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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Slice of Life: Stories Connect Us

Kate DiCamillo, the winner of this year's Newbery Medal for Flora and Ulysses, is also the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. As National Ambassador, she carries this message: "Stories Connect Us." 

We connected with Kate DiCamillo today for World Read Aloud Day. It was fabulous. She was fabulous. My students will not soon forget this event.

But that is not my Slice. My slice is about a "stories connect us" moment that occurred two days ago.

My first graders were visiting via Skype with Ame Dyckman, author of Boy + Bot and Tea Party Rules. On this day, we were participating in two literacy initiatives: World Read Aloud Day (week) and Read Across America. The visit was great, but that again is not the subject of my Slice.
During our visit, Ame held up books that she loved as a child. There was one book that she held up that made me catch my breath, a book that I loved as a child and that my children adored, but that does not have the popularity of other books like Frog and Toad or Where the Wild Things Are. I am not sure any of my students recognized the book. I didn't say anything, but went home, pulled the book from the shelf, snapped a picture, and Tweeted it to Ame. The book is The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr.
 We then traded favorite lines from the book. Her line was my line. 

"...and he drunk all the milk,
and all the orange juice,
and all Daddy's beer,
and all the water in the tap."
I think I came to love this line when reading it aloud to my children, because it is so wonderfully impossible; to think of drinking all the water in the tap is thinking about a tiger who is really thirsty! This one book had now connected me to my parents, connected me to my children, and now connected me to an author/friend.#coolbeans

Here in this moment, all that LitWorld is saying and doing and all that Kate DiCamillo is saying and doing came to fruition. That's right, stories connect us.


  1. Stories do connect us, and as we share stories, we share experiences. It sounds like your students had a rich experience here.