Books that Inspire Young Authors


Every once in a while I come across a book that is so delightfully magical I simply cannot wait to share it with my students. This week I have not one, but TWO such delightful books, based on similar ideas. The first is Press Here by Herve Tullet and the second is Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson. As read-alouds, both books offer opportunities for student participation and are excellent resources for making predictions. In Press Here, the author commands the reader to tap on a single yellow dot in the middle of the page. When the page is turned…voila! A second yellow dot has appeared! The book continues in this vein, asking the reader to clap, blow, tip the book this way and that, until it ends where it started with one yellow dot. The first time I read this book was before lunch, and as the children lined up in the hall I head them exclaiming “You could write clap five times and draw five dots!” and “Yeah! And you can tap all the yellow dots and then make them blue!” They were writing their very own versions of the story! What an inspiring book for my young authors!

Tap the Magic Tree is essentially the same, except with an additional conceptual focus on the changes that occur across the seasons in one apple tree. This story tied in nicely to our Maple Tree Inquiry and discussions that have already been occurring about the fall changes in our community. Since the children were already thinking of ways to create their own versions of this story we set up a provocation at our classroom writing centre this week. What a busy centre this has been! Along with a copy of the book, our provocation included writing materials, newsprint for book pages, construction paper for a book cover, and a stapler. Several versions of Tap the Magic Tree have since appeared in our classroom and the children have been keen to have their classmates’ versions read to them during sharing time. What a wonderful opportunity this has been to create excitement around reading and writing in our classroom!

Image              Image

Do you have a book to recommend that helped inspire your young authors? I am always looking for the next great read-aloud!