Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shelfreading - 2

Shelfreading is a weekly personal meme that I created in order to showcase, remember, and reflect on the books on my shelves.

See, I don't buy books. Hardly ever. I'm very particular about what books I keep. The books on my shelves all have some meaning, some memories attached to them. Here I'll share them, a few books at a time.

This week's theme is Dr. Seuss since we celebrated his 106th birthday this past Tuesday, which is also the day of the annual Read Across America.

Honestly, I've never been much of a Dr. Seuss fan. I don't have fond memories of his books from my childhood. I'm sure I had some exposure to them in school, but they were not favorites. It wasn't until I became interested in elementary teaching that I inevitably encountered Dr. Seuss. The picture below was taken at a local bookstore, six or seven years ago in my college days, of me reading Fox in Socks, with a stack of Dr. Seuss on me.

Sue sews rose 
on Slow Joe Crow's clothes.
Fox sews hose
on Slow Joe Crow's nose.

Hose goes.
Rose grows.
Nose hose goes some.
Crow's rose grows some.
Even still today, I don't understand the fascination with his books. They're nonsensical tongue-twisters that would drive a child learning to read insane. But I know that it's not about making sense of the text but instead about learning to make the sounds. In fact, on my edition of Fox in Socks, I have this note on the front cover:
This is a book you READ ALOUD to find out just how smart your tongue is. The first time you read it, don't go fast! This Fox is a tricky fox. He'll try to get your tongue in trouble.
So, back to the shelfreading aspect of this post - I do have Fox in Socks and The Foot Book on my shelf. They were probably both purchased at a library book sale because I felt that every aspiring elementary teacher should have some Dr. Seuss books. I think I had an obsession with socks at the time, so my selections seem appropriate.

However, I do wish that I owned another Dr. Seuss book - Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now! One summer, I tutored a first grade girl - she was having trouble reading, so her mother said to me. The real trouble, I thought, was that she was a bundle of energy and had no attention span whatsoever. Sitting down and reading a book was not an option. I tried various approaches with her and found the one that worked best was a reader's theatre of sorts of this particular Seuss book. We first read the book together - I read one page, she read the next - with the enticement that once we finished reading together, I would read it to her, and she would act it out. Oh, how much fun we had! And I learned a valuable lesson - children will learn to read at their own pace, but they must first have the motivation to do so.

So, those are my Dr. Seuss memories. What Seuss memories do you have?



Peaceful Reader said...

I loved reading Green Eggs and Ham to my little brothers long ago!

readwhatyouknow said...

I love a few of his books. I remember reading "Green Eggs and Ham" aloud to my sister. (We're two years apart.) Laura demanded that I read it as "green eggs and spam." She would collapse into giggles every time.

Mama Librarian said...

We read Dr. Seuss a lot at my house. My daughter loved Have I Ever Told You How Lucky You Are?, One Fish Two Fish... and Green Eggs and Ham. My son is digging Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? and The Foot Book. My personal favorites are the Horton books.

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