Thursday, March 10, 2011

All Kinds of Friends, Even Green! by Ellen B. Senisi

Moses' class has been talking about friendship. When his teacher asks the class to pick a friend to write about, Moses thinks about his many friends including his classmates, his parents, his teacher and even green his friends, Zaki and Hashi, the pet iguanas that live next door. Moses spins the wheels of his wheel chair as the wheels in his head keep spinning with ideas about which friend he will write about. In the end, Moses decides to write about Zaki, the iguana with no back toes. He says, "I think that's what I really like about Zaki. She figures out how to get where she wants to be in different ways than Hashi does. She's like me. I like Zaki and I think she likes me back."

Ellen Senisi's colorful photographs show children from a variety of cultures with diverse needs in an familiar environment every child can relate to: the classroom. Her story leads us through Moses' thought process as he tries to decide what to write about. Ellen Senisi is known for her beautifully photographed children's books and stock photography that celebrate diversity, children with special needs and inclusion.  

Literature Connections: This would be a great book to share as a read aloud for a discussion starter about friendship, diversity and special needs. It would also be an excellent choice to use for a mini lesson about the writing process and selecting a topic using the example of Moses' thought process as he decides what to write about. 
Recommended Age: PreK through elementary

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