During the last two weeks, our Grade One students have been immersed in the fine literature provided by this year’s Forest of Reading Program. This is an initiative of the Ontario Library Association, and is Canada’s largest reading program. It comprises of eight reading sequences that have been developed to encourage a love of reading amongst people of all age groups. In addition, it celebrates Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators.At Grade One level, the books our students are introduced to fall under the Blue Spruce award program. There are ten books written and illustrated by nominated authors and illustrators. During our read-aloud sessions, the children are given multiple opportunities to examine each cover page carefully. By using the ‘I see’, ‘I think’, ‘I wonder’ routine, they inquire about what adventure each book will lead them to. During the reading, the children discuss these picture books in an authentic way, by making connections to themselves, the world around them, as well as other texts they have read earlier. In some books, the children have realized that a well-presented illustration is often more powerful than words, as it allows their imagination to take over. They are guided to notice the beautiful imagery and vocabulary authors use to depict their character’s feelings, or create an entertaining element. They have been encouraged to read the ‘blurb’ to see if the book will appeal to them. To demonstrate their understanding of the books they have read, our Grade One students have practiced writing book recommendations. They are asked this week to write ‘Rave Reviews’ on 3 of their favourite books. Their reviews should highlight the main events in the story, as well as answer a deep question, which would reveal what is going on in their heads, as they read or listen to books being read to them.