Monday, April 15, 2013

A Book on Perseverance.

I smiled on the inside when I received this email the other day from Creative Teaching Press:

The character trait for the month of April is perseverance, 
and I just so happen to have a book I want to share with you today!!

Vincent Maestro just published his first book, Aesop's 1st Book of Childhood Adventures.
The book is a collection of three different fables and provides a myriad of teachable moments and simple life lessons--the main theme being perseverance. 

The two main characters in this collection of fables are Aesop, a young raccoon, and his precious grandmother. Aesop is all kinds of curious about the world and his very favorite question is "why?" His grandmother will never give him an answer to his questions, though, and insists that he must find out for himself. In each fable, he ventures out to find an answer and ends up meeting familiar characters along the way (such as the tortoise and the hare!!). 

Each fable is written from the little raccoon's perspective, taking a refreshing spin on some familiar fables. Our primary kids will relate to Aesop's loyalty, bravery, and perseverance in this book because they'll be able to picture themselves as the curious little raccoon. 

Something that I find unique about this collection is that all of the fables have the same beginning and end--dialogue and everything. Before reading each story, I wasn't sure how I would feel about the "alikeness." Now, I LOVE it. The fables are really cohesive and the repetition is powerful, especially for our primary kiddos. 

To describe the book in three words, I would say that it is timeless, engaging, and meaningful. This book has a "classic" feel to it--a feel that many generations can appreciate. Kids will love relating to the young raccoon, and parents/grandparents will easily relate to the generational wisdom that is shared. The illustrations are just beautiful and it seems as this book has been around for ages. I love that!!

In speaking with Vincent and asking why he chose to write on the theme of perseverance, he described  Thomas Edison and his work to invent the light bulb--before he was able to figure out the right way to make a light bulb, he had to figure out 1000 wrong ways! Kids, parents, teachers, ((humans)) can relate to the feeling of trying and failing, but these fables remind us that failure is not an end. Failure is an invitation to persevere and try again--with more wisdom than the last time! 

I wish I could sit down with each of you over a cup of coffee and really, truly, deeply talk about character education and teaching life lessons in the classroom. Children's literature is a powerful way to engage our students and provides a setting for deep discussion. So many of our little ones aren't getting this kid of quality children's literature at home. And they need it (desperately). 

They need to know what it means to persevere, to be brave, and to stay loyal, and I cannot wait to use this book in my classroom to teach them those very things. Meaningful conversation and powerful teachable moments WILL happen. I know that my kids will love reading these fables just as much as I have (probably more!!), and I think that you would really love it, too.

Still unsure?

Check {here} to check out the book and other reviews on Amazon!

A copy of the book was donated to my classroom library for this review, but the opinions are very much my own. 

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