Sunday, May 15, 2011

Bread and Jam for Francis by Russell Hoban

 To start things off, I decided to go with an old favorite: Bread and Jam for Francis by Russell Hoban.
I remember checking this out from the library during my own childhood. 
What it's about:
Little Francis badger loves bread and jam, and starts to eat it for every meal.
What I love: 
I love Francis' little songs. They add so much to a read aloud. I don't know if there is a recording of this somewhere where there is an official melody for her songs, but the melodies I use when reading it have now become part of the story for me. I also love to read with a jumping rope rhythm. I find myself holding the book with one hand and miming jumping rope with the other.
This book can be a bit long for kindergartners early in the school year, and there are some types of foods that may need some explaining, but the idea of wanting to eat your favorite food all the time is an idea many can identify with. Since most of my students wouldn't bring a lobster-salad sandwich to school - it is also a book that emphasizes the fact that different people enjoy different foods.
My favorite line: 
When Francis is at the table no longer wanting bread and jam and she sings "so softly that Mother and Father could scarcely hear her: What I am - Is tired of jam."
When Francis starts to cry - kids listening are usually right with me, and it is fun to slow way down at that moment and sing her song almost inaudibly.
Read Aloud Today!

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