Nick’s Picks: Resources to bring levity to the classroom

This post was originally published in Nick Glass’ monthly column for Curriculum Connections, an e-newsletter published by School Library Journal in partnership with Subscribe to this free newsletter here.

While the pressures in education today are very real, the joy, passion, and commitment that teachers bring to the profession can assist them when the challenges are great. This month’s post highlights online resources that are sure to bring a little levity to the classroom and elicit a few smiles and laughs.

Listen to Maurice Sendak’s “Pincus and the Pig: A Klezmer Tale”
Maurice Sendak has recast and narrated this version of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Each character illustrated by Sendak (Chozzer the Pig, a kvetchy bird, a cranky duck, and others) is represented by a different musical instrument, or combination of instruments. Music teachers will enjoy contrasting the 20th-century Russian classic with this 2004 recording produced by Sendak and the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra.

Watch the transformation of Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton’s picture book into an orchestral piece
In this original film, Julie Andrews Edwards and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton advocate passionately for reading and discuss the evolution of Simeon’s Gift (HarperCollins, 2003) from a picture book into a musical and later into a symphonic retelling. The film includes a sequence of the actress directing a rehearsal of her staged story–wow!

Listen to graphic novels for new readers read aloud in five languages
Enjoy these eight stories presented in multiple languages. It isn’t everyday that you can practice reading the same book in English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese.

Hear the illustrator of the not-yet-written masterpiece, To Mock a Killingbird
Do you know of the children’s book illustrator named Lee Harper? In this amusing audio he comments on the similarity of his name with that of the renowned Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Posted by Nick Glass, Founder & Principal of

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