Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Joone by Emily Kate Moon

Hi! I'm Carolyn from Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together.  Today I want to share with you my favorite book, Joone, by Emily Kate Moon,  because it's such a wonderful addition to any child's bookshelf,  and a perfect mentor text for teachers.

You know how sometimes something (a piece of furniture, an outfit, a book) just "speaks" to you? Well, the moment I saw the cover of Joone, this book spoke to me.   Here's proof that it's my favorite book.  I can't even put her in my shelf with the other books, because I love to see her little happy face! (By the way, the Skittles are for my little late bus kids who put up all the chairs for me! They do all this work for me and get one Skittle-  or two or three.  I have willpower not to clean out the jar.  Some days it's harder than others...) Anyway, back to my post!


Here is how Emily Kate Moon describes her sweet character:

Why, Joone is the cutest little girl to hit the pages of a children’s book! She does cartwheels, collects rocks, and spells her name with a smiley face... need I say more?

This description is from Amazon:

Joone likes the color orange, ice-cream sandwiches, and playing outside. She lives in a yurt with her grandfather and her pet turtle, Dr. Chin, who rides around on her hat. Grandpa teaches Joone something new every day. Sometimes Joone teaches him something new, too, like how to make a daisy chain. Together they enjoy life’s small joys—sunsets, tree houses, and most of all, each other.

Emily Kate Moon’s debut picture book is a charming tribute to the outdoors and a tender portrait of a grandfather and granddaughter’s loving relationship. Fans of Ladybug Girl, Freckleface Strawberry, and even Dora the Explorer will fall in love with this independent, free-spirited little girl.

My favorite detail of the book may be the fact that she spells her name, Joone,  with a smiley face instead of a "u."  That made her special right from the start.

Joone is a great conversation starter for a lesson about being yourself.  Children need to hear and know that it's okay to be different, and have unique talents, likes, and opinions- that's what makes each child who  he/she is and what makes us all special.  After the children hear all of Joone's fun and different interests, they immediately start thinking of  and sharing their own.

In fact,  my friend and our technology teacher, Jen, loves Joone so much that she bought it for everyone to sign for her friend's baby shower, because she said she wanted the little girl to grow up just like Joone.  What a fun, special idea!

As a teacher, you would think Emily Kate Moon wrote this just for us.  I just used it as a mentor text this week for adding details to illustrations and writing.  We talk about adding at least 5 details to our pictures.  We "decided" on this number because they are five, so that's just perfect.

After we talked about what details are (something that adds more information and tells us more), I began our lesson by reading this page of Joone to the students, without even showing the picture.

When they heard a detail, they had to hold up one finger.  This page- with only this much text-  gave us five great details about Joone.  We shared the details after I read the page. When I showed the children the illustration, they could see so many more details from the wonderful illustration!

Joone is also a perfect mentor text for small moments and narrative writing.  It's hard to find good books to introduce this concept for writing.  This book is full of special, small moments, and it lets the children see that those special, small moments make wonderful stories to tell and write about in their own books!

I made some writing prompts to use after you read Joone to your class.  If you would like a copy of them, just click on the picture!

We drew our own pictures of Joone! They loved adding Dr. Chin (her turtle) on top of her hat.

Emily Kate Moon has a wonderful website.  She shows real, true examples of her work.  The kids were amazed.  They could really see how even a famous author sketches, plans, and makes decisions about what to draw and write.  They can see the process at work!

Many times I think children (even adults) don't consider all the steps that go into that finished product.  We read a book and take for granted that it looks so polished and doesn't have a mistake in it!  I think the children loved seeing this process so much because their work is always a work in progress.

Plus- this was probably their favorite part of the story!

Joone thumbnail sketch - Emily Kate Moon

Filthy Joone Sketch - Emily Kate Moon

Pencil and gouache of Joone - Emily Kate Moon

Emily shared this great printout at her website to teach children how to make a daisy crown (one of Joone's FAVORITES!) I cannot wait to do this with my class in the spring (except we'll need to use dandelions because we have LOTS of those, but...  it will be a beautiful flower crown, nonetheless! Joone would approve, I'm sure.) You could also send this paper home with the children after you read the story, so they could try to make a crown at home. She has a sweet coloring sheet for Joone, as well.  

Thank you for stopping by and meeting my sweet friend, Joone.  If you haven't met her yet, I can't wait until you do.  You'll just love her.


  1. Great post , Carolyn! I'm on my way to order Joone!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. wow! what a wonderful post! thank you, carolyn! joone and i think your students are so very lucky to have you for their teacher.

  4. Thank you so much, Emily! That means so much coming from Joone's "mom!" XOX


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