Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Marc Brown - November 25

Happy Birthday Marc Brown - November 25, 1946

Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Birthday, Marc Brown, the author and illustrator of numerous books including the popular series, Arthur. Many of you have probably heard of Arthur, either because of the books or his PBS TV show. Some may not know that he is an aardvark, a nocturnal mammal native to Africa that is often called an Earth Pig. According to Kidsread.com, the aardvark story idea came to Brown when he was telling stories to his son before bed. Over 30 years have passed since Arthur was first published and over those years he has lost his nose. I enjoyed showing my students the early Arthur books and having them compare and contrast the current Arthur and the Arthur from 30 years ago. It can't hurt to pull out a Venn Diagram to help get thoughts down on paper. There is also a 25th Anniversary Book of Arthur's Nose that includes the original story plus additional information on how Arthur has evolved over the years.

In my experience, many kids want to learn more about aardvarks after seeing how Arthur used to look. So, even though most kids are thinking about turkeys right now it might be fun learn a little some facts about aardvarks. Check out this video of an aardvark on the TV show Meerkat Manor.

Marc Brown did write an Arthur book for the Thanksgiving holiday. I checked out Arthur's Thanksgiving this morning at my daughter's preschool. It caught my eye as I glanced over the Thanksgiving books in the reading corner. The book is about Arthur's struggles to find someone to play the turkey in the school play. As the director of the play, he ends up taking the roll that no one wanted so the show could be a success.

Last week I wrote about Marjorie Weinman Sharmat's birthday. I shared a book study that I used to assign to my fourth grade students. I was felt the students did better the second time around on an activity. Therefore, with the short holiday week I assigned a book study again. It fits because there were plenty of Arthur books to fit the variety of interests. Click here to download a copy of the book study.

Marc Brown was the illustrator for the books Wild About Books and Born to Read by Judy Sierra. These books are wonderful for showcasing the benefits of reading. Both books have lots of rhymes and are fun to read aloud. Of the two, I enjoy reading Wild About Books which is about a librarian that takes the bookmobile to the zoo. This trip opens up the world of books to the animals. My daughter always loves identifying many different types animals and this book is full of them.

I always feel as if I cram things in at the end of a blog entry. However, I don't want the post to be too long and I want to provide as many suggestions to celebrate the author's birthday as I can. I came across the DinoTales Series by Laurie Krasney Brown and Marc Brown. It is a series of books that cover issues that impact families. For example, there is Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Familiesand When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death. However, on a positive note, there was a rerelease of Browns' book Dinosaurs to the Rescue: A Guide to Protecting the Planet. The new title is Dinosaurs Go Green: A Guide to Protecting Our Planet. This book is great for our family as we are always trying to improve our choices to being more positive toward the environment.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families and friends.

Links:

3. Reading Rockets interview with Marc Brown
4. Arthur Book Lesson Plan Study Packet from Happy Birthday Author

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