Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading

Nancy Goldstone, Author, Lawrence Goldstone, Author Ballantine Books $13.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-8129-7028-9
The benefits of learning to understand rich, layered narratives extend ""far beyond the scope of fiction,"" say the authors, who lead a renowned book group for children and their parents at their small town library and who have written several other books on the subject of reading (Warmly Inscribed, etc.). Competing against Superbowl Sunday and countless other activities, their first attempt at a reading group was stacked against the odds. But because of their unusual ability to make reading fun and meaningful, their program has become a standard for parent-child reading groups around the country. This book, meant as a guide for those who want to set up their own reading clubs, offers a fantastic reading list beginning with Mr. Popper's Penguins for second graders and ending with The Time Machine for fifth graders. Many of the actual library sessions are discussed in detail, demonstrating the authors' terrific techniques for helping kids and parents see and debate the layers underlying the story, plot, characterizations, point of view and themes. ""The highlight of almost any discussion is the discovery of what the author has implanted at the core of the book,"" they say. A distinguished work full of humor and wisdom, their book suggests that by encouraging children to read and talk about the mystery of complex, substantial books, parents and teachers can greatly expand young peoples' worlds and ultimately their life choices. As a lesson in how to enrich child-parent relationships, this book is great.
Reviewed on: 05/02/2005
Release date: 05/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 124 pages - 978-0-307-41503-5
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