...By Brittany R. Jacobs
Social skills can be a bit of a tough thing to figure out at times - even as adults, we often find ourselves navigating the maze of human relationships.
To be figuring all that out in Elementary is even more difficult!
The Kraken is an ocean creature that most of our students will be able to identify with on some level. No matter what strategies he employs (including trying to be someone else - in this instance, a Koi), he just can’t seem to convince his fellow deep sea peers how nice he actually is.
Frustrated & disappointed, the Kraken seeks help from the Great White Shark (as “even the Great White Shark has friends!”) - who kindly offers some simple guiding rules:
Keep Your Cool (nobody likes a pouting fish)
Hugs Not Slugs
Lend A Helping Fin
And even though, in the end, it doesn’t quite work out the first time for our dear old Kraken, that in itself provides another teachable moment: some things take time & practice.
Overall, this is a sweet story that uses humor & expressive illustrations to touch on a topic so many of our own children are figuring out: how to be a good friend. It’s not always easy, so with a little luck, between Shark’s advice & our Kraken’s good intentions, we’ll all be reminded of how to be a good friend to those around us.
Du iz tak? What is that? As a tiny shoot unfurls, two damselflies peer at it in wonder. When the plant grows taller and sprouts leaves, some young beetles arrive to gander, and soon—with the help of a pill bug named Icky—they wrangle a ladder and build a tree fort. But this is the wild world, after all, and something horrible is waiting to swoop down--booby voobeck!—only to be carried off in turn. Su! With exquisitely detailed illustrations and tragicomic flair, Carson Ellis invites readers to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in even the humblest backyard. Su! - Good Reads
Good Reads had such a good description, I decided I better just let them have the floor rather than try to encapsulate this book myself. But sufficed to say, I LOVE this book! I love that Carson Ellis gives weight to the imaginary language so many of our children (& so many of us once upon a time) bury themselves in, allowing their imaginations to explore without justification.
I love that the characters in this story are so appealing simply through their expressions - they truly take you on a journey reminding us that illustrations are equally as important as words in story telling.
I love that I’m not entirely sure what is going on, or how to say the words, yet I still want to turn each page to see what’s going to happen next.
I love that this reminds us of Spring & new growth & creativity & fun & questions all in one book!
So clearly I have chosen this book to introduce Spring in Library partly because I’m so passionate about it! But what better reason?!
This story is going to lead us into discussions on Spring, what we know, what we’re seeing around us right now. It will also prompt us to talk about our own imagining, share our different perspectives & we may even have a chance to recreate a scene or two ourselves in Library time.
Happy Spring everybody!
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