“Open your heart. Someone will come. Someone will come for you. But first you must open your heart.” Kate DiCamillo uses this powerful expression of love in her best-selling book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. This month, Advent 4th graders are reading this wonderful novel. The story begins with a cold-hearted china rabbit who is everything but loving. As the story progresses, he encounters an array of people from all walks of life. Just as we are doing in fourth grade, Edward Tulane learns the most about himself through his incredible experiences and the people he meets. This book teaches not only literary elements, but life lessons about how to love and be loved in return.

Advent students jump for joy when it is, “time for Edward.” They moan and groan when we tell them they may not read ahead. Students are pushed to think critically about characters and their emotions. Our conversations about the text are rich with deep, thought provoking questions and dialogue. As a teacher, there is nothing more promising or exciting to hear than when a child is infatuated with a book.  Our goal for February is to fall more and more in love with reading with many thanks to our dear, furry friend, Edward Tulane.

Elizabeth Moody