Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Leo Lionni's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Leo Lionni!

I've read quite a few Leo Lionni books in my time and have several more on my bookshelf. However, I decided not to review any of those, but rather choose ones I haven't read, let alone heard of! The books are not only great for read-alouds, but also work perfectly for a variety of learning activities. Check out the Leo Lionni Teacher Packet!

Lionni, Leo.

Pezzettino, meaning "little piece" in Italian, is just that - a little piece who wonders who he belongs to, as all of his friends are much bigger and more colorful. Pezzettino goes around asking "Am I your little piece?" Over and over again, he receives a simlar answer. "How could I... if I had a missing piece?" Pezzettino is saddened at receiving this news over and over again, feeling unneeded. However, one day, after visiting Wise-one, Pezzettino realizes that he, too, is made up of little pieces, all of which make him complete and perfect the way he is!

This is a wonderful story. I think it would be great to use if you have a little one who is feeling they don't belong. Apparently, it's also the perfect book to use when teaching children about area, as the following lesson plans show! Now that I think about it, I definitely have to agree and you'll understand why by simply looking at the illustrations!

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities:

Lionni, Leo.
Tico and the Golden Wings.
1992 (1964).
Alfred A. Knopf.
Guided Reading Level: L

This book definitely reinforces and expresses the lessons to be learned from Leo Lionni's work! The lesson to be learned from Tico and the Golden Wings is that you can't judge a book by its cover! And by this, I mean, you can't judge a person (or a bird) by what you see on the outside, but rather by what they have to offer on the inside!

Tico was born without wings. His friends make up for the absence of his wings by helping him in any way they can - bringing him food so he doesn't go hungry! One night, a wishingbird agrees to grant Tico one wish. He wishes for a pair of golden wings. With his new wings, Tico sets out flying - above the trees, the river, the meadows. His friends quickly turn angry as they believe that Tico now thinks he is better than they are. However, Tico doesn't feel this way at all. In fact, he can't understand why his friends are angry with him all of a sudden. Tico, during his flights with his new wings comes across many people who are more in need of his golden wings than he is, and offers them each one of the golden feathers. Pretty soon, the plucking of the golden features leaves Tico with only black wings - ones that his friends are more accepting of. Once his friends realize that Tico isn't flaunting his new wings, they accept him back into their flock... but Tico realizes the truth - even though they may all look alike now, deep down, they are all different and all special in their own ways!

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.