I have children's books to teach with, and they are wonderful. Most are witty beyond the level of the child reader, filled with delight for the adult reader. I never thought to sit down and start reading them on my own - until today. This morning, battling the icing roads, I ventured to the library to grab a backpack-ful of children's books.
My first read: The Ghosts of Luckless Gulch by Anne Isaacs. This is a delightful tall-tale. Here is some of what I like about the book:
- Great one-liners:
- "It's stranger than a square tomato!"
- "It's odder than a skunk selling perfume."
- Awesome exaggeration
- a man so thin he rented himself out as a pencil
- a man so scrawny he couldn't cast a shadow
- ants so big they can pull a stagecoach
- Oddball characters
- a sheep as strong as an elephant
- a horse who likes to climb hills
- a dog who bounces like a rubber ball
- a gang of singing ghostly gold-diggers
- the fastest running girl in the west
- Lots of concepts that kids will miss
- sign posted by ghosts:
- "You don't stand a ghost of a chance."
- "Dead Man Mine"
- towns with names like Poverty Town, Destitution Ridge, Pig Wallow, Last Chance, Lost Cause, Doom City, Busted Flat, and Dead Broke
- Challenging vocabulary
- destitution, prospector, hasty, varmints, quarrel, commenced, spectacles
The Ghosts of Luckless Gulch is a fun story, and I tried to read it for pure enjoyment. It is so rich for teaching that I could not help but see all the possibilities. I may have to hang on to this one for a read-aloud this last full week of classes before winter break.