Friday, March 21, 2008

Library Mouse

We go to the library every two weeks and check out enough books to read three to five titles a night. Some are across-the-curriculum, non-fiction picture books, but most are fictional picture books or chapter books. On our last trip we scored BIG with a wonderful picture book entitled Library Mouse, by Daniel Kirk (published in '07).

It starts out:

"Sam was a library mouse. His home was in the little hole in the wall behind the children's reference books, and he thought that life was very good indeed. Every day, when the library was full of people walking up and down the aisles, studying, checking out books, and working on the computers, Sam was curled up in his little hole, sound asleep. Every night, when the people went home and the room was dark and quiet, the library belonged to Sam.

And every night Sam read, and he read, and he read. Sam read picture books. He read biographies and poetry, cookbooks and sports books, fairy tales and ghost stories, and mysteries by the dozen.

Sam's mind was filled with facts and information and images of far-away places, and his imagination brimmed over with wonder and fantasy.

One night Sam decided that it was time he wrote a book of his own!"

I will stop there and just say you simply must have this book in your library! My boys have asked for it every single night since we brought it home. There are many books they will request three or four nights in a row, but this is the first one they can't wait to hear night after night after night. With each reading they are just as delighted as they were at the first one. And I am too!

It is perfect, sweet and very natural in its encouragement to get kids to write stories. As you're reading, you don't even realize that the writer's intent is to bait young authors. The story is so incredibly charming that kids get lost in it, and afterwards they suddenly can't wait to start writing. My six-year-old only wants to write stories in his journal now. He is very excited about and even amazed at the tales he's weaving.

Trust me, GET this book, or at the very least, check it out soon. I suspect it will be well-loved by all kids ages three years and up.

Even young preschoolers can dictate a story, and doing so is a great precursor to literacy; most children can read a simple story they've dictated, even if they can't read anything else. As a public school teacher, I saw many first graders who couldn't read well until AFTER they started writing.


1 comment:

Ashley said...

Thanks so much for the recommendation! My mother-in-law is a librarian, and she loves to hear of kid-tested mother-approved books to add to the collection. I will definitely pass on the information and check the book out myself as well.