Monday, September 6, 2010

Marvelous Picture Books

Greetings current students and former students of the study of Children's Literature! I believe that anyone who has ever taken a class with me has fallen in love with Mem Fox and her marvelous picture book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. I start every first class of the semester reading the book and asking my students what they would put in their own baskets.

I am so fortunate to include Mem as a friend. We were once a young author and a young professor! We think that is was about 25 years ago when we first met, but I am not sharing that photo with you. Late in June, we reunited and Mem claims we look a lot better now!
Please be sure to check out Mem's wonderful website It is the BEST author website I have seen. I remember when Mem visited Nashville 25 years ago, a child told her that Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge was his favorite book. Mem asked him how old he was. "Six," he replied. And Mem's response? "Great. I wrote the book for people between the ages of three and 93....and six is in there!"
The same applies to her website. I have shared it with people between the ages 3-80 (will continue looking for the 93 year old). So I know that you will enjoy her website as well!

Happy Reading!  Ann


  1. I first was introduced to Mem Fox's wonderful books while teaching at the University of Guam in the western Pacific. Her books were very popular in Guam's schools, partly because she is an amazing writer and storyteller (who partners with fabulous illustrators) and partly because she lives in Australia and thus shares some aspects of Pacific life. My personal favorite? Koala Lou (I do love you!).

  2. Hi Dr. Neely (Do I get to say that here, since this is for class?!) and class!

    I love the site and all the reviews of children's books. I think this could be a great resource. As a SECOND year SECOND grade teacher, I am looking for professional sites like this that are easy to read, quick, and relevant. I love hearing how great a book is for it's reading value- we know how important that is- and what's new out there.

    I would challenge your students to find something special that teachers can use to teach from the book. For instance, if they notice a lot of figurative language, let us know that, so we can pull a WONDERFUL example and teach from children's literature (instead of those crummy old language books and- prepare yourselves- basal readers.) Make it meaningful, make it practical!

    As a Vanderbilt alumna x2, I cannot stress the importance of getting the most bang for your buck. We want to use GOOD, QUALITY literature in our classrooms- I'm working to have some mentor texts for EVERYTHING I have to teach- READING, LANGUAGE ARTS, WRITING, MATH, SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES, & BUILDING THAT ALL-IMPORTANT CLASSROOM COMMUNITY!

    Don't do something because it's an assignment for a class. Rather, imagine yourself as the facilitator of a child's learning in a few years... what will you USE?

    Happy Reading!

    PS- Do you subscribe to the Choice Literacy Blog/Newsletter? The wonderful Emily Huff introduced me to it last year. It usually has some good literature teaching points. I would highly recommend it for you & all of your students. :)

  3. PPS- I'm loving seeing Taylor-Baylor as one of the pictures! I love that little guy!