Author Ryan T. Higgins is hysterical. I mean unexpected, fall-down-laughing hysterical. His two children’s books are favorites in my classroom. The storyline is a grumpy old bear who likes eggs, and what happens is imaginative and funny. I read Mother Bruce to all my fellow staff at school and they laughed, out-of-control laughing. It was hard to rein them in.
Here’s the twist; Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce appeal to both children and adults. That makes it a delightful read for parents and their children. I remember watching The Muppets on TV with our kids. This show appealed to both children and adults (the two old men in the balcony is a case in point). Therefore, families watched it together. If a book is good enough to appeal to both, that’s a brass ring. Parents will want to read the book aloud, and children will benefit from far more than just a good story.
That benefit is vocabulary!
This is the single most important item to ensure that a child will succeed in all subject areas in school. All areas! The more words a child hears, the better s/he will do in school. Period. Wow!
That fact changed my life in teaching.
I have always loved reading books to children, and then I took the next step; I made sure books in the classroom were front-facing, I read stories with a passion, stopping at every ‘new word’. That was brilliant. We looked up those words in the dictionary (yes, in the middle of reading the story). I read a story at least twice a day, and also whenever a child wanted to read.
Yes, they wanted to read. Books were everywhere in my classroom. The more we read together, the more we wanted to read. And, the better the children performed. Morning Meetings became long, sometimes over fifteen minutes, because we had important things to learn- geography, math, science experiments, instruments, famous artists, poetry… there was so much to learn and reading books gave children the focus and vocabulary to absorb it all.
That is powerful and cements why I do what I do.
The vocabulary words in Mother Bruce and Bruce Hotel that children were eager to learn are: victim, stern, pesky, migration, creative, reluctantly, hibernate, rodents, commotion, and translator. My children are three and four years old. I doubt many children of this age learn these words.
Thank you Ryan T. Higgins for quality literature that appeals to all ages. Good literature is my tool to make a difference.