By April Jones Prince
Welcome back, everyone! I have to say this has been the best reading and writing summer of my life and I thought that was what I’d blog about this month. Wrong!
When I opened up April Jones Prince’s You Are a Reader!/You Are a Writer!: Two Books in One, I knew what I would write about because every single elementary classroom needs this book. Here’s why:
10. DIVERSE CHARACTERS
There are twenty-six characters in this book representing various skin tones, physical abilities, religious differences and a wide age range.
9. YOUR STUDENTS ARE READERS
Every elementary teacher wants their students to be voracious readers. This book shows that this is possible for every child in your classroom.
8. INCLUSIVE TEXT TYPES
Let’s face it. Not everyone likes books. Gasp! For me that’s like saying not everyone likes to breathe. But, it’s the truth. That doesn’t mean everyone isn’t a reader though. In addition to books, April names tons of different types of texts including: cereal boxes, labels, programs, comics, recipes, magazines, directions, maps, menus and of course digital devices.
For some students, reading is harder than falling face first off the monkey bars. April knows this but she shows readers how to have a growth mindset when encountering unfamiliar words and encourages readers to, “Search until you find the thing that makes your reading radar ping!”
6. WARM FUZZIES
Need a warm fuzzy? This book has them! From sitting on a couch with a loved one to reading to stuffed friends, from reading tucked away in a fort or out in the open on a book walk and of course the classroom read aloud, April’s book highlights the joy of reading.
5. THE TETE-BECHE TURN
Say what? Yes! April called YOU ARE A READER!/YOU ARE A WRITER! a tete-beche book in her podcast episode with Mina Javaherbin and I had to find out what it meant. So tete-beche literally means head-to-toe in French. It’s also a term that refers to two books bound together, with two covers that meet in the middle. So, readers get to spin the book round-n-round and keep reading. Don’t take my word for it. Watch it on Facebook or better yet try it yourself. It’s so much fun!
4. JUICY WORDS
Looking to teach your students about word choice? Your search is over. This text has a ton of juicy words and even a page devoted to them to help writers spice up their work.
3. THE FIVE SENSES
Without the five senses, writing falls flat. April names the five senses in the book and the illustrator, Christine Davenier, shows them with exploding volcanoes and cake batter coating a lucky baker’s tongue.
Truth be told, April Jones Prince is the most supportive, encouraging person I know, and I am fortunate to have many cheerleaders in my life. April offers her priceless encouragement to every writer who reads this book with these words, “Still staring at an empty page? Every writer knows that stage.”
- YOUR STUDENTS ARE WRITERS
The world needs your students’ stories. This book will help your students find their voices.
You’re not still reading this post are you? You should have stopped a long time ago to order this book. Oh, I see. You stopped reading the post, ordered the book and now you’re back to finish reading the post. Got it!
If you live in New England, be sure to attend April’s in person launch at The Silver Unicorn in Acton, MA on Saturday, September 18th.
No matter where you live, be sure to listen to Chalk + Ink’s interview with April on October 8th.
Have a great start to the school year everyone!