Thursday, May 14, 2009

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything

I brought back a book from the convention in Minneapolis that I just love. I have been reading it to anyone who cared to listen this week. The kindergarten class at False Creek loved it, Marilyn's grade one class loved it as did Dana's grade fours. I heard some author say the secret of writing is asking," What if?" And this is just what this book does. What if instead of balloons the dentist was giving away dinosaurs? What if you went to the movies instead of butter you got a dinosaur? That is the premise of Elise Broach's When Dinosaurs Came with Everything.
Beautifully told and beautifully illustrated by one of my favourite illustrators, David Small (who is married to another wonderful writer, Sarah Stewart). Elise was at the convention but I wasn't familiar with her work so that I missed hearing her speak.
I am always amazed by how much little kids know about dinosaurs...

Another book I picked up at the conference was Teaching Young Writers to Elaborate: Mini-lessons and Strategies That Help Students Find Topics and Learn to Tell More by Megan S. Sloane who has spoken in Vancouver a couple of times. This is an excellent book and I couldn't think of how When Dinosaurs Came with Everything is such a good illustration of this, a great mentor text. Although it says Megan's book is designed for writers in grades one to three it's easily usable for older writers. it's such an accessible book with great ideas. She has a brand new book from Heinemann as well, Into Writing: The Primary Teacher's Guide to Writing Workshop

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