Children's Literature - Angela OlkeyIt is the first day of school for Otis and Taylor, but it is not going well. Otis was able to get new clothes and school supplies, but Taylor still wears his old sneakers and does not have new notebooks. Several students begin to tease Taylor, which makes Otis stand up for him by telling the other kids to stop. Their teacher notices the fight and has a discussion with at first Otis and Taylor and then later with the entire class. The students are asked to look up in the dictionary what the word tease means, and then they discuss the Native American tribe called the Tree People. These people only told nice things about others, never teased. The teacher creates a Tree People tribe using the students' writings about nice things each of them has done. This would be a good text to use in conjunction with a character education program and is also a part of the "We Both Read" series where adults and children take turns reading different parts.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 2-This "shared reading" series features one page of text for skilled readers and a facing page of simpler text for beginners. Taylor! targets grades 1-2. Otis describes his first day of school and his efforts to get classmates to stop teasing his best friend. Their teacher intervenes and initiates class discussion. She tells a story about The Tree People, an imaginary native tribe that practices the tradition of the Magic Circle, where participants state positive comments for each member. The class is asked to prepare for their own Magic Circle. Distinguished, realistic paintings provide contextual clues. Car Trip is lighter fare for kindergarteners, featuring a boy and his family. The page of longer text is written in rhyme and leads the child to complete it with a rhyming word or two. The bold, watercolor illustrations clearly depict the story. While some of the rhymes are a bit forced, the approach is a tremendous confidence builder as new readers share this excursion filled with fun, love, and interesting plot twists. Both are useful additions to school and public libraries.-Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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