I have a belief that I regularly get into arguments about.
I believe that all kids can love reading.
I believe that ALL kids can love reading.
It happens when kids stop thinking of reading as reading (snore) and they start finding great stories.
When they want to know the ending of those stories, they become readers.
I also think kids will fight and struggle to find out the meaning of words if they think their efforts will be rewarded with humor or meaning or love or adventure.
I have the privilege of working once a week with a boy who should be in fifth grade but is reading on a kindergarten level for a number of reasons. I won't go into what those reasons are or why the school system has failed him, but it has, and he's been told again and again and again that he can't read.
This boy can read. It's a struggle. He reads slowly, but he's also afraid to get the words wrong. I can see it when he looks up at me to make sure he's gotten something right.
He is afraid. He has no confidence.
But when I read ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT to him the other day, he couldn't get enough of that book, and he asked if I would leave it with him.
Why? Many books by Laurie Keller are jam-packed with tiny little side-notes in goofy handwriting, and pretty much all of them are funny. This boy wanted to find out what every one of those tiny side-notes said. And he was going to read those side-notes to himself the best he could, struggling to find out the meaning of those words.
He is motivated to read because of this great story. He is motivated to read because of the fabulous humor in the story. And he is no longer afraid, because he is not being labeled "bad reader." No one is judging his reading ability at all.
That's what ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT can do for a kid.
For all ages!
A deliciously imaginative story about friendship—from the author / illustrator of The Scrambled States of America.
Arnie was fascinated as he watched the customers stream into the bakery. One by one, doughnuts were chosen, placed in paper bags, and whisked away with their new owners. Some went by the dozen in giant boxes.
“Good-bye!” Arnie yelled to each doughnut. “Have a good trip!”
“This is so exciting!” Arnie beamed. “I wonder who will choose ME?”
At first glance, Arnie looks like an average doughnut—round, cakey, with a hole in the middle, iced and sprinkled. He was made by one of the best bakeries in town, and admittedly his sprinkles are candy-colored. Still, a doughnut is just a doughnut, right?
WRONG! Not if Arnie has anything to say about it. And, for a doughnut, he sure seems to have an awful lot to say. Can Arnie change the fate of all doughnuts—or at least have a hand in his own future? Well, you’ll just have to read this funny story and find out for yourself.