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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

A remarkable marker

June 13, 2008

I remember when my son was in preschool. His teacher was very excited when he brought in his favorite book — and then 'read' it (verbatim) to the other kids.

The book was Where the Wild Things Are (HarperCollins), his maximum favorite book for a long, long time — and obviously one that had been read aloud to him innumerable times.

It's amazing to learn that Maurice Sendak recently turned 80 years old.

It's even more amazing to think about the impact that his Wild Things have had on generations of children — and that influence continues to be felt in tangible ways.

A movie of Where the Wild Things Are may be released next year (Fall 2009). The Gene Deitch film (for Weston Woods) is on YouTube. The characters have been on stage, in commercials, and made into soft toys.

Most important, children still respond to the book. (I guarantee that this book is as fresh and timely today as it was in 1963 when it was first published. I read it regularly!)

And all because Sendak and his childhood — presented in this seemingly simple, highly imaginative and satisfying picture book — are truly timeless, ageless.

Amazing. Do you or your children have a recollection of a special book or story? Share with our readers why it's so memorable.


A favorite book of mine and the youngsters I work with is: Herbert the Tadpole in the Big Change by Michael Bodrogi. K-3/Easy Reader. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, the story is written in rhyme, which captures the readeres attention. The story focuses on growth and change and the uncertainty it creates. As Herbert and his friends develop into frogs, they begin to see the positive side of growth and change. This is especially of value to young children, as they get a new hair cut, lose teeth and grow new ones, gain weight, build muscles, and so on. The author also has Fun Facts at the end of the book for enrichment discussions. Valerie Allen, Ed.D.

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"If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book." —

J.K. Rowling