David Ezra Stein author and illustrator of Pouch! has created the perfect book for emerging readers! Joey is a delightful baby kangaroo wanting to explore the world around him. He is willing to try new things but realizes each time the comfort of his mother is needed, returning to her pouch. The illustrations and Joey's reaction guide the reader in understanding his panic when he sees a bee, then a rabbit, and a bird. As Joey continues to try adventures away from Mama pouch, he becomes braver and in the end finds a fellow kangaroo to be his friend. You'll have to see if he returns to Mama's pouch this time.
I think my kindergarten readers can think about something new they have tried and had to be brave doing. I think my kindergarten readers can think about a time when they tried something and were glad to have their parents with them. I'm thinking just coming to school is a time when they all had to be brave. I think my students can make connections to this text.
I know this will be a great shared reading! The language structure for this text is repetitive and fun. After leaving the pouch to explore, Joey uses the same language each time.
"Who are you?"
The animal, creature states it's name.
"Pouch! said Joey."
I'm going to use this text for the word wall - you. It's easy to locate and repeated often. I'm even considering this could be fun to recreate, act out. Each time Joey hops one more than the experience before. There are many parts that could be read by Joey and the animals he encounters. Maybe this could become a mural and labeled using interactive writing. I'm planning on using this text today and I think we will be "hopping" through literacy.