Monday, November 26, 2012

Ten on the Sled

Genre: Fiction, Picture Book
Suggested age:  2 -10 (and any fun-loving teen, tween, or adult!)
Author: Kim Norman
Illustrator:  Liza Woodruff
ISBN: 9780545383141
Publisher:  Scholastic  2011

“On a sunlit night, ‘neath a snowy moon, there was ONE on the sled, then TWO, but soon……”
Taking a cue from the melodic and catchy song, There were Ten in the Bed, Kim Norman has written a positively sweet and whimsical story that is bound to delight readers of all ages!

In the Northern wilderness, ten frolicking animals engage in a wild sled ride down a mountain.  As they gain speed, animals begin slipping, whirling, hopping, flipping, squeezing out of the sled until Caribou is the only one left!  And since sledding is more fun with friends, Caribou invites them all back on for another run, “and a little more fun in the moonlit land of the midnight sun.”

It took one quick flip through this book to make me realize that it wouldn’t be enough borrowing this book from the library.  Ten on the Sled needed to have a permanent home on our family’s bookshelf.  Not only did I see the potential for cozy, cuddly read alouds in front of our wood stove through the long winter, but the classroom applications to blend Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts through this book are only limited by your own imagination!  Imagine having students recreate this book with animals found in the savannah or rainforest, hitting your oral language learning outcomes with students sharing their stories.  Reader’s Theatre takes on even greater joy when students are performing their own creations while playing around with new adjectives that tickle their tongues!

This book's allure comes not only from the literary merits of Norman’s writing, but also from the talent of Liza Woodruff, shown in her illustrations that truly bring Norman’s rhymes to life.  Woodruff’s watercolour illustrations catch the enthusiasm of the animals as they ride.  Despite this being a print, non-animated picture book, the illustrations artfully manage to depict the swift speed in which the sled is moving with tottering snowmen (errr, snowfoxes), birds taking flight with fright, and seals spilling out of the sled all in front of a backdrop on snowy mountains and, of course, the Northern Lights.

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