One of my favorite parts about teaching kindergarten is sharing my love of books with my sprouts. Everyone has favorite authors and stories, but sometimes an older book comes seemingly out of nowhere and catches you by surprise. Today, Maybelle poked me on the shoulder and said, “Hey, here I am!”
Last winter we read Katy and the Big Snow by Virgina Lee Burton and did some amazing map projects with it. We’ve slowly been reading through her books and Maybelle the Cable Car is one I’d personally never read. As an afternoon treat, we read it and had the most wonderful time.
The story of San Francisco’s unique cable cars and their struggle to stay running in the face of the newer, trendier busses, Maybelle the Cable Car is a charming tale about honoring what makes a place (or person) unique. Maybelle and her sister cars fight the buses and eventually have the entire city behind them. Told with a rhyming verse and Virginia Lee Burton’s charming illustrations, Maybelle the Cable Car had my class cheering.
Now, unless you teach kindergarten in San Francisco, most kindergartners don’t know what a cable car is… we had a wonderful chat about them, the city, and I pulled up some photographs online to show them what a real cable car looked like.
We also talked about how as the world progresses and newer and cooler stuff come along, it’s always good to honor and cherish those things that we truly love. Video games are amazing, but we still love our Lego’s. DVDs (and now Blu Rays) are awesome, but there is something special about sitting in the theater and watching a film on the big screen with an audience. A Kindle is cool, but nothing beats holding a picture book in your hands and sharing it with your class.
Thank you Maybelle for helping us see that sometimes a classic shouldn’t be forgotten.