I was lurking in a Twitter conversation between Brooke (@berasche) and Kendra (@klmpeace) yesterday. They started out talking about read-alouds for older kids--around 3rd grade--and while that's a terrific topic for a future, more serious post, I was completely drawn in when one of them mentioned this fact of librarianship: she couldn't share such-and-such book because it would make her cry.
The scenario goes something like this. We start off reading great books (and showing kids the pictures, ahem):
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, something about the story blows up the dam and we lose it:
At which point it's all gasping breaths, snotty nose, wiping away tears, and trying to regain composure:
And maybe trying to turn the whole thing into an early literacy moment by talking about feelings.
Yep, that's what we're talking about: books you can't storytime* because you'll end up in tears. I'm about to share mine, and I hope you'll feel free to share yours as well--on your blog, in the comments, on Twitter, etc. What read-aloud stories make you cry, and why?
And, without further ado, the children's book that reduces me to a puddle of tears:
Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise -- Charlie is a wee caterpillar who just wants to play with the other animals. Yet they all turn him away in disgust, saying cruelly, "We don't play with ugly caterpillars!" That line--even just thinking of that line when I'm still on the first page!--gets me every time. Every. Stinking. Time. Of course the story ends happily and it's a great tale of being friendly and not judging by appearances. But I only get to share that message if I can stop sobbing long enough to actually read the thing.
*why, yes, I did just use "storytime" as a verb.