Stop #1: Coral Way Bilingual Center
I arrived (arrived – past tense, remember, time machine) bright and early at this wonderful school. Parking was a challenge, they seemed very strict about the “staff only” parking. After two times around the block looking for street parking, I gave up and parked in the lot. I asked some staff walking in if it was okay and after I introduced myself, they guided me to the Vice Principal’s space. Luckily, the Vice Principal was going to be out that day. Or so they told me.
I went inside and met my lovely host, Cristina. School was just starting and the office was crazy. From experience, this is true in 122% of schools. I was way too nervous to try any of my Spanish, but boy was I itching to try. But I didn’t (they would have laughed for sure at my lovely Gringa accent). After things settled down, I was taken to the cafetorium (for those of you that don’t know, this is a large “Multi-purpose-room” that serves as cafeteria, gymnasium, and auditorium. Truly a money saving concept, but it doesn’t sound like an appetizing place for a meal. But there was a stage, a microphone and a room full of first and second grade children, so I was all set.
My lovely host, Cristina agreed to take photos of the performance.
Here’s a great shot of me talking to some front row kids as we waited to get started.
Then we got going, and they were an engaged, attentive, involved, impressive and a lot of other wonderful vowel-letter adjectives audience. Here they are after I asked a question.
Attentive students at presentation
And then I didn’t have enough hands to hold microphone and read the book – so I asked for a volunteer microphone stand:
Human Microphone Stand
Then we got to the “Vana White” section of the talk. This is where I walk across the stage and show everyone the beautiful art in “My Name is Not Isabella.”
school visit the vanna stage
We finished the performance with volunteers to hold “The Adjective Flags:”
A month or so ago, I came across some wonderfully inspiring images of a pirate themed bedroom, and as fate would have it the very same week Pirate House Swap by Abie Longstaff, illustrated by Mark Chambers arrived through my letter box. The coincidence couldn’t have been sweeter!
Every year the Clark family spend their holidays at home in the city, but this year they decide to try something new – a house swap. Believing they’ve found the perfect seaside retreat they set off, only to be somewhat surprised to discover their holiday home is a pirate galleon.
The family set about learning the pirate ways necessary to enjoy life on the ocean waves, including how to sleep in a hammock and navigate by the stars. Back in the city the pirates are equally intrigued but willing to give the land lubbers’ life a go, learning about the delights of vacuum cleaners and ovens.
By the end of the holidays both families have had a wonderful time but when they return to their homes things are not quite as they were left, and although the Clark family set about putting things back to rights, they do not completely give up their newly adopted pirate ways.
This story is a dream come true for many children! I’m sure my children are not the only ones who would jump at chance to holiday on a real pirate ship.
The illustrations contain lots of fun details for listeners to point out, including cheeky mice on most pages getting up to all sorts of mischief. However, I did feel that some of the details were included more for adult readers than the intended listening audience (for example, the adverts for other possible house swaps are in tiny print and refer to fairy tale locations). If you like the Shrek movies because they contain in-jokes for the grown-ups you’ll like the similar details in Pirate House Swap.
Pirate House Swap is a fun read in the run up to holidays and has a great theme about learning to adapt to new circumstances and to enjoy different ways of life so I’d definitely recommend picking this book up if you find it at the library. That said, Pirate House Swap does not dislodge our favourite pirate book from its place on the shelves – The Night Pirates by Peter Harris, illustrated by Deborah Allwright.
Having seen the photos of the pirate bedroom, and then fallen in love with the idea of living on a pirate galleon, I was set the challenge of helping the girls transform M’s bed into their own pirate ship.
First task was to design a flag to fly. Using an old pillow case and the very-easy-to-use
3 Comments on All aboard, me hearties!, last added: 4/14/2011