When I heard the color for the next week, my first thought was “The Carrot Seed” by Crockett Johnson, but I also discovered a book with a similar theme, “Pumpkin, Pumpkin” by Jeanne Titherington. The students especially enjoyed the repetition in this beautifully illustrated book.
“And the pumpkin seed grew a pumpkin sprout. And the pumpkin sprout grew a pumpkin plant. And the
pumpkin plant grew a pumpkin flower. And the pumpkin flower grew a ….”
When we got to the end, where the young man keeps a handful of seeds to plant the next year, we went back to the front of the book to start over. The students wanted me to read it again, and I did. :-) And we even had time for a 7 minute video of another book that starts with an orange page and features an orange animal, “The Happy Lion” by Louise Fatio Duvoisin (available for SC teachers at etvStreamlineSC). I could have read the book myself, but I would never have been able to match the little bit of French music and the wonderful French accent of the reader, not to mention the squeals of the townspeople as the lion wanders the streets looking for his friends.
Next came Purple day, and that, of course, called for “Harold and the Purple Crayon” and other Harold adventures, all by Crocket Johnson. Now I’m on a roll, and though color celebrations are over for the year, I’m already planning for next year. My schedule already includes Paul Galdone’s “The Little Red Hen.” I’ll just be sure it falls in the Red week. (By the way, “The Little Red Hen and “Harold on the Purple Crayon” are also both available on etvStreamlineSC.) That leaves Blue … and Yellow… Hmmm, there’s “Little Blue and Little Yellow” by Leo Lionni, but maybe that one should really go on Green day…
I’d also love to recommend the 2010 Caldecott Honor book “Red Sings from Treetops: a Year in Color” by Joyce Sidman and Pam Zagarenski, a book I’ve enjoyed myself many time in the last two years. But unfortunately, when I’ve read portions to my 4-year-old (and even my 5-year-old) classes, it seems to go right over their heads. Maybe it would be better with older students or smaller groups where discussion is easier. But I do still love to read it myself—out loud. “In summer, white clinks in drinks.” Can you hear it? And see it? :-) Now that I think about it, even if they don’t “get” it every time, maybe I will keep reading it, even to my littlest ones.
So what other ideas do you have for Books for the Color Wheel?