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Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids, and the Bond of Reading Paperback – May 3 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (May 3 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812970284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812970289
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.3 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #320,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The day we picked to hold our first parent-child book group at our local public library was Sunday, January 10, 1999. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Buy this book! May 20 2005
By W. Kann - Published on
Format: Paperback
I cannot recommend Deconstructing Penguins highly enough. I am a mother of three children and Penguins is the first teaching/parenting book I've seen that has offered me such fun and easy tools with which to analyze and share literature as a family. The Goldstones' conviction that even young children are quite capable of and even excited about discussing serious ideas through critical reading is refreshing and right on the money. Children relish meaty moral conundrums. They love to have long discussions on ethics with their peers and parents or teachers (particularly when those discussions pertain to fictional characters rather than to themselves). The Goldstones' book looks at plot, setting, antagonist and protagonist in a way that will have most parents thinking "I had no idea it was so simple," and most teachers and librarians thanking their lucky stars.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Bring on the penguins Nov. 26 2005
By Susan Greco - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Deconstructing Penguins" empowers parents to believe they can have real debates about literature with their children right now, even as early as second grade! This is very exciting stuff. I can't wait to revisit some of the classic titles on the authors' reading list, such as Babe and Charlotte's Web, from a totally different perspective. For anyone who wants to start a parent-child reading group, this book is a god-send. Moreover, "Penguins" presents the most cogent approach to reading groups for adults or kids. In the years I've participated in book groups, including Great Books, I've always felt something was lacking from the discussion despite lots of bright people asking bright questions. After reading "Penguins," I now know what was missing: a unifying theme or framework for analyzing the book's true meaning. "Penguins" gives you that framework and a whole lot more. The authors show they understand great literature, as well as the minds of children. If only more libraries could be as leading edge as the authors' library in Westport, Conn.!!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Another winner from the Goldstones March 13 2007
By Z Hayes - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of the Goldstones since reading their books on book-collecting, e.g. Used and Rare, Slightly Chipped etc. This book is different, it is about how to approach book discussions for both young and old. I am the parent of a two year old girl, and books are a big part of our lives [I am a book collector myself]...although this book may still be too advanced to put into practice with my little one, it really gives me great ideas on how to go about discussing books in a more interesting manner, and sets me up with great guidelines for beginning a parent/child book discussion group a couple of years down the road. I look forward to more enlightening works by the Goldstones.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Worth the investment Sept. 17 2007
By Stacy - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a teacher, this book gave me a fresh perspective. The authors walked their groups through a few main concepts: sntagonist, protagonist, climax, and point of view. They were able to take these basic ideas and turn them into excellent and thoughtful discussions. In a test heavy culture, it is refreshing to see that there is another way to teach reading comprehension
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
How teachers should teach reading July 31 2006
By T. Miller - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fourth grade teacher I am dismayed by how many students are already disengaged by reading. A wonderful supplement toreadings about literature circles, this book changed the way I ran book clubs. It reminded me of the engaging mystery of quality literature - and the reminding is helping me bring that wonder to my students.

A great inspiration and model for parent-child bookclubs, but also a model for all teachers that I have not found anywhere else.