I mentioned earlier in the week that I signed up to be a mystery reader in Little Bear’s class for Read Across America week .  The book to be read was left up to the reader.  So the first half of this week was spent researching the perfect book to read a-loud.  I wanted something silly & fun but an interesting story line and illustrations.

As a mystery reader – and a mom – I thought it would be nice to get a new book to read to the class.  I knew that there would be a slim chance that I picked out a book none of the the kids had heard.  But I tried.  My strategy was to choose something I loved from my childhood.  Turns out they don’t really print many of those types of book anymore and even fewer are in circulation.  The result, a book that is older than the kids but not that old.

To guarantee I had a nice random selection of books to choose from, I wanted to to stay away from the popular bookstore chains.

There’s a cute little bookstore downtown called Changing Hands Bookstore.  They carry new, older, and secondhand publications.  Plus, it’s ridiculously cute inside.  Aside from books, the store carries cutesy little odds and ends.  It’s really up my alley.

Anyway, this is where I picked up my copy of “The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash”.  Actually, I picked up two copies: one for Little Bear’s book collection and one for the classroom library.  See, my plan all along had been to purchase a book to gift to Little’s class after my mystery read.  (I figured it would be a nice jester considering teachers usually don’t get enough funding.)

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, why didn’t you just buy a second of something you already had at home?”  I thought of that originally.  But as I browsed our home library, I realized a majority of books we had were princess, fairy, or pink.  Meaning, we have A LOT of girl books!  (haha!)  And I wanted a story that would appeal, equally, to the boys and girls.

I settled on “The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash”.

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash book cover

I highly recommend this book.  It turned out to be everything I was looking for: silly, fun moving story line, and beautifully done illustrations.

inside look at pigs on the bus

Little is in kindergarten and her class has already been working on setting, plot, characters and events of books.  (I definitely don’t remember learning those things in kindergarten.)  This book is a good one for any of these lessons.  Because of the silly nature of the book, I believe this makes it easier for children to remember the sequence of events – which seems to be the hardest.

If you are using this story for learning, there are nice resources online to use with the book, as well.

The Teacher’s Guide

Read Write Think

These are just a couple that I found.  Whether as a teacher or parent, you can use “The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate  the Wash” to teach many lessons appropriate for kindergarten through at least second grade.  OR….use it as just a fun bedtime story.

If you’re not sold, at least go borrow a copy from the library.  Read it. Love it.  Then pick up your own copy. 🙂


Did you’re family participate in a special reading time this week?  What story did you choose?  I would love some ideas to use next year or to add to Little Bear’s home library.


Tina | The Bourbon Cactus

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