Snubbed at the Indie Bookstore
For Mom: A Herrible Hoffalump

Reading to the Second Grade

I'm a volunteer reader for a second-grade class in a nearby city, and our latest read was Keep Your Ear on the Ball, written by Genevieve Petrillo and illustrated by Lea Lyon (Tilbury House, 2007). The book is about a class (my group guessed third or fourth grade) who deal with a difficult situation: one of the classmates, a very independent boy who's blind, has a lot of trouble playing kickball. The children themselves figure out a solution that everyone is happy with. 

The author had left me a note here on the blog, saying that she thought my young friends would enjoy the book. They did! Reading it led to a good discussion about blindness and sight impairment, and being kickball players themselves, the second graders could understand the dilemmas faced by Davey, the boy who's blind, and his pals. I especially appreciated the fact that Keep Your Ear on the Ball's multicultural class, as painted by Lea Lyon, looked a lot like mine. (Well, mine for a half hour each week.)

Next up are Not Norman: A Goldfish Story, by Kelly Bennett, with art by Noah Z. Jones (Candlewick, 2005), and a poem or two from Douglas Florian's Handsprings (Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2006). The second-grade class is not big on poetry. I don't know exactly why. Sometimes poets pack in too many new (and incomprehensible) words, and I end up translating English into English. (B-o-r-i-n-g.) That's not the case with Handsprings. I'm thinking the kids will appreciate the joy expressed by Florian and the cool way the lines in the concrete poem "Rain Reign" are printed: vertically, like rain drops coming down.


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Man, that book sounds like fun!!
My brother and sister played in the Special Olympics T-ball tournaments, and I always wished that they had just played kickball - more fun all round, and I love those bouncy red balls.

Yes, those red playground balls are the best! Down south, we called it kick soccer, and I always loved playing.

A friend of ours has competed in several Special Olympics sports over the years. What a good program it is.

Whoo-hoo! Thanks for reading Keep Your Ear on the Ball AND for blogging about it. I'm glad it was a hit. Nothing beats that kickball-time-of-life. There's a lot of clear, pure thinking there.

My dog, Cupcake blogged about your blog - that's how excited we were!

Thanks for suggesting it!

A first grade teacher friend of mine also liked the book very much.

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