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The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

I am a book hog, are you a book hog?  This was the question posed to students as we began Greg Pizzoli’s new book, The Book Hog.  Students quickly recognized the colors on the cover and the illustrations as being very similar to The Watermelon Seed, also by Pizzoli, and they were excited to dive in and learn about the Book Hog.  Students posed great wonderings during the initial reading of the story. As they began to discover the answers to their wonderings AND to draw conclusions based on the story, there were many AHA moments for students.  Finally, the personal connections that many students made to the Book Hog, though different than their initial thoughts, were powerful and important. What a great text to share with students when launching reader’s workshop.  We all agreed that there is a little bit of the Book Hog in all of us. Is there a little Book Hog in you too?

What Students said:

 “The Book Hog was greedy at first, but he changed.”

“He reminds me of my cousin.”

“The Book Hog kept taking books he could not read but he learned to read AND share.

“He was selfish at the beginning but was good at the end.”

“The Book Hog likes books for the story, the smell and the feel.”

“I think the Book Hog didn’t really know why he couldn’t read.”

“He reminds me of my cousin.”

“I love when he gave the books back.”

Teacher thoughts

Students were excited to read the new book by Pizzoli.  Books like The Watermelon Seed and Goodnight Owl have been very popular with elementary students and The Book Hog did not disappoint.

This book was a great addition to the texts used in the early days of reader’s workshop to establish routines and develop a community of readers.  There are so many different discussions that can occur based on student connections and wonderings. It is appropriate for all elementary students across grade levels.

What a great way to talk about what it means to “hog,” something. We were able to build community during this discussion by learning what “hogging,” means to each person and how it affects them.

Students initially thought that the Book Hog was greedy, but were able to change their thinking when they realized that the Book Hog couldn’t read.  It changed their perspective and enabled them to see The Book Hog in a new light.

The “New Book Basket,” is a topic that is discussed many times in the early days of establishing routines in the reader’s workshop classroom.  Students were able to see how the Book Hog’s actions could mirror their own and this has helped with sharing the new books.

This book is a great addition to  a text set about how characters change over time.  There are several opportunities for social emotional learning and building classroom community with this book.

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