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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Kate McMullan - January 16

Happy Birthday Kate McMullan - January 16, 1947

The search was on at the beginning of January. I had another void in my lesson plans from when I celebrated author's birthdays in my fourth grade classroom. The void was because of the reading of Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. It took my fourth graders about 3 weeks to read the novel and complete the Shiloh packet of activities. I was frustrated in my search for an author to celebrate. It wasn't because there was a lack of author birthdays, but I was looking for an author that meant something to me and my family. After searching through webpage after webpage I got a feeling that I was getting close. I felt as if I was on the trail of a good idea. Then I saw Kate McMullan's name. I was so excited. She wrote 4 books with her husband Jim McMullan that I have been checking out at the library on and off for almost 1 year. My son just loves the books I Stink, I'm Dirty, I'm Mighty, and I'm Bad.

I Stink is a book about a garbage truck that could be described as tough or coarse. Throughout the book he describes himself (all the cool parts and the noises he can make), how he does his job, and how important he is to the community. The book has a great sequence because Kate McMullan fits in an alphabet lesson in the middle of the book when the garbage truck describes some of the trash he encounters. There is one garbage item for every letter of the alphabet. As a family we can actually go through the alphabet and name all the items for each letter including the kids favorites of D (dirty diapers) and P (puppy poo). One thing that really helped us appreciate this book more was listening to the audio recording. It really helped me to read the book in a much more entertaining fashion. There is also an animated version of the book available on DVD which is also well worth your time. I was able to find both at our local library.

The book I'm Dirty is very similar to I Stink, but the main character is a backhoe instead of a garbage truck. He is a little more friendly than the garbage truck too. The book is set up essentially the same. The backhoe describes himself, and shows us how he does his jobs. Instead of an alphabet lesson this book has a numbers lesson, counting from 1 to 10, in the middle of the book.

The last two books that my son loves by Kate McMullan are I'm Mighty and I'm Bad. I'm Mighty is about a little tugboat that is as tough as nails, but charming. I'm Bad is about a young Tyrannosaurus Rex that is unsuccessfully on the search for food without the help from his mother. All of these books that I have described are great read alouds. I have never grown tired of reading them to both of my children.

There is something for every age child when you celebrate Kate McMullan's birthday. For beginning readers there is the Fluffy Series and Pearl and Wagner. Those readers ready for chapter books there is the Dragon Slayers' Academy Series.

I don't think you will struggle to find a great book for this birthday celebration. Check out some of the links below for some great activities.

Here is my attempt at an "I Stink" cake to celebrate Kate McMullan's birthday!

Check Out Kate McMullan's Latest Book, I'm Big!


5. Neat Idea on YouTube - I Stink Lapbook

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