A few weeks ago, educator and author, Noa Daniel came on my bookchat. We talked about her new book, Strum and the Wild Turkeys. When I read it to my kids, plus my six year old’s best friend, it was very interesting to see their takeaways.
Perspective from an Extrovert
My son Ben, who just turned 10, was really intrigued how Strum, the main character, could be alone. We talked about how sometimes being alone is exactly what we need and it’s okay. It doesn’t mean we don’t have any friends, and it’s just good to take some time and reflect. The question from the younger kids was “What’s reflect mean?” They know what reflection means from a mirror, but this opened up a conversation about thinking about your thinking.
Perspective from a Five Year Old
My daughter’s best friend just loved this book! She told me weeks later it is her favorite book and can we read it again, please? How often, outside of the classroom, are we reading to other children? I don’t know why, but this made me feel like she and I had a special connection. In an age where we try to balance technology with our littles, it reminds me of the importance of connection with others, relationships that build up our kids whether we are in school as professionals or having a playdate with the neighbors.
Perspective from a Tween
The loveliest conversation came with my 12 year old, Madi. She is an artist who truly doubts her skill, but to the outside world, all we see is greatness! She identified most with Strum and his friends (the colorful band of turkeys) using their talents for joy. She began drawing Strum playing his feathers like a guitar from her favorite illustration in the book. After talking with her about her feelings and what she took away from this book, she created this picture and the caption:
Don’t Be Afraid to Rock Who You Are!
Another great reason this book is for every child and their teacher or parent is that Noa Daniel’s website features so many FREE RESOURCES and even lessons across all areas of curriculum! Check it out!! She shared with me that Madi’s drawing inspired her to begin designing an art gallery of student work, so look for that coming soon, as well.
Every child, make that every person, should be celebrated for their unique abilities. As educators and parents we know how important that connection and confidence is as young people grow up. This book is for all year, for every child, and my family gives it five stars!
About the Author
Melody McAllister is a wife, mother of five, educator, and author. She and her family relocated to Alaska from the Dallas area in 2019. McAllister is 2017 Garland NAACP Educator of the Year and author of the I’m Sorry Story. She is also the Logistics Manager for EduMatch Publishing and Alice Keeler, LLC. McAllister has spoken at ISTE and ASTE about equity issues in education, and writes about her journey in her blog, HeGaveMeAMelody.com. If you would like to schedule an author read with your class, please contact her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Melody’s BookChat every Wednesday at 8pm EST at YouTube.com/melodymcallister