Monday, November 8, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

Title: St. Patrick's Day
Author: Anne Rockwell
Illustrations: Lizzy Rockwell
Genre: Multicultural Children's Picture Book
Age Level: Elementary
Rating: 5 Stars

I think that this story is the perfect book for a read aloud on St. Patrick's Day, no matter what the grade (within elementary school).  The story is about the students within a class giving presentations of various types to their classmates.  Within these presentations, the reader learns about Irish dances, foods, etc.  The main character is 100% Irish, and talks about his experience having an Irish family.  

When I first went searching for multicultural literature, I started steering towards stories that involved Asian culture, African-American culture, etc.  I think this was because I was searching for what I thought was cultures that varied greatly from my own.  Being a good portion Irish, white, and American, I was hesitant to pick up a book about a white boy living in America.  But as it turns out, this brought to my attention that I was overlooking a number of great multicultural reads.  There are so many cultures out there that we can educate our students on, and it is important to bring in a wide variety.

The illustrations in this book are full page pictures, with bright, bold colors, and a cartoon style.  They do a great job of illustrating what is going on in the text, which is helpful to students who may have trouble with context while reading.  Another interesting thing about this story to point out, is that the author and illustrator have the same last name- this leads me to believe that they are related, which sparked an idea for a fun classroom activity.  Students could write a story and have one of their siblings, guardians, or friends illustrate it, making a join piece of work.  This is something that could be done to parallel with the reading of this story in the classroom. 

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