Friday, December 11, 2009

An Edward Lear Alphabet by Vladimir Radunsky

This was an odd book and I cant really decide if I liked it or not. On one hand I am certain that students would like it given the nonsensical rhymes. On the other though is that the rhymes are just that, nonsense. I think I would have liked it better if the words were all real. For example, "N was once a little needle, Needly, Tweedly, Threedly, Needly Wisky wheedly little needle." Now to be fair, tweed is a word, but tweedly is not. I guess what I am trying to say is that this book would have been more successful for me personally if he had used it to teach students about the alphabet and rhyming words. It would have been more meaningful. The other thing that bothered me a little about this book were some of the letter examples. Some of them students would not know, though they could figure it out from the illustration- one possible upside to this book could be that it would help teach students to look at illustrations for text clues. One letter though that they probably wouldn't know or couldn't get unless they already knew it, would be U. "U was once a little urn, urny, burny, turny, urny, bubbly burny little urn." Okay so not only would you have to explain to students that an urn holds the remains of a person who was cremated after they died, you would have to explain cremation. No thank you. The idea of cremation is a little disturbing to me know as an adult, I really don't know how I would have felt about it elementary school, but it would have been similar. Also, could we look at the rhyming words here? "Bubbly burny?" Gross! So as far as alphabet books go, you could do better for sure.

Still, it would not be all bad to have in a classroom. As I mentioned above, students could use this book to learn about checking illustrations to figure out text meanings. In addition, students would probably enjoy the rhymes in a read aloud setting. Plus, even though the rhyming words aren't really words, they could still be used for pronunciation of letters.

The ages for this are tricky because on one hand, ages 3 to 6 is a range in which students could be learning the alphabet, but on the other hand, some of the words are uncommon at best and there is the whole urn debacle. Use your best judgement on this one I guess.

No comments:

Post a Comment