May 042012

[I’m a sucker for a well-written children’s book – the kind that clamors to be savored and shared.  From time to time, I’ll post about one that tickles my fancy.]

Today is illustrator  Don Wood’s birthday.  He is best known for illustrating his wife, Audrey Wood’s books including King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, The Napping House, and Piggies.

piggies cover

Knowing that his birthday was coming up, I started combing through our school library shelves for any of his books to re-visit.  The first one I came upon was Piggies.   It’s a simple text that equates a child’s fingers with pigs.  I threw it in my bag to bring home and share with my own kids since I didn’t have time to shanghai any preschoolers.

My 11 year old daughter and I had a few minutes together waiting to pick up the high schoolers and so I pulled it out of my bag and handed it to her.  She gasped “I love this book!” and immediately began to flip the pages.  When she got to the end, we went back through it more slowly in order to appreciate the rich illustrations.  As we talked about which pig was most like us, we noticed more and more details: the ten pigs have distinct personalities, the left hand is boy pigs and the right hand is girls, some of the pigs have props that they use in clever ways from page to page. What a treasure!

My 8th grade son picked this as his favorite page from the book.  The skiing pig is his favorite.cold piggies

There’s a great literacy building project that goes with this book as well: Kids can use their own hands to mimic the piggies in the book and then come up with their own phrases, i.e. My little piggies are flipping.  If you want to take it a step further, trace their hands onto paper and have them make ink thumbprint piggies doing what they described.  Collect them together into a class book.  

What great books inspire you?

 Posted by at 07:07