April 9, 2010

Gooney Bird Greene

See? This is why I'm going to love being a school librarian so much (if I can ever find a job). Here's a little masterpiece published in the years between my working at the bookstores and having a seven-year-old that picks cool books from the book fair. Yes, I'd heard of this title but just hadn't had one of my own students bring it up. This kind of new-to-me review will probably be a regular occurrence on this blog as I catch up with children's literature.

A masterpiece, as I've stated. Gooney Bird just happens to be an excellent storyteller who moves into Mrs. Pigeon's second grade class on a Wednesday in October just as said class is discussing what makes a good story. Her first telling, aptly enough, is "How Gooney Bird Got Her Name." There are many more.

She has a thing about stretching the meanings of words in her titles but promising that "I tell only absolutely true stories." For example, "How Gooney Bird Came from China on A Flying Carpet" is about her family moving from a small town named China and the "flying carpet" turns out to be more like falling...with style. It's part of the delight of the tales.

Now this is, of course, perfect read-aloud and it has the added bonus of making a great introduction to storytelling and narrative writing. I just hope teachers don't beat it to death and take all the lighter-than-air joy out of it. (It's been known to happen).

Now I need to go catch up with all of the equally wonderful sounding sequels!