Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Golden Rule

The Book Fair is being held at school this week.

"Who has money?" asks the librarian, and like a kid, I raise my hand. Books do that to me. I have a twenty dollar bill in my pocket, and a plan to buy a book for my son, one for my classroom, and one for me. I can't wait to browse. "Don't open a book unless you intend to buy it!" the librarian warns.

"This one sounds interesting!" and "I'd love to read this one" and "Oh! I have to get this one!" are my attempts at getting the kids to feel what I feel when surrounded by books. Some of the books, well - I open them, hold them up to my nose, and smell them. My students are used to this. I love the way new books smell. Fresh, new, clean, hopeful, possible.

There are so many, I want them all. But I hold back. Better to go back later. Then, Mr. B, a fellow teacher and one of the friendliest folks at school, points to this silly-looking book, telling me he owns it. I open it and smile, inside and out.

Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller is a book about manners. A family of otters moves into the neighborhood, and Mr. Rabbit wonders how they'll get along. The illustrations and captions are both amusing and cute. There are several playful expressions and "ways of saying" things that I find useful for my English language learners.

I love this book. I bought it for my students and myself. We can talk in class about how to treat others, what to expect from others, how to live by example. I might even have my students create their own "How to treat others" books.

I would give a copy of this book to each of my colleagues, if I could. But I wouldn't give one to Mr. B. He already knows how to treat otters.


Danielle said...


You introduced me to your blog and I am loving everything I read. Last night, I read many entries and was hooked. What a treat to find another entry this morning!!!! Well I am now off to the bookstore to find this treasure.


Laura - Whateverebay said...

The title is catchy and I cannot wait to get it. Its on my list for the weekend. I look forward to reading this with my kids. :)