If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Loren Long

Publisher's Synopsis: "A breathtaking picture book about the relationships we share from New York Times bestselling storytellers Julie Fogliano and Loren Long in the tradition of The Runaway Bunny and Guess How Much I Love You....
Through clever, thought-provoking verse and warmly evocative art, New York Times bestsellers Julie Fogliano and Loren Long explore the awe-inspiring nature of relationships, love, and connection."

My Two Cents: If I Was the Sunshine is one of those books that begs you to pick it up. The typography, the pastel colors, the title….  All done with an artistic swoosh that begs you to grab it. That’s what I did as soon as my library acquired it. And, I am glad.

If I Was Sunshine will deservedly be on the Caldecott short-list and should be added to primary classrooms for both read-aloud and discussion opportunities. The artistic decision to print in all lower case makes this reading specialist cringe a bit, but If I Was Sunshine is not a title to grammatically nitpick. Rather, it is a title to read aloud, in lilting cadence, and discuss. Each rhyming stanza is a metaphor of relationship. Students will do well to listen to it as the poetry it is in the first sitting and then to review it a second or third time to discuss the relationships of the metaphors.

Highest recommendation. For both elementary library & classroom purchase. Definitely one for collection :-)
Genre: Picture Book
Age: 4 - 8
Pages: 48
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Kids / Atheneum Books for Young Readers
My copy: personal collection
Date: May 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1481472432
Themes: Love, Relationships, Nature Beauty

Teaching Ideas:
1. This wonderful book works with many ELA standards. I offer first grade, but the complexity of the relationships are developmentally closer to second grade...

if you were the winter
and i was the spring
i’d call you whisper
and you'd call me sing

Why would spring call winter whisper?
Why would winter call spring sing? 
(CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4 - Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses)

2. Another idea: Discuss the use of light in illustration and how it creates a mood that aides meaning
(CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7 - Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events)

3. Great little teacher's guide available: HERE

Julie Fogliano is a New York Times bestselling author and recipient of the 2013 the Ezra Jack Keats Award. You can read more about her HERE

Loren Long has illustrated many great children's books including President Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing, Madonna's Mr. Peabody's Apples, and Jon Scieszka's Trucktown series. You can read more about him HERE
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 © 2007-2019 Dr. Cheryl Vanatti, education & reading specialist writing at www.ReadingRumpus.com