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Beyond Meow and Woof

Stanley’s Little Sister is the newest book in the Stanley series.  (Check out the giveaway Kids Can Press is doing for readers of this blog post.  Details follow at the bottom of this post.)  It’s written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Bill Slavin for children in pre-school through second grade.  While the characters in this text are animals, the storyline deals with a universal theme: getting a new brother or sister.  While I liked the story in this book, I noticed a way it can be used in the writing classroom.

Many students write about their pets when they’re drafting small moment stories/personal narratives.  Even though children live with their pets day in and day out, they struggle to find the “words” to capture the sounds their animals make.  While I’ve never had a dog or a cat, I know they make lots of sounds with their mouths and with their bodies that go beyond “meow” and “woof.”  Therefore, Stanley’s Little Sister is an excellent book to share with students who are writing about their pets.  There are many examples of animals sounds and movements that Bailey captures with words in the text.  Click on the images below to view examples of the types of animal sounds Bailey created in Stanley’s Little Sister:

If your students are the kinds of kids who need a little nudge to get them writing more descriptively about their pets, then Stanley’s Little Sister is a mentor text you’ll want to have in your classroom library.

NOTES:

  • Thanks to Kids Can Press, we’re hosting a giveaway of all five books in the Stanley Series.  To win the books, including Stanley’s Little Sister, leave a comment about this post, in the comments section of this post by Thursday, October 28th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.  A random drawing will take place on Sunday morning, October 31st and the winner’s name will be announced in a blog post later that day in a follow-up blog post.  Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment (Your e-mail address will not be published online.) so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address.  Once I receive your mailing address, I’ll pass it along to my contact in the marketing department at Kids Can Press who will ship all five books out to the lucky winner.

  • A review copy of this book was provided by Kids Can Press.

  • Material from Stanley’s Little Sister is used by permission of Kids Can Press Ltd. Text © 2010 Linda Bailey. Illustrations © 2010 Bill Slavin.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

40 thoughts on “Beyond Meow and Woof Leave a comment

  1. My students are very focused on writing small moments, but their work needs more with description. This book sounds like a great way to work on that!

    I love your inspiring posts. Thanks for keeping me loving my job as a teacher of writing.

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  2. So many of kids’ “be nice” behaviors are learned along side of their pets…sometimes on the side of not being so nice, BUT the lessons are still critical and very much transferable to the relationships they develop with other people. I agree, this book is a great way to nudge kids along, to get inspire them to write about their lives in a way that doesn’t feel as awkward as writing about themselves.

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  3. My kids love to write about their pets. This looks like a great way to get beyond the basic descriptions they give. It is also a fabulous way to get to know a new author. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me to try something new.

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  4. Our students are forever writing about their pets. It is a great way to get students to writing, it always them to write about something that they know and are comfortable with. I have not heard about this book and always love hearing about new mentor text. Thanks so much, I am off to put this in my wish list in Amazon! Hope you have a great conference in Pennsylvania!

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  5. I am really looking forward to using Stanley’s Little Sister in our second grade workshop. Since so many are writing cat/dogs/hamster stories, this will be the perfect mentor text to stretch their language. I’ll pair it with My Dog Lyle (Goldfinger). Thanks for another fabulous recommendation!

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing this great series with us. I can’t wait to share them with my Grade 2 students. I know they will want to write a response in their reader’s workshop notebooks.

    Keep Writing… Keep Sharing…

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this series with us on line. I look forward to sharing them with my students. Perhaps, I will be able to share their reading responses with you.
    Keep Writing… Keep blogging Keep Sharing,

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  8. This book sounds great. I need to check out the Stanley books. My students love writing or hearing stories about pets. This will be perfect for them. I can’t wait to read them a Stanley book and encourage them to write better descriptions.

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  9. I love teaching writing! I think because I like to write myself but sometimes motivating students can be difficult and this would really give them a boost in writer’s workshop!

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  10. The text reminds me of my dog Tally…she just cannot resist the urge to chase the cat! I love the sounds the dog and cat make. Just this week we talked about onomatopoeia and my second grade class is having fun with it.

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  11. Had the wonderful privilege of listening to Mary Oliver at Wellesley College wed. night. She read several poems about her beloved (late) dog Percy…. one line that stuck with me was that he wagged his tail because he could! Even the most eloquent of writers loves to write about a beloved pet!

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  12. I have read Stanley’s Party and kids love this character. I had no idea there were five books! How exciting to use these books as mentor texts for an author study and inviting students to try out the details of sound and description.

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  13. This looks like a great mentor text. I have read so many stories about pets where I didn’t even have a clue what the pet looked like — much less sounded like — by the end of it. Descriptive writing is hard for kids to wrap their brains around — this would help!

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  14. This is my first year as a literacy coach after 30 years in the upper elementary classroom. I love using mentor text for teaching writer’s craft to students and teachers. My 5th graders loved using picture books and would often reread them during reading and writing workshop. I plan to continue modeling this concept as I co-teach and collaborate with teachers. I am always looking to add to my Mentor Text collection. This book would be a great addition!

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  15. I am always modeling writing lessons in Grades 1-3 and this would be a great way to help students include more details in their small moments. I always write about my pets and they have heard and seen pictures of them. This would help tie all of the pieces together.

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  16. I just discovered this awesome website and am excited to use lots of the ideas that I found with my fourth graders. This my districts first year using Lucy Calkins and we are loving it. I could use any materials that work hand in hand with this program and ofcourse I would share with my teacher friends:) Keep the ideas flowing and I will keep using them!!! I will keep my fingers crossed that I will be the winner:)

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  17. This mentor text is just I need for 4th grade writers to model the “show not tell” strategy for thier writing. Hitting the book store today! Thanks for this idea.

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  18. I have never heard of Stanley or Kids Can Press. I must say I am impressed. What a great addition to any classroom. Even my fifth graders would benefit from this set of mentor texts.
    Thanks for the opportunity.

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  19. Having four kids I have had to deal with the first 3 adjusting to a new sibling. I have also had to deal with bringing in a new pet so a book about a new sibling with characters that are animals is great. If I’m not picked I think I will just buy it for my kids anyway.

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  20. This book would be a great addition to my classroom’s reading and writing workshops. Thanks for the opportunity! BTW…pre-ordered Day by Day! Read the first two chapters and skimmed the rest on line. It’s fantastic!

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  21. Thanks for the postings. I have found many of your ideas helpful, and the tone is so encouraging. Teaching writing does not come naturally to me so it helps to read about someone “living the life”.

    Love the Stanley book.

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  22. Wow! This blog just made my day. I was peeking through the October 2010 issue of The Reading Teacher and saw your ad. I am so excited to read your blog daily, AND I must pick up a copy of your new book. Teaching writing has become a new passion of mine. Thanks for the great new book recommendation. It would be an awesome addition to my mentor text collection!

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  23. This looks like a great text to use with my students. We are continually working on adding more description to their writing. Just today, I was working with one of my students on a memoir about his cat and trying to help him come up with clearer descriptions about his cat.

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  24. This sounds like a great book. I have been working with my writers to get them to put the “movie in their head on paper”. This sounds like a great mentor text to help with that.

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