My first Tuesday Book Club book is one that my students, grades 1-6, always LOVE and ask for again and again: Senor Don Gato- Illustrated by John Mander. Get the book HERE.
This wonderful, silly folk song about a cat who gets a love letter and, the book jacket says it best, "...A dramatic chain of events is set into motion. There is a tragic fall, a heart-rendering death scene, a village thrown into mourning for its fallen hero... and then love, returned to life and triumphant..." The students love the silly story, and especially the singing of Meow Meow Meow on every page.
If you are unfamiliar with the folk song, the melody is included on the last two pages of the book.
The illustrations of this book are fun, quirky, and beautiful. My favorite is the last page, where Don Gato and his love are sitting atop a roof looking at the moon, being serenaded by a mouse with a guitar- be sure not to skip it, as the song ends the page before!
I really try to integrate this book into a lesson where cats were already present (Naught Kitty Cat, Bow Wow Says the Dog, Pussy Cat Pussy Cat Where Have You Been, or Mouse Mousie are just some examples). While not necessary, it is a good transition from "story position" to our next song when I can ask the students "what song do we already know that is about cats?" I also use this song, for older students, as an "unknown" sight reading example. They can read the 1st two lines to practice low la and fa as well as tom-ti (dotted-quarter eighth). The 3rd line has a "di" so I would stop the sight-reading after the first two and then just have the students listen to the story- Identifying when the pattern they learned comes up on each page or set of pages for a verse.
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