Friday, February 5, 2016

School Age Storytime: Social Justice - Sharing and Caring


A Kindergarten-4th Grade storytime featuring the new Newbery Award/Caldecott Honor book “Last Stop on Market Street”, a classic folktale “Stone Soup,” an oh-too-topical story of two girls in a refugee camp “Two Sandals, Four Feet” and a story narrated by a pair of shoes about the many feet who use them “New Old Shoes.”  Also shared a link to a program for giving used shoes new lives.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de La Pena, pictures by Christian Robinson Opened by reminding kids about our Mock Caldecott and mentioning that this book was a Caldecott Honor (for pix) and Newbery Winner (for words/story) – unusual, usually Newbery awarded to a chapter book.  Good discussion of this book’s win here: More at: and

Look and listen…had kids notice pix on endpapers, setting, characters, line “the outside air smelled like freedom,” rain… “freckled CJ’s shirt,” bus “sighed and sagged and doors swung open” (alliteration), Nana’s wonderful answers to CJ’s questions & complaints “Sometimes when you are surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful” …

CJ & his Nana help serve in a soup kitchen…making community soup is an old story – talked about folktales – told by many people, many places, many times…since we are almost at Chinese New Year, will use a Chinese version – Stone Soup retold & illustrated by Jon J. Muth.

Song: Alphabet Soup --  Song on Tom Chapin's album "Moonboat" (alphabet, food) Tom Chapin frequently performs in our area (lyrics & flannel pieces available here –where you can also find the text of another version of Stone Soup for a classroom storyplay. Google “free clip art food item” if you want to make a set of laminated images to use in a participatory Reader’s Theater.)

The people in the Chinese village had gone through hunger and war… but  find happiness in sharing -- like the girls in this storyFour Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams & Khadra Mohammad

Like Lina & Feroza, more than a billion people around this world don’t have shoes… but we can help change that.  New Old Shoes by Charlotte Blessing (Ask kids to notice who is telling the story -- inanimate narrator – a pair of sneakers tells how they go from a young boy in America to kids in Africa.)  Arrived too late but also excellent Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts (also available as a DVD from Nutmeg Media). Jeremy longs for a pair of the “in” shoes but his family can’t afford them…

Bedminster kids can help  “Shoes for Shoes” – The Peapack Gladstone Bank in the Kings Shopping Center is collecting "Shoes for Shoes" through February 29 for Mane Stream (an organization that offers horseback riding to people with special needs). Mane Stream partners with Community/ShoeBox Recycling in attempts to help keep shoes out of landfills, provide affordable footwear to people in developing nations and raise enough money to cover farrier costs for the hard-working herd at Mane Stream. More info. at: pairs of men's/women's/kids shoes, sneakers, cleats, flats, heels, dress or riding boots. Please NO single/broken/very worn footwear, NO ski boots, ice or roller skates, NO crocs/slippers/winter boots/rainboots.) Mrs. Hofman has flyer.

If you are interested in more books along these lines or book suggestions on myriad topics …check out the great booklists at


Picture books for kids about social justice around the world.


Also I recommend this great book about helping children “see” the art in picture books written by an educator from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: 

Bedm 2.16


  1. I'm on the Storytime Underground email list and stumbled across your mention of my book as I caught up on recent posts--thanks so much! Centering children's responses to story, art, and design with open-ended questions leads to all sorts of insights, and I am hoping to write something this year about how the Whole Book Approach (the storytime model I introduce in Reading Picture Books with Children) has prompted discussions of social justice issues in storytimes. For now, here's my webpage on the approach for anyone who's interested, including an excerpt from the book:

    Megan Dowd Lambert
    @MDowdLambert on Twitter

  2. Megan, just saw this comment! So glad to have been able to share your terrific book with people who use my story time plans.


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