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Recess at 20 Below by Cindy Aillaud
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Recess at 20 Below

by Cindy Aillaud

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Put on your coat, hat and gloves and snow pants before you step outside for Cindy Lou Aillaud’s Recess at 20 Below. This book offers you an opportunity to attend recess near the Arctic Circle in Alaska.
This book describes from a child’s perspective the feeling one has going outside to play on a very cold day. The child sees “the snow on the ground sparkles like diamonds… (and hears the snow) sound like…wading through a bag of potato chips.”
Geared for ages 4-8 (preschool to 2nd or 3rd grade), this book includes photos of children in this age range. It starts with the children dressing to go out to recess putting on many layers of clothing. The children are smiling and sledding and enjoying recess in an environment that is very comfortable and familiar to them. One photo takes you to the top of a slide ready to experience “sliding down a glacier.” Humor is added in the story as it talks about the children looking like “a jar of grape jelly” or a “pickle” as they dress for the outdoors. It also shows a child lying on top of a swing that shows the snow at a depth too deep to use the swing. Some of the discomforts of the environment are expressed in pictures of frozen eyelashes and talk about “breathing hard” and “moisture on their faces freezing their eyelids shut.”
This book would be excellent to use in the classroom as it shows children at school and helps the student see that things are different in other areas of the country. It talks about the time of year where the “sun rises and sets in just three hours” and the children “come to school and go home in the pitch-black dark.” This would give the teacher an opportunity especially with older students to talk about how the earth is tilted and how this affects the seasons.
The content of this book is put together by a teacher that teaches in a school in Alaska, therefore the information in this book is accurate in describing the experiences the students are having on a cold Alaskan day. Cindy Lou Aillaud first taught school “in Arctic Village which is north of the Arctic Circle” she later moved to Delta Junction, Alaska where she has lived since 1979. She is a current teacher of physical education and shares her passion for teaching and photography in her book Recess at 20 Below.
  Manitou6 | Nov 7, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0882406094, Paperback)

The temperature outside is 20 below zero. Is school cancelled? Nope. How about recess outside? No way!  Learn from the kids point of view about what it is like playing during recess when it is really cold,,, how it sounds outside, how it tastes outside, how it looks, and even how it smells when the therometer says it's 20 below. What happens when you put on layer after layer of clothing to avoid frost bite and then hit the playground? Did you see the tiny ice crystals in the air and hear your boots make a loud crunch, crunch, crunch sound when you walked?  Pictures and words in 32 pages make have made this book  popular all over North America because all the kids want to know what happens at 20 below zero.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

How cold does it have to be before Alaskan kids stay inside for recess? This is a photo book with text written from a child s perspective on what kids do during recess at 20 below. We see kids getting ready for recess, putting on layers of outdoor clothing, and then somebody has to go to the bathroom! Going sledding, swinging, running around outside with frosted-up eyelashes and face masks.… (more)

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