“I’ve heard that!” or “I have that at home!”- multiple voices cry out as soon as Luda sets our first Big Book of the year on the easel for Literacy circle. Our first reading of the book is a picture walk where the children try to figure out what the story is about from the title of the book and the illustrations. “Monkeys! There are monkeys!” cries one child. All eyes are glued to the cover of the book, trying to discern what other information is pertinent to the story. As Luda turns each page, the excitement builds as the children put more pieces of the story together about the peddler with his caps for sale. Giggles and some comedic ideas abound once the monkeys steal the peddler’s caps. Luda and the children pretend to wave and throw their caps to the ground. Every face is intent on the story they are weaving from the illustrations. The children that already know the story struggle to keep the ending to themselves, but at the same time giggle knowing what the naughty monkeys will do next.
The children predict the entire story line. As the last page is turned, the children feel satisfied that they have figured out this story, but also have the anticipation of hearing the words that go with the story the following week. Have we interpreted the illustrations correctly? Will the author’s story be similar?
The children retell their version of Caps for Sale at the easel with the pointer during worktimes. Muttered whispering of “monkey trouble” and “Caps for Sale!” can be heard as they turn each page, inspecting each illustration thoroughly, perhaps searching for a new clue to the story.