As, I used my 33% off coupon at Borders to day to buy, Back to Bed, Ed! the gentleman at the register (who told me was a former school librarian) commented about how much he loved the illustrations in this book. I couldn't help but feel the same way as when I first eyed the book a few weeks ago.
Being purposeful and opinionated about what books we like and dislike is so important to model for our students (as well as be able to support why or why not). I also love to make further connections to the work of authors and illustrators that I enjoy. I think it is important to model this when introducing first reads to students. So I searched for more to see what connections I could make to Sebastien Braun. I found out that Sebastien Braun has a wonderfully creative website that features his library (published work), his studio (his work in progress) and his loft (selections of his past work). He also has a 3-D link that features his pieces along with the mediums he used. I can't help but think about how kids could use website for art mentor ideas (I am thinking of my own sons who would love to create with recycled wood and acrylic paint).
Also, after perusing his site, I realized that I own another title he has written. So tomorrow I will also make known Meeow and the Big Box, which is in our cat book basket. I am happy to find out that Sebastien Braun wrote Meeow and the Big Box along with two other books in the" Meeow" series ( Meeow and the Little Chairs and Meeow and the Blue Table). So, I went right to the library to reserve them. The kids will not only find excitement in the one new book that I display but they will form connections with other books or ideas that we are thinking about. With these subtle connections, the excitement, learning and reading become heightened in the classroom.
Finally to why Back to Bed, Ed will be perfect for first graders:
First, Ed is young (preschool) like my students and often wants to sleep in his parents bed and many will likely have connections to this (go here for a quick synopsis of the story).
Second, the story will be a great independent read for some of my already transitional readers who need the thinking scaffolds that a picture book has to offer them.
Last, since this book has such a distinct character, I will put Ed's copied picture up on our rime wall. This word wall (really just an area on my cupboards) is delineated with the vowels. It helps me help kids build on many word concepts (we build words from common rimes, we talk about how versatile vowels are in our language (did you know the letter a makes like 31 sounds?), we learn the common "chunks" or rimes that are associated with the short and long vowels, I use it for guided writing to help make connections to sounds and rimes kids are learning with my help and kids use it during writing workshop to make connections to words they are writing independently). It is a very used wall of cupboards. This wall is in addition to our high frequency word wall that I have on the back of magnetic bookshelves. Ed will
help kids remember the "hard to remember" sound commonly known as short e (my own second grade son still struggles knowing what to write when he hears this sound).
Building connections in simple ways helps kids remember and understand. Why not use the authenticity of a picture book to help us teach everything about reading, writing and understanding words!
(here is part of our rime wall with Cat the Cat from Mo Willems' popular series and Jet (a little dog) from Joey and Jet by James Yang, another fun series my kids enjoy)