My favourite book this week is a rollicking fun poem by children’s author, David Elliott, called And Here’s to You!
Title: And Here’s to You
Author: David Elliott
Illustrator: Randy Cecil
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2004
Intended Audience: Ages 4 – 8
Theme: Animals, Stories in Rhyme, Environment
Synopsis: A rhyming, celebratory book of creatures from birds to fish to cows to people and everything in-between. Every page is a new poem; an ode to an animal. All the poems follow the same format (see below). This is such a cheerful book and the bright and whimsical illustrations only add to the good feelings!
Here’s to the birds! The Feather People! Birds! Here’s to the who-o-o ones. The cock-a-doodle-doo ones. Their breasts as red as fire ones. The sitting on the wire ones. Oh, I love the birds!
Why I like this book: You already know this about me, but I love all animal books (unless they have sad endings) and this is just such a fun way to show appreciation for the creatures in our world, including the not-so-cute ones.
I love the way the author refers to the birds as “The Feather People”, the cows “The Giving People”, the dogs “The Dreaming People” etc. The understated message of acceptance and tolerance is perfect.
I also adore the bright crazy colours: pink and yellow skies, purple rivers, orange pastures.
I absolutely adore this book and highly recommend it for all young kids and the young at heart.
Classroom Connections: I read this book to my class today and they were quite enchanted with it. Of course, they tended to fixate on the bear page (“The Hungry People”) which led to a long discussion about how to react when faced with a wild bear. I googled their question and we found a great page:
1) What To Do If You See a Bear . This is an excellent article by Effortless Outdoors all about bear safety. It’s a very worthwhile read!
2) We also talked a lot about why it’s not okay to kill an animal just because you think it’s scary. Of course, that got us talking about different kinds of hunting (i.e., trophy versus need).
3) Here’s a fun writing follow-up: Have the kids choose an animal group and give it their own unique “people” name. Have them fill a page with a big bold bright painting and then attach their writing. You can use this writing template, if you like.
For example, they might choose elephants and write:
“Here’s to the Elephants!
The Trumpeting People!
4) There are loads of animal holidays you can check out. It would be fun to celebrate a few in the classroom throughout the year. In fact, today, as I update this post, is World Cat Domination Day!
5) Pick a favourite animal and write about all the ways you appreciate it.
6) Go home and show your pets how much you love them. Give them an extra hug, pat on the head, or treat.
Thank you for stopping by today!