Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Ticky-Tacky Doll and The Kissing Hand


This little guy goes to kindergarten today! I'm so excited for him! It's an awesome feeling to think that he was my little baby and now he's five and he's going to school. He just seems like such a little person now that he'll be a student. I can't wait to watch him grow and learn this year! We've read two perfect back-to-school books that I want to share with you!


Title: The Ticky-Tacky Doll 
Author: Cynthia Rylant 
Illustrator: Harvey Stevenson 
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books 
Publication Date: August 2002 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: The ticky-tacky doll has been one little girl's best friend ever since Grandmama sewed it for her. They do everything together--eat, sleep, play, even dream.
Then school starts, and for the first time the little girl has to leave her beloved companion behind at home. Without the ticky-tacky doll by her side, she grows more sad-eyed and lonely each day.Luckily, Grandmama knows just what to do...
What I Think: I know I recognized this title and I'm sure I had read it before, but I didn't remember much about it until I read it last week. Yesterday, I took my son to kindergarten orientation. We met his teacher and put away all of his school supplies. It was actually a fun experience being a parent as opposed to a student or a teacher after all these years. I have to say I was choked up a few times but I did not shed any real tears. As his mom, I know how articulate and how much of a chatterbox my kiddo can be, but I also know how easily he clams up with new people or new situations. Once he warms up, he's okay, but he usually does get shy. Before going to school, we read this book and I gave him two new blankets that I crocheted for him. He loves crocheted blankets and sleeps with them. He calls them "eehee" which is what my husband called his blanket when he was young. I made him a blanket and then I made him a mini-eehee that he could put in his pocket or in his backpack. He loved it. I'm fairly confident he won't have the same experience that the girl in this book does, but I love that through books, we can recognize the fact that new experiences can be scary and hard sometimes. By giving him his little eehee, I hope it's like giving Dumbo his feather. He doesn't need it and he'll be fine without it, but I showed him how much I care and that I will be thinking about him. It's hard to really show him that I will be thinking of him in a concrete way - but this does just that. It ties him to home and his family.
     Building a rapport and developing a community in a classroom or a school is crucial. I know teachers work hard towards this but I'm realistic about the fact that kids in a classroom are still one of many and that the love they feel from home is different from the caring they feel from school. I love this book because it does acknowledge the feelings kids might be feeling knowing they are away from home. This book brings these feelings to the forefront and gives us an opportunity to talk about them and discuss how to deal with them.
Read Together: Pre-K - 3 
Read Alone: 2 - 5 
Read With: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Pete the Cat and His School Shoes by Eric Litwin, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Snatch of Text:  
"Once there was a little girl who owned a ticky-tacky
doll. It was ticky, her mother said, because Grandmama
had made it from sewing scraps. And it was tacky
because pieces of cloth hung from it like soft bits of hair."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative, Descriptive, Imagery
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when someone or something helped you feel brave.

Topics Covered: Family, New Experiences, School, Fear, Courage

I *heart* It:



Title: The Kissing Hand  
Author: Audrey Penn 
Illustrator: Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak 
Publisher: Tanglewood Press 
Publication Date: January 1993 
Genre/Format: Fiction/ Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children's classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp. It is widely used by kindergarten teachers on the first day of school. Stickers at the back will help children and their parents keep their Kissing Hand alive. 
What I Think: Last year, I challenged Kellee to read and review some of my favorite picture books and The Kissing Hand was among my all-time favorites. While I adore The Ticky-Tacky Doll, it is a different kind of story. The Kissing Hand focuses on going to school for the first time and about leaving home and being away from parents. It's a little bit more general than The Ticky-Tacky Doll, even though it's along the same lines. It also tugs the heartstrings of kids and adults alike. Last night, my husband and I gave Peanut his own copy. We had each written letters to him on the cover pages of the book. We told him how proud of him we are and how excited we are to hear about how great school is for him. As I was reading my letter to him, I saw that he had covered his face with his blanket. I stopped reading and had to ask him if he was okay. He said he was sad because it was so nice and then he started crying. He reminds me completely of me. He's a very a sensitive and really sweet kid. I'm so happy for this book because it lets my peanut see that others might feel the same way, that it's okay, and then gives him a way to feel okay about it. Again, it makes the idea of love, which is abstract, into something more concrete. It also helps me, as his mom, feel better knowing that he has a way to know that I'm thinking about him even when we are are miles apart. 
Read Together: Pre-K - 3 
Read Alone: 2 - 5 
Read With: The Ticky Tacky Doll by Cynthia Rylant, Pete the Cat and His School Shoes by Eric Litwin, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Snatch of Text:  
     "Mrs. Raccoon took Chester by the hand
and nuzzled him on the ear.
     'Sometimes we all have to do things we
don't want to do, 'she told him gently. Even
if they seem strange and scary at first. But you
will love school once you start.'"
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative 
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you had to try something new or do something you were scared of.  
Topics Covered: Family, New Experiences, School, Fear, Courage
I *heart* It:

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