Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Heart Is Like a Zoo

A unique approach to representing emotions and feelings using animals familiar to children and creative artistic expression!

Hall, Michael.
My Heart is Like a Zoo.
December 2009.
HarperCollins Publishers.
Review copy provided courtesy of publishers.

Readers take a "virtual" trip to the zoo of sorts, exploring different zoo animals. While visiting the different animals, children are introduced to different emotions (experienced from the heart) that are sometimes compared to the temperaments of animals.
My heart is like a zoo...
silly as a seal,
happy as a herd of hippos drinking apples juice,
bothered as a bull with a hornet in its hair,...
Michael Hall took a unique approach in relating feelings to the "heart" and using the heart shape to create all of the illustrations in this book! I'm very much looking forward to the opportunity to use this in my preschool classroom, as the text is super simple, the illustrations pleasing to the eye. The book strikes me as one that will appeal greatly to my age group of students (four and five year olds), but I worry a bit as to whether or not they will make the connection with feelings being depicted by different animals! However, I'm sure with at a bit of explaining, they'll catch on! I'll have to get back to you about how they really do with this clever story!

Learning/Reading Activity:
  • Draw (and cut out, if necessary) a variety of colors and sizes of hearts. Ask your child(ren) to use the hearts to create some animal to express an emotion felt by the heart. Encourage him/her to be creative and try to come up with something not mentioned in the story. Then, have your child dictate, "My heart is like..." and complete the sentence. Write this somewhere on their page and display it proudly or create your own classroom book full of their work!

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