I haven't got a birthday listed for today so instead I need to tell you about a book that I shared with my Year 1 classes today. What a huge success it was! The book was Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes by Margie Palatini and Barry Moser. I don't have either of their birthdays so I can't feature it at another time. As well as its predictable plot this wonderful story which supports the sour grape fable is humorous, has very rich language and vocabulary, has characters with distinct voices and personalities, expressive dialogue, onomatopoeia, repetition and illustrations that show the characters personalities and mannerisms so acutely. Yes, a perfect book. The children laughed as I hammed up the fox's dialogue, joined in with the 'voila' with exaggerated hand gestures, giggled as the beaver said 'indeedy', commented upon the number of different words used for 'friend', asked about 'tantalizing' and 'scooch' and just loved the facial expressions on the porcupine and bear in particular. This book would make a wonderful reader's theatre script. I have a Folkmanis fox puppet and the children had fun giving fox monologues about his plan and how it was going to work. This is a 'must buy' book if you haven't got it.
Now on a much more serious note, the refugee story that I want to highlight today is The Colour of Home by Mary Hoffman and Karin Littlewood. This is the story of Hassan, a small boy from Somalia who starts a new school in a new language in England. The school environment is so different from his outdoor classes in hot, sunny Somalia. Hassan does a painting that leads his teacher to worry about Hassan and thus find a way to learn more about Hassan's experiences in Somalia and his trip to England. This story has a positive message about resettlement and being cared for in a new home.