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Epossumondas

Possums are not cute!

 

Epossumondas

Unless you’re reading Epossumondas by Colleen Salley and illustrated by Janet Stevens

When I was very young my mother used to read me  a story called Epaminondas by Sara Cone Bryant (copyright 1938).  I remember loving the story about this boy “who didn’t have the sense he was born with.” I didn’t remember that the boy was black  I only remembered that he did foolish things that make me laugh..

Actually, this tale had a long oral tradition often known as the noodlehead tale. A noodlehead is a person who brain is filled with noodles instead of brains.

possumdiapers

Epossumondas is a dutiful obedient possum with no common sense.  When his mother tells him to be careful how he steps in her pies, he slowly and deliberately steps right in the middle of every single one.

 

I love how Colleen Salley and Janet Stevens redeemed this tale by portraying the character as a possum.  The second graders at Sara Collins Elementary School howled with laughter at this picture of  a possum wearing a diaper.   They wanted to know how about the safety pins.

Epossumondas’s human mother and aunt are modelled on author Colleen Salley, a resident of the French Quarter in New Orleans  also known as Queen Colleen, a popular Mardi Gras figure.  She has written three other books about Epossumondas, all based on Southern folktales.

 

EpossumondasPlaysPossum

 

EpossumondasSavestheDay

 

WhyEpossumondas

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More Rhyming Books

“The Measured Mom”    blog shares five ways that rhyming stories and songs benefit children.

  1. Rhyming teaches children how language works. It helps them notice and work with the sounds within words.
  2. Rhymes help children experience the rhythm of language.
  3. When children are familiar with a nursery rhyme or rhyming book, they learn to anticipate the rhyming word.  This prepares them to make predictions when they read, another important rhyming skill.
  4. It can help children understand that words that share common sounds often share common sounds with common letters.
  5. When listening to rhyming songs and poems, children create a mental picture, expanding the imagination.
  6. Because rhyming is fun, it adds joy to the sometimes daunting task of learning to read.]

http://www.themeasuredmom.com/why-is-rhyming-important/

Here  are some books that combine rhymes with fun stories and encourage children to predict the outcomes of the story:

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Baby Danced the Polka-Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas

This is such a perfect read aloud for the very young.  In this story of a baby who refuses to nap, Karen Beaumont skillfully uses rhyme to encourage children to guess the animals hiding under the flaps.

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Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Gurarino, illustrated by Steven Kellogg

This book will conjure up memories of Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman, author of Are You My Mother?. as a young llama asked questions all the  animals nearby.  Children have the opportunity to use their rhyming skills to answer the questions.  This book will be quickly memorized.

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Mrs. Brown went to Town by Wong Herbert Yee

Mrs. Brown lives in the barn out back

With a cow, two pig, three ducks and a yak.

These animals are nothing but trouble for Mrs. Brown, but it’s clear, she loves them anyway.  Children will be too busy laughing at the silly antics of the animals to take this story seriously.

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Move Over Rover by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jane Dyer

Rover is sad and lonely until a thunderstorm arrives.  Suddenly all the animals are seeking shelter from the storm in his doghouse.  Children will enjoy chanting,  “Move Over Rover.”

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Novelist: A Cure for the Reading Funk

novel

I have been in a reading funk lately. Even as a librarian, I find myself having a hard time connecting with that just right book.  Usually my motto is “So Many Books-so little time.”

Life feels stressful at present and I want pure escapism.  Perhaps I’ve worked so hard reading children’s books for this blog that I haven’t found time to read for  me.  Usually when I walk into a library, I feel like a kid in a candy store.  But sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the choices.  My reading life has never fit in to simple categories.

One great cure for the reading funk is the Novelist Online Database.  It’s available on most public library’s webpages.  Library employees will be happy to share this resource with you.  Novelist recommends books for adults, teens and children. It links back to the library catalog so you can reserve the book

Novelist can…

  • help you locate all the books by your favorite author.
  • provide read-alikes for popular authors and titles
  • provide genre lists for countless interests.  (There are 8 themed lists for teen graphic novels and 13 themed lists for adult mysteries.)
  • locate a book with a particular setting.
  • find books in series
  • find informational as well as fiction books.

Once you locate a book, there are book reviews, age range, lexile levels and subject headings.  I have been using Novelist and Novelist K-8 for years. I have yet to tap into to all the resources available.

Novelist is a great tool for teachers and homeschoolers.  It’s easy to find books that supplement the curriculum.  Historical fiction can be a great way to help students grasp history.  Parents can also use Novelist to help children explore their interests. This database has evolved over time to meet the changing needs of its users.

Novelist is as its best recommending books to upper elementary, teens and adults. The upper elementary years  can be a golden age of reading. .  During this time, children begin getting more specific in their reading choices. If we want children to enjoy reading, we need to offer them lots of choices. There will be more competition for entertainment as children reach their teens.   Finding the right books for children and teens is a key ingredient in creating lifelong readers.  Novelist is a great tool in this process.