Saturday, June 16, 2012

Reading Fun to End the School Year

School is out! This week has been a whirlwind of activity – class parties, field trips and visiting pets. My speech groups ended last week so I had a chance to pop into a few classrooms and share a new book. I had a pleasant surprise on my doorstep Wednesday after school – Tons of Trucks, a new book by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Betsy Snyder. It arrived just in time to share with students before our summer vacation. It was a hit.

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

The rhythm and rhymes in this book are a pleasure to read,

 “Tons of trucks,
before our eyes,
in every color, shape,
and size!
Strong trucks
Big trucks
Scoop and dig trucks!
Old trucks
New trucks
ARMY CREW trucks.”

Every page has a moveable part: a flap to lift, a tab to pull (revealing top secrets in the army truck), and a spinning wheel to turn the tank of a cement truck. It ends with a hushed evening scene where sleepy travelers pull into a rest stop. Young listeners may find the restful ending a nice way to end their day.

I read this book to a few kindergarten classes and they were enthralled. When I asked the first class how they liked it, they gave a loud cheer. (That’s always a good sign even though it is not a behavior teachers encourage.) In the next room, the students said the book was “fantastic,” “great,” and they “loved it.” In the resource room, one student felt Buttons, the resource rat, should have a chance to see the book and so he did.

Abby thought Lucky, the goat visiting her classroom, should have a turn and so we took the book to room 44. She read to Lucky and a classroom of lucky students who were sitting at her feet.

We didn’t want to leave any visitors out and so our resource specialist, Beth Kirkley, read the book with Lucy on her lap. Look how captivated that puppy is!

This book doesn’t need cute kids and animals to make it adorable. It is that all on its own. The illustrations are bright and engaging. The opportunities to interact with the story made it all the more appealing to our students. For younger kids, it introduces vocabulary and concepts: shapes, colors, and contrasts such as “in and out,” “open and close,” “up and down” and others.

It isn’t easy to tell who is more excited about summer vacation, the students or the teachers (or maybe the class pets.) But we’ll all carry with us good memories of the school year and memories of some great books. I’ll be exploring more over the summer and when the students return, I’ll be ready with a truckload. Perhaps a haul truck, filled to the brim with books.


  1. What a great little book. I love the words and letter sounds in the selection you posted. I can see how much fun kids would have saying them. I've signed up in the blank over on the right to get e-mail notices every time you post a new blog piece. Looking forward to the next one!


  2. I can't wait to pick up my copy!

  3. I think you are going to be glad you did.