Book trailers promote books and reading in different ways and can be really fun literacy enhancement tools.
You can use a great book trailer to introduce a book to a young reader. Then, after reading the book, you might initiate a discussion comparing and contrasting the book and the book trailer.
Bluebird by Bob Staake is a beautiful wordless picture book about a lonely looking boy and a small bird. Words aren’t needed to tell this story about companionship and loss; the clean, elegant illustrations do the work. (ISBN 9780375870378. Gr K-3.)
That Is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems lends itself well to a book trailer, as the book is set in a silent movie theater. Goslings in the audience are watching a movie in which a fox seemingly lures a goose into a forest and over for dinner. The goslings pipe up with warnings, and the suspense is sure to lure in children and adults alike. (ISBN 9780062203090. Gr K-3.)
Book trailers are also great hands-on activities for older kids. After reading a book, they can create their own short trailers, incorporating photos, drawing, video, and audio. Most computers have simple movie-making software that young people can use. While this is a fun and engaging activity, it also supports standards such as the Common Core in multiple ways: Book Trailers and the Common Core Standards at Book Trailers for Readers.
Here are some great titles for summer reading. After reading, kids can develop their own book trailer based on the book.
Claude in the City, by U.K.-based Alex T. Smith, is the first title of the adorable Claude books (the second will be released in September 2013). Smith’s intricate illustrations of Claude–a dog who wears a jaunty beret–and his sidekick, Sir Bobblysock (a striped sock) perfectly accompany the laugh-out-loud stories about Claude’s escapades during the day when his humans are gone at work. (ISBN 9781561456970. Gr 2-4.)
In Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin, sixth-graders tell their stories in short, interwoven snippets. Thoughts about school and family and recalled events in and out of school reveal the sometimes caustic relationships that can plague middle school. The stories show that it’s not always clear who is right and who is wrong; who is the bully and who is the victim. (ISBN 9781442458079. Gr. 3-6.)
Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz tells about an abrupt and shocking event in the lives of Annie, her little brother, Rew, and their Gran, who live in the birch and oak woods outside the town of Sunshine, where the largest business is the state prison. Summer had come to Sunshine, school was out, and Annie and Rew spent their time in the Zebra Forest telling pirate stories. But one evening after dinner, the summer is altered–and so are their lives. (ISBN 9780763660413. Gr 4-7.)
Happy book trail(er)s!