Thursday, April 26, 2012


Thanks, Richard Frazier for this review - I want to remember to get this one.

Siy, Alexandra. (2007). SNEEZE!. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.

Cover art for SNEEZE
SNEEZE! was a book that I found from our text's reading list in chapter 10.  The book recommended SNEEZE! as a good example of a photo essay informational book.
When reading through chapter 10 I was immediately drawn to the title of this book.  Working with children that have disabilities forces you to find books and stories that are catchy and attention grabbing.  Once I found the book and began to look through the illustrations I knew that this story would be one my students would love.  Add to the fact that it features illustrations of people sneezing and you have a recipe for fun with a group of first and second graders.  The author's use of a simple concept that we do almost on a daily basis provides an interesting theme.  Seriously, how often do you sneeze and then think about what caused it, why it happened, how it happened, and all of the other nuances that go along with blowing stuff from you mouth.  I recently used this book in a lesson and was surprised at how much my children became involved in the story.  They sought for the information; asking questions about the 9 causes that the author addressed in the story.  A few of my students wanted to tell me about their sneezing experiences and offered to reenact the event, mucus and all. 
The colorful illustrations from Dennis Kunkel are highly detailed and offer an exciting glimpse into everyday nasal irritants like pepper and dust.  The style of Siy's work keeps the reader, in this case my first graders, interested because she is hitting them with factual information but doing so in a way that is fun and visually entertaining.
The age range for this book is between 10-12 years old.  I used this with my first grade SPED students by reading the story to them and allowing them to see the words and illustrations over the SMART BOARD document camera.  My activity with them was simply to let them share some sneezing experiences and then I asked them if they could think of the cause.  Was it dust? Was it pepper? Was it pollen?  Was it their little brother?

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