affirming experience for these students to be allowed to be scared and to share it.

 And now...for what really matters...what did the students think of the book?

"I loved the facial expressions."

"I liked how it was lighter inside the picture and darker on the edges."

"I liked how they made it framed.  Like you were looking in on them."

"The bunny saw carrots everywhere, even though they weren't there."

"I liked the ending. It was a surprise!"

"I think it was great the way the illustrations were in dark colors with only the orange things."

"Jasper seemed like he was freaked out."

"It was funny and scary."

"I loved the fortress and the moat!"

In the funny what children do and don't know category, a student asked what RIP meant.  Another student promptly answered, "Rest in peace.  It's what they write when someone dies." And there the conversation ended. Okay then.

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