Pet Friendship

January 21, 2009

The adorable cover illustration caught my eye.  I have a soft spot for German shepherds.  Fluffy and Baron is based on the author’s “many happy memories of my childhood pets, who really were best friends.”

Many of our students have pets and they also have friends.  I find that Laura Rankin creatively blends the two interests into this special story of friendship.  I love the character qualities expressed.  The story begins with a warm, loving scenario …

… until three wild ducks reside on the farm’s pond in the spring. 
Fluffy watched, waddling back and forth – toward the newcomers and then back to Baron again.”
Laura’s illustrations make your heart melt as Baron deals with being alone.  Children can connect as they have experienced  loss of friends who have moved, divorce, death.
This book has several places that infer the character feelings and mood of the storyline.  You also have to fill in the gaps between event with the passage of time.  For primary students, this book is ideal for teaching story elements, the climax mountain, and internal character conflict.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Fluffy and Baron:
  • Magic words of story – “One summer day, someone new waddled into Baron’s life.”
  • Passage of time – use of seasons
  • Transitions – “For the next three nights,”
  • Inference – “Baron’s tail wagged and wagged.”
  • Internal character conflict – “Fluffy watched, waddling back and forth

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