B is for Mac Barnett
As part of our year of homeschool preschool, we are taking a different approach to Author Studies. We are looking at authors using the alphabet. If you haven't tried it, Author Studies are a fun way to discover new authors and different books as well as an opportunity to talk about thematic topics, similarities and differences, and writing or illustrating styles. They are a great launching block for so many things. Our first one was here and from there we are wandering the alphabet in no particular order.
Author Studies for young children, in our house, means reading a collection by the same author. We read and re-read their stories aloud. We spend the most time on our favorites and do a few follow-up extensions based on these stories. As our children get older, our author studies will become more complex, but for now we are working on the understanding that a person writes a book and finding authors that we love and want to fill our house with their inspiring and entertaining words.
Meet Mac Barnett. Barnett is the master of both hilarity and deep insight.
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1. Count the Monkeys
This is definitely on the funny end of the spectrum. This books starts with a simple invitation to count the monkeys. Unfortunately, a cobra, crocodiles, and bears are in the way. Pure fun in the silly kind that young children always appreciate. Great read aloud. 2+
2. Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Illustrated by the talented Jon Klassen this is a beautifully simple book. Sam and Dave are digging a hole. They are looking for something spectacular. So many different ways to interpret this book. 3+
3. President Taft is Stuck in the Bath
Based on the rumor that President Taft once got stuck in his enormous bathtub, this book is part political history and part good entertainment. I feel like this book could start with the line, "how many officials does it take to get a president out of the tub?" 3+
Mama Pigeon asks a cardinal to pass a message: "Tell Peter: Fly home for dinner." So begins an amusing game of telephone between an outrageous collection of birds of birds sitting on a telephone wire. 4+
5. Extra Yarn
This is my personal favorite. I love Jon Klassen's illustrations and I love the beautiful story about a little girl and her magical box of yarn. A little girl finds a box of yarn and knits a sweater. Surprised to find she still has more yarn, she knits another and then another. Soon her whole town is covered in yarn. Word spreads of the remarkable girl and her remarkable box. But when an archduke offers to buy the yarn and she turns him down, suddenly the plot takes a turn. 3+
Books Reviewed Below
Some Extension Ideas:
*Sort Barnett's books into serious and silly.
*Create a dirt or sand sensory bin with gems in it to recreate the story of Sam and David.
*Introduce your kids to the game of Telephone.
*Make something with yarn or set up this simple invitation.
*Read even more books by Mac Barnett
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