We hear a lot of talk about the importance of teachers reading to their students, but quite honestly I can only recall two books that were read by a teacher in class when I was a child. One was The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. I thought of that book last night and again this morning when hearing and reading that the imaginary mountain lion killed by a car here in Connecticut had migrated from South Dakota. I say imaginary because there had been mountain lion sightings here for a while, but state officials insisted they were mistakes because mountain lions don't live here anymore. I think they must have left because of the poor business climate.
Then someone hit one with a car and, wow, someone else thought to check the cat's DNA and found it, indeed, wasn't a preppy but a western creature. The mountain lion is believed to have hoofed it here all the way from the Black Hills of South Dakota, just like the animals in The Incredible Journey hoofed it wherever they hoofed it.
So now I'm thinking that there might be a children's book idea in the mountain lion's story. Because, you know, the irony of it coming all this way only to be killed in a random accident is huge and has all kinds of narrative possibilities.
The other book I remember a teacher reading in class is Justin Morgan Had A Horse by the queen of horse books, Marguerite Henry. (She was the queen of horse books and a two-time Newbery honor winner.) Now I'm waiting for stray horse sightings here in the land of steady habits.