Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Blogging Challenge - What Book Made the Biggest Impact on Your Life?

Rain Makes Applesauce, by Julian Scheer, is hands down my choice for the book that has made the biggest impact on my life. I vividly remember going to the library in my small town on Saturdays with my Mama to check out picture books. We stumbled across this book on one of our trips and I'm quite certain we checked it out 10-15 times during my childhood. I can still feel the disappointment I experienced on the few weeks we wanted to check out the book only to find that someone else had beat us to it. I loved it because it made my Mama smile to read it's silly verse and we'd sit together for hours and look at the extraordinary illustrations. In looking back I know that this book is the one that "taught" me to use images to bring life to the words I read because even though the words didn't make sense the pictures created comprehension for me. As a result taking the time to create mental images and see the story as I read has became a gift (and a curse - slow reader) as I tackled the written word throughout my life. when I decided to become a teacher it is the first book I went out and bought for my classroom.

About the Book:
Rain Makes Applesauce is filled with seemingly nonsensical verse after verse of “silly talk” coupled with the repeating line “and rain makes applesauce” which at first sounds absurd but actually holds the only real truth found in the lyrical poem. The elegant and fanciful prose is perfectly suited to the equally as engaging illustrations found in this delightful book. The pictures are full of intricate detail designed to stretch the imaginations of the reader. It is only under closer observation that the reader discovers the surprising image on each page that mirrors the repeating line. In 1965 this book was chosen to receive the Caldecott Honor Medal.

Using the Book with My Faculty:
I chose Rain Makes Applesauce as our April 2008 Book of the Month because from time to time I think we all need to be reminded that it is important to look upon ideas and images with the wonderment and interest of a child. Just as a child may return to this book over and over again and each time see something new and interesting and different so must we in our work with students. We must be on the constant search for “new meanings, new images and new responses” to impact our instruction and our interactions with students. Our students are like the apple seeds in the beginning of this book. Knowledge for them must be planted carefully, cultivated and nurtured regularly. From time to time a storm will have to be weathered and understanding that even a little rain goes a long way towards producing a great result makes the journey pretty sweet in the end. Rain does indeed make applesauce and I’m not just talking silly talk!


Anonymous said...

I distinctly remember the sound of your voice as your read your favorite book at BOM. I did not know the depth of the connection that you shared with the book at the time, but the way it sounded when read was definitely different,calming and warm. It is amazing how we can remain touched by the written word for decades.

I had two favorite books. The first was the 1966 Encylopedia Britanica(OK, it was a bunch of books). I can remember coming home from kindergarten to my house in Gulf Breeze, Florida and picking out a volume to skim and scan. I still have several images from those books burned into my hard drive today. Volume "A" can still be found in my classroom. Geek to the core!

My other favorite was Harvey's Hideout, and it was a FICTIONAL picture book! It was a book full of wit, sarcasm, and sibbling rivalry. It seems quite obvious that the book has had no impact on my life at all! Really, you can ask my sister...


Cheryl Oakes said...

Susan, I am so happy your blog challenge popped up on my Twitter Feed. I read each challenge with eagerness. Nicely done! I too have joined the challenge, a connection self to world!
I am so glad Melanie put out this challenge. I have enjoyed writing each Saturday.
Plus!!! I just love your new theme for this school year. Glad I stopped in! Are you up for another appearance on SEEDLINGS? I promise you can choose the date, we won't travel with you on your spring break. :-)

Melanie Holtsman said...

I love that the book that made the biggest impact on your life is from your childhood. And I vividly remember you reading it to the faculty a few years ago. I could feel your emotion as you read it. I hope you get to read that book to your grandchildren one day!

KK Cherney said...

I am so happy you have chosen to share this precious picture book with the world and not just the faculty. It is one of those timeless, precious "reads" everyone should share with their little ones.

KK Cherney said...

The book that made an impact on my life wasn't just a was the a series. The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series rocked my world in 3rd grade and it has been a rich, literature journey ever since.