It's a tradition in Japan to fly carp banners representing the boys in your home leading up to May 5th, Boy's Day. The day commemorates a Japanese hero, Kintaro, who was said to be unusually strong as a child. (Think Paul Bunyon or John Henry.)
Featuring books about boys, real or imaginary, at your Read-Aloud is fun and easy. And it gives boys a chance to find themselves in a book.
Choose biographies of boys who grew up to be famous and encourage kids to imagine what they will do when they grow up.
- The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss by Kathleen Krull
- The Herd Boy, about Nelson Mandela, by Niki Daly
- Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars, by Mark Weston
- Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown
- Teddie: The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt by Don Brown
- Young Thomas Edison by Michael Dooling
Or, go the imaginary route. Read some adventures or talk about what it's like to be a son, a brother and a boy.
- The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy by David Soman and Jacky Davis
- Be Boy Buzz by Bell Hooks
- The Boy in the Garden by Allen Say
- Brothers of the Knight by Debbie Allen
- Edwardo, the Horriblest Boy in the World by John Burningham
- Harvey Moon, Museum Boy by Pat Cummings
- I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
- What Little Boys are Made Of by Robert Neubecker
Don't forget some classic boy stories! Is being a boy now different from being a boy 15 or more years ago when these stories were published?
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
- Crow Boy by Taro Yashima
- Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
- Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg
- No, David! by David Shannon
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
And for the older kids, how about our favorite boy characters like Harry Potter, Peter Pan, Greg (from Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Percy Jackson or Horrible Harry? Try reading selections from the books and have the kids vote for the coolest character. Encourage the kids to talk about what him a great character.
Reading is more fun when you can identify with the characters in the story. Every so often it's a good idea to shine the spotlight on boys in books and encourage the forgotten reader.
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