Leo is published by Chronicle Books. About Leo: "You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can't even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo's efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin."
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The students are being close readers of both narrative and art. I am excited by their conversations and can tell from what I am hearing that they are being thoughtful about our criteria.
When thinking about the importance of the illustrations, the students recognized that they would not know when Leo lived, what he looked like, or how he was dressed without the illustrations. They used the art to determine when Leo lived - the peeling wallpaper, ornate table, old fashioned phone, and natty attire - guessing it was at least a hundred years ago. They also enjoyed comparing Leo's home to Jane's modern house with a simplicity of style. In terms of appropriateness of the style, the students felt that the limited palate was extremely effective and appropriate for a ghost story. The style also echoed Leo's mood. When thinking about excellence of execution, they recognized the complications of maintaining a ghostly presence throughout the story and felt Christian Robinson succeeded. They also appreciated the details of the two houses. Regarding appeal to a child audience, this book received a solid thumbs up across the room. One thing that did continue to arise was the idea that a ghost can carry something while also being walked through. I shared that in my lifetime, this has just been a cool thing that ghosts can do.
Along with verbal conversations, the fourth graders continue to practice good digital citizenship by expressing their opinion on our Padlet wall.