Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So far I have found this class very enjoyable! I love that my homework is to read books that are actually fun to read and get a chance to respond to the, which add to the social aspect of reading. I think all of our class discussion have been valid and I come away with more knowledge that can improve my future classroom. I really like the freedom given to us in this class, which is refreshing to have in a college course. I think the novels we have read so far in the class and discussions we've had concerning the issues you could come across when reading them with your students really opened my eyes. I never thought about how much you have to think about the repercussions you may face as a teacher when making a book choice for your students. I think just talking about some of the issues you and other teachers have faced really helped get me thinking about how I would handle certain situations. I've always enjoyed reading picture books and novels , but after this class I have really began to think deeper about the effects and messages they contain.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

I would recommend this story to all elementary school teachers! It is a wonderful true story that teaches children tolerance and diversity. This is a true story of two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that decided that they were a couple and who nurture an egg and baby penguin together.The common criticize about how this book promotes homosexuality and in a way it does, acceptance for homosexuality. This book was great at demonstrating how regardless of the sex of the parents they were able to give the chick everything she needed. This was extremely cute story and I almost died when I found out it was true! I think this book is a great way to connect the way diversity is all around us. I loved this book and think everyone should give it a chance before listening to all the negative reviews.

Happy to Be Nappy by Bell Hooks

Happy to Be Nappy is a beautiful rhythmic story that inspires young African American girls to be proud of their "nappy hair". Although I would have to completely disagree, some feel that the title adds to the negative stereotype of African Americans and that "nappy" is an offensive word. I feel that it does the opposite and shows the beauty and how different their hair is. I absolutely loved the illustrations in this story, I think it truly captures the words that Bell Hooks is trying to portray with the use of watercolors. Every picture was so beautiful and bright with colors. This book showed the positive portal of African American women and girls in showing their beauty and warmth in the pictures. I think this book takes the offensive meaning of nappy away with his wonderful read aloud that will capture all young readers attention with the calming and captivating pictures. It is a great way to show a different type of character and a different role of African Americans in the classroom.

Standing Up by Marie-Anne Gillet

Standing Up by Marie-Anne Gillet is humorous book that goes through the struggle of a young boy learning how pee standing up after he spots Manneke Pis, the famous Brussels statue of a boy who "pees" standing up. Though this book exaggerates the boys experiences by creating funny locations in a harmless matter, many people find this book completely offensive. Some feel that this book sets a negative example for young boys and were it is acceptable to go to the bathroom. I feel it has an opposite effect. I think this book would be quite entertaining for younger boys who are just figuring out peeing standing up is a lot harder and messier than it looks. The illustrations in this book are simple, but funny. Though they may seem inappropriate to adults, when thinking about it in the intended audiences view, toddler boys, these pictures would be great and they would find them very funny. I would recommend this book to any one looking for a funny break when actually going through the process, it will be a book you both will laugh at!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Uncle Bobby's Wedding by Sarah Brannen

As you can tell from the cover of the book this book is dealing with same sex marriage. Though this book may not make it on some most controversial list, the subject of homosexuality to some is still seen as inappropriate for young children. This book I feel like is very positive in showing acceptance of gay marriage for children because they don't even treat it as an issue, but more as they happen to be gay kind of deal. This story is about Cloe and her favorite uncle, Bobby, who is about to get married to his partner, Jamie. She expresses her jealousy issues of having to share him with Jamie, and them starting their own family. In the end she realizes that she is not in fact losing an uncle, but gaining one. I really like of how the author never made it seem like there was anything wrong with marriage and by giving Jamie a unisex name the reader isn't quite sure if in fact he is a male or not. There was no sense in difference among the characters life styles which I found refreshing. This is a positive story for children to read to understanding the different emotions we feel when there is a change in relationships in the family. I found nothing negative about this book and on the other hand uplifting. I do recommend this book for young children in showing that same sex marriage is indeed no different.

Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite

Daddy's Roommate is a controversial book dealing with homosexuality. This picture book helps children understand the topic of homosexuality and the different kinds of living situations that can occur. This book focuses on a boy whose parents recently divorced and his father who lives with his partner, Frank. This book has been featured on many banned list for young children due to its controversial topic. Personally I didn't find anything inappropriate with this picture book. The topic of homosexuality is often confusing for children and having picture books about this topic can make them feel less different or understanding to the different living situations and life styles their parents may lead. I would have no problems in reading this book to young children although I would feel it would need to have a discussion following it to answer any questions they may have. The only problem I had with this book were how much it followed the different stereotypes of homosexuals. The illustrations in this book were at times humorous, if not completely ridiculous. The men, who are gay in this picture book are shown wearing Hawaiian shirts, popped collars, or muscle tee, all very stereotypical dress wear for gay men. I didn't think this story would necessarily help children fully understand homosexuality, but I found it general enough for young children to get the idea. I think this book presented a positive message in same sex couples for younger children.Though it was humorous in the way they presented the gay couple, I found nothing inappropriate about this book and feel that it does no harm in reading to children.