Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Story Time Monday

Last week our Preschool celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss by reading his books all week, culminating with a vote for the "Most popular Dr. Seuss book." So on Monday I read Judy Sierra's Wild About Books.

When I first read this fun book a few years ago, I thought, "My, this reminds me of something." What it reminded me of became clear when I read the dedication tucked at the end of the book:

This book is for our favorite doctor, artist, poet, fun concocter: Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1900-1991.

I realized that the rhythm of the verse was modeled after Dr. Seuss's writing. But I couldn't quite place just which book it was modeled on, even after reading it five times to delighted children on Monday, until just a few minutes ago when it finally hit me: Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book.

Here's the first of Ms. Sierra's stanzas:

It started the summer of 2002, When the Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, By mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo.

And here's the first stanza from Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book:

The news just came in from the county of Keck That a very small bug by the name of Van Vleck Is yawning so wide you can look down his neck.

Try reading them book aloud and hear for yourself.

In addition to cleverly paying homage to Dr. Seuss, Judy Sierra gives us a look at what librarians do: put the right books into the hands of readers.

Giraffes wanted tall books and crickets craved small books,
While geckos could only read stick-to-the-wall books.

The pandas demanded more books in Chinese.

Molly filled their requests, always eager to please.

She even found waterproof books for the otter,
Who never went swimming without "Harry Potter."

The illustration shown below for this page is actually taken from the iPad app, advertised as having "3D" effects and "interactive" features. Out of curiosity I bought the app and tried it out. The 3D effect just made the pages kind of waver about, which made me a bit seasick, and the interactive elements consisted mainly of the animals moving a bit or making a noise, though on the page where they stampede to "learn all about this new thing called reading," one touch of the screen makes all the animals actually rush across the page, which is cool. Mostly I was put off by the actually reading of the verse, which in no way picked up the rhythmic pattern of the Sleep Book, resulting in a narration that one reviewer called "boring," which isn't what you want from a Seuss-inspired rhyme!.

Still, the artwork translated well to the screen, and was a pleasure to view, and I could see how a young child could be entranced by the app.

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