Vancouver teacher, Carrie Gelson, sent me this wonderful description of her class when she reads Dory aloud. Carrie teaches at an inner city elementary school. She blogs about children's literature and her classroom here: http://thereisabookforthat.com/ If you read her blog, you will see that her efforts to advocate for the children in her classroom and to connect them to books are truly extraordinary.
Our first chapter book read aloud was the perfect pick for many children who have never listened to a chapter book read aloud. It is illustrated, it is full of kid humour and fun and it works a little bit like magic. As soon as I start reading it, these little bundles of energy and distractibility start to calm as they inch closer and closer to me to listen at the carpet. I think some of them even hold their breath as they listen. I feel little hands on my arm, on my shoe, on my leg as if touching me can bring them further into the book. When Dory explained about ketchup monster noises, there was a whisper, “So that’s what that noise is.” When Dory shot Mrs. Gobble Gracker in the butt with a sleeping dart, there was pure joy that their teacher said “in the butt” out loud! They laughed and giggled but they also shared knowing smiles that said, “How cool are we?” I hear them heading home at the end of the day debating whether Mary, the Monster is really a monster, really even real or some strange talking dog. :-) I will be forever in your debt Abby Hanlon for Dory Fantasmagory!