For Monday's Story Time I read Lidda Moore Gray's Small Green Snake to the Kindergarten classes. It tells the exciting story of how Small Green Snake gets captured in a glass jelly jar and how--spoiler alert!--he gets away.
Since it's National Poetry month I played up the little snakes's snappy chorus:
I'm a grassy grassy
a sassy sassy
hiss a hiss
a hiss a hiss
Try reading that out loud with feeling a couple of times. Now that's fun!
I loved Holly Meade's illustrations, and I especially liked two subtle ways she enriched the text. First, in showing how the snake was captured she colored one set of hands white and one set of hands brown. And second, her illustrations of the gardener who attracts Little Green Snake's attention and distracts him from keeping his promise to his mother not to wander off are not gender-specific. Instead, we had to look for "context clues" as they say in the education world; meaning that we had to read carefully to pick up the word "she" in the phrase "she dropped her hose." For a moment we were detectives, and the kids got a kick out of that.
I coupled this book with some of the pages from DK Readers' Slinky Scaly Snakes! A few times lately I've paired a nonfiction book and a fiction book on the same subject. Even though I usually have time to read only a few pages of the "fact" book it works out really well.
Did you know that you'll never win a staring contest with a snake? That's because their eyes don't blink.
The things you can learn by reading to children!