Saturday, June 4, 2011

Turtle's Penguin Day by Valeri Gorbachev

Turtle's Penguin Day
by Valeri Gorbachev

What it's about:
Little Turtle's dad reads him a story about penguins at bedtime - the next day he pretends to be a penguin and convinces his friends at school to play along.

What I love:
This book totally nails that developmental phase for so many kids of pretend-playing whatever you learn about, read or watch. Perhaps I connect so much with this book because every day at my house I hear from my 5 year old "let's play (insert topic of interest or title of book/show here). I'll be ________ and you be __________!" My favorite has been "let's play superhero, robot dogs" - a combination of multiple favorite interests.
When Turtle and his friends at school play "penguin", their fun gets incorporated into music class, recess, and even rest time.
Student's love the ending when the following night Turtle's dad reads a bedtime story about monkeys. The last page (the copyright page at the end) shows an image of Turtle ready for school dressed as a monkey. They enjoy predicting all the things that might happen as Turtle and his friends at school pretend to be monkeys, and what Turtle's dad might read the night after that.

My favorite part:
Whenever Turtle has "penguin dreams", he is pictured with his head on a penguin's body. In the part of the story where he and his classmates are all having penguin dreams at rest time, each different animal is pictured with their head on a penguin's body. Every group I have read to loves this page and wants to connect each sleeping animal with their dreamy penguin counterpart.

Other connections:
Animal Fantasy is the way I start to introduce the genre of fantasy in Kindergarten. Talking about what makes a story fantasy or an "impossible story" gets a little complicated when the discussion turns to questions of "what about the tooth fairy?", or "but Santa is real, right?"
In Kindergarten we can dig into the difference between realistic animal stories vs. those that have animals walking, talking and dressing up like people without challenging beliefs about magic or family traditions.

1 comment:

  1. Turtle sounds like my 5-year-old. We'll have to check this one out--thanks!