This incredibly witty and insightful book is an indispensable guide for teachers looking for that voice of experience and common sense to help them navigate a career in early childhood literacy. Amid the familiar systems of cookie-cutter curricula and standards-based testing, Cooper suggests how we might recognize the special experiences young students bring to the classroom and how encouraging them to relate those experiences-often through play-opens the way for learning, independent thinking, and creative expression. There are six chapters in this book and excellent appendixes of transcribed student "writings," a children's stories list, and related classroom activities. "In a style remarkable free of cliche and jargon, this is a book for every classroom teacher and parent who refuses to accept the bandwagon approach to learning." -Vivian Gussin Pale, author of Wally's Stories.