Ask any teacher to name their favorite author, and you will probably find Jan Brett on the list. Teachers love her books and we find that kids love them too! They are always beautifully illustrated and the story is generally something kids can follow along with. Cinders was the latest book by Jan Brett, to be added to my collection. Who can resist a book that combines Cinderella and chickens???
One of the things I love about her books are the number of stories that are adaptations of other stories. I point this out to kids and use the word adaptations. They are starting to pick up on it, on their own now. When we read The Three Snow Bears, they noticed how it was just the story of the Three Bears, but with a snowy twist. We pointed out how the story The Mitten was an adaptation, but how The Umbrella was an additional adaptation of The Mitten. (If you aren't familiar with these books, you should really check them out at the public library! They are BEAUTIFUL and the kids love the stories!)
We've enjoyed reading these books in the classroom, retelling the stories using felt board, and learning about Jan Brett as an author and illustrator. She has taught us about how she does research when preparing to write a new book, how she uses the entire page to show her stories, the sound words (onomatopoeia) that she uses in her writing, and about how she gets ideas from her own life. She also has a fabulous website with great printables and videos you can use at home. www.janbrett.com