Thursday, February 20, 2014

From the Office of the Future of Reading

I am so tickled to welcome Niki Barnes as my guest blogger today. She is a second grade teacher at a rural school in Dorr Michigan. She loves to blog about books at She is also a proud member of the Nerdy Book Club and you can find her talking about books on Twitter.

Niki Barnes

This is my second year teaching second grade and I feel like my mission is to make reading fun. In fact, I still have fond memories of my third grade teacher reading aloud James and The Giant Peach and my fourth grade teacher reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.  I’m hoping that my students will think back to second grade and remember the funny and fabulous books that I read to them aloud.

So I mustache you a question...What are your favorite read aloud books? My students and I love mustache themed books! Here are some of our favorites:

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

A crazy, hilarious chapter book about mimes, clowns, novelty toys, washed up TV stars who ride horses and yodel and of course a kid with a fake mustache who is trying to take over the world. How could students not love it? I highly recommend this book as a read aloud! My students ask me to read more every time I stop reading. I hear a lot of “Aww! Do you have to stop reading?” But I think the biggest shocker was when I was reading it aloud as my students cleaned out their desks. Usually cleaning out our desks is a wild and rumpus affair but instead they were mesmerized by the book and listening intently while cleaning….that is the power of the character Fako Mustacho.

Mustache by Mac Barnett and Kevin Cornell

This is a fun picture book about a King that loves himself more than his subjects. The kingdom is crumbling and the people in the kingdom decide to get even in a fun and clever way. The pictures in this book are so funny and detailed. I made sure the students had a lot of time to look at the laugh out loud pictures as I was reading it aloud.

Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Joy Ang

I can sell this book easily to my students just based on the title and cover. The story is clever, funny and entertaining. Will the mustache lead the baby to work for good or evil? Pure entertainment...expect lots of laughter!

And of course after you read all these Mustache themed books a Fake Mustache party is in order. You know you have a hit party on your hands when students keep asking you every five minutes…"When is our Fake Mustache party?” And for me the pictures of my students in their grape flavored wax mustaches = priceless. We might not be taking over the world like our favorite character Fako Mustacho but we are having a blast reading...and that is what it is all about.

au contraire, Niki -- I can absolutely imagine you and your students taking over the world! In fact, I hope that happens. Then you can arrange for every classroom to experience fun and rollicking read-alouds.


  1. I love Angleberger's books. Just put that one on reserve--thanks! I think Case of the Toxic Mutants would make a great read-aloud--and Violet Mackeral's Natural Habitat. And Home Sweet Horror. Those were some of my favorites from the Cybils panel.