Wednesday Coffee Break, Dec. 13
The Eating of Latkes: Hurray for Hanukkah

Poetry Friday: "You Read to Me, I'll Read to You"

64631 You Read to Me, I'll Read to You captured my heart when my son brought it home from school this week. (Yay for second-grade teachers who send home books!) Written by the poet Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Michael Emberley, the picture book for beginning readers consists of Very Short Stories to Read Together. Each story is written in rhyming couplets for two people to alternate "stanzas" or read in harmony; color-coded text an its place on the page make it clear who is supposed to read what. Twelve lively pieces, plus an introduction and a conclusion, make up the book, which celebrates companionship and the joy of reading together. Michael Emberley's humorous art work adds just the right touch.

Here's an example from "The Snowman," which begins,

Hi Ho! Hi Ho!
The world is white!

                                                    Hi Ho! Hi Ho!
                                                    It snowed last night!

Under copyright fair use considerations, I can quote a few lines but not more than that. However, you can check out "The Two Mice," from the same book, at Mary Ann Hoberman's web site, and if your vision is better than mine, read one of the stories in its entirety.

There are a number of other books in this series, including Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together and  Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together. I'm new to these books, but I gather that they began with John Ciardi and Edward Gorey's You Read to Me, I'll Read to You back in 1962.  What a pair! I can't wait until tomorrow's trip to the library.


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All of the books in Hoberman's "You Read to Me" series are great. By the way, if you plan on being up in Massachusetts in late May, Mary Ann is going to be the featured speaker at a dinner meeting of the PAS North Shore Council--which is a local affiliate of the Massachusetts Reading Association and the International Reading Association.

I highly recommend another book by Mary Ann--The Llama Who Had No Pajama, which is a collection of 100 of her favorite poems. It is now available in paperback.

I'd love to hear Mary Ann Hoberman talk. When I go to the library I'll look for the Llama/Pajama collection. Thank you, Elaine. Reading "You Read to Me" was my son's favorite homework so far!

Oh, yes, I love these books too! There's also a Mother Goose Tales one - but I haven't seen the Scary Stories yet, thanks for the heads up!

For a while, I was lamenting the fact that I'd missed the books until now, but then I realized that there are a number of them to "discover." Yippee! It's like when I stumbled onto Bill Peet. His many books have been around forever, but that just makes more to enjoy!

When my first-grade reading buddies (at school where I volunteer) get a little more fluent, I'm going to take the Hoberman books to read with them.

I love using these books as choral reads using an elmo. I divide the group in half and they read together. Even 5th graders enjoy the rhythm and rhymes.

That sounds like great fun! (I still love Elmo.)

I am a teacher who allows students to take home any book in our class library entirely on
an honor system. I am not alone. When you love childrens books you want to share them.

I also started a podcast at that shares some of my favorites.

Thanks for stopping by, Jody!

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