Monday, February 27th, 2012

Do You Ever DEAR? Drop Everything and Read?

The National Education Association celebrates Read Across America annually on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2, but the local elementary schools are celebrating all this week.

Today, the kids started the program with a reading of The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, and at random intervals throughout the day, they had to DEAR: Drop Everything and Read.

Part of the fun was loudly dropping one’s pencil on the desk to clatter, and scootching out your chair to go find a book.

(Personally, I would love it if the boss called out intervals of “DEAR” at work on occasion. I think it would make the work day much more relaxed.)

I’ve been invited to read to a class of first graders tomorrow. I’m so excited!

I was asked to read my favorite children’s book, which, unfortunately is probably too long and too scary, for first graders. I speak of Patricia Coffin’s The Gruesome Green Witch. It’s a treasure unto itself: written and illustrated in green ink.

Instead I’ve chosen to read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.

Had I thought about it longer, I might have read, Ferdinand, by Munroe Leaf. I adore this story.

I love them both, so I’m equally pleased to read one or the other.

Do you have a favorite book? Do you ever DEAR? Do tell!

(And just for completeness’ sake, here’s the cover of Patricia Coffin’s The Gruesome Green Witch.)

6 comments to Do You Ever DEAR? Drop Everything and Read?

  • Sue

    How nice of you to take the time to read at school. And how lucky the children are to have to read to them. I know you are going to hold their attention and make the story real for them. Yes, I too often DEAR–have done it for years. Not so much when I was working, but it is probably my greatest pleasure. I don’t know how DEAR is going to be effected now that hubby is going to be around the house during the day!

    • Hi Sue! It was a good time. I’m glad I had the opportunity.

      Lots of fun to see those beaming faces looking up at you from their seats on the floor.

      As for DEAR: the secret to having more DEAR time when the hubby is home is to look up blankly from the book when interrupted and assume an expression of impatience (or irritation, if that works better). Usually, the interrupter will get the hint. Eventually, he or she will refrain from interrupting your DEAR time. I find this works great on the weekends. 🙂

  • Hi Kelly,

    Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of DEARing a lot. While this is great because it means I read, it’s bad because it means I don’t do the other stuff I’m supposed to be doing, like work (and writing). I have very little self-control when it comes to books and tend to try to finish what I start on the same day, so I usually have to stick to bringing home only one book at a time or else things don’t get done.

    By the way – The Gruesome Green Witch looks awesome! I actually think you could get away with it; I remember the teacher reading us a book in second grade about a witch who turned a bunch of children into food while their mother was out and was going to eat them if the mother couldn’t sort out who was who. The mother got everything sorted out in the end, but had to cut off her own feet just to get into the house to save her kids.

    A. R.

  • My hat’s off to you for reading to the first graders! Good luck! Years ago I did the same thing. My children’s school did a reading event at night. I read Dr. Seuss’ book, McElligot’s Pool. What a great message for young children about pursuing their own dreams even if the elder authorities say they’re being foolish.

    I have never read The Gruesome Green Witch, but I do recall Ferdinand and the Mike Mulligan story. Both are great!

    • Hi Steve!

      McElligot’s Pool is a classic! I love that one. (Actually, I love all Dr. Seuss’ books. I have them all….even the one’s for really young kids like Hop on Pop!)

      The Gruesome Green Witch isn’t so classic, but an excellent read nonetheless. (The main characters are girls, so, it may not mean so much to yourself….)

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