Saturday, February 18, 2012

Readers Become Judges

During the last couple of weeks our students have donned a new hat: they have become judges of the art of the picture book.  Over the next few weeks we will be reading the ten picture books that make up this year's Red Clover nominees.  The children will be noticing things such as how the illustrations match the story, how the illustrator uses the space on the pages, and the placement of text or even the absence of text on a page.  All of these elements are meant to work together to bring the story to life.                                                                                                                                                                       To start off, we discussed what an award is.  I showed the children the recent Caldecott winner, A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, and another Caldecott winner from 2007, Flotsam by David Wiesner.  The children noticed that Flotsam had won both the Caldecott and the Red Clover awards. 

It seemed fitting to start with reading David Wiesner's Art & Max, a splendid story about an artist and a would-be artist and their discovery of the creative process. David Wiesner wields a lot of power in both his pen and brush and his imagination seems to know no bounds.

Students retell the story of Art & Max with puppets

The next book we explored was Who Stole Mona Lisa? by Ruthie Knapp and illustrated by Jill McElmurry.  Again, the children really enjoyed this book with its playful illustrations (particularly the moving eyes in the paintings!) and exciting drama; it's an interesting blend of nonfiction and imagination.  We followed up the reading with an exploration of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum.  For a close-up of the painting click here, and for an explanation of the painting click here.  We have discovered that one of our UVM student teachers has actually been to Paris to see the Mona Lisa!

In the very first week of April our children will make their final decisions and choose the one book that they think best deserves the Red Clover award.  Last year more than 24,000 Vermont children in grades K through 4 voted for their favorite book (Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile).  Which book will win this April?  Stay tuned!

No comments :

Post a Comment