Cover Stories–and What’s Inside

What a lot the three- and four-year-olds at the day care have to teach me!

I offered them a choice of five stories yesterday, but we only had time to read four before they became restless. The one that didn’t get picked was written by a renowned husband and wife author team. I talked about the stories each time I let a child choose–why did this one get left out?

I think I might have the answer. The authors’ names are at the top, over the title, and the names and book title are in a fairly large box, over 1/3 of the cover. Threes and fours don’t read much. The cover picture is full of activity in an interesting setting, but it’s done in lovely pastels.

I’ll have to try a different way to get this interesting story chosen, maybe by putting it with stories the children have already heard.

So, what did they pick? I believe Woof and the Haunted House by Danae Dobson was first. The house on the cover looks haunted too, especially against the garish orange sunset.

When I introduced this book I explained that I didn’t like spooky stories, but I liked this one because it had a happy ending.

I remember the doubt on one little boy’s face. Could he trust me or not?

Turned out he could. This is another “telling” story, too complicated to read to such little ones, and the children got right into it.

Self-Control by Henrietta Gambill and Caring by Jane Belk Moncure were also chosen. I was a little surprised at this, but I shouldn’t have been. They’re older books (1982 and 1980), but young children wouldn’t notice that. The cover pictures are simple, clear and bright.

I was impressed with how engaged the children were with the text, as it doesn’t tell a story. Rather, the books give examples:
“Letting someone else take the biggest piece of candy takes self-control.”
“Caring is wrapping your coat around a friend on a chilly day.”

I think they talk about these behaviours at the day care, and perhaps some of the children go to Sunday School as well.

The fourth book chosen, The Unplanned Voyage by Barbara Davoll, has writing on half the front cover, but the picture is brighter than that of the book that wasn’t chosen. The plot is relatively complex, but it was easy to tell the story using the lovely bright pictures of Christopher Churchmouse and his little family.

I’m scheduled for another reading tomorrow morning–what else will I learn?

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