A Very Imaginative Story

February 20, 2009

The Shivers in the Fridge is one of my new favorites.  Not only did I have fun reading it, the text kept intriguing me to rereading.  I savored this book and look forward to gaining a copy for myself to savor it more.  I believe it is an Indiana Young Hoosier Award Honor book.

Fran Manushkin has created a fun, clue-finding adventure with the Shivers family in The Shivers in the Fridge. Mama, Papa, Grandpa, Grandma, and Sonny find themselves in a dark environment full of earthquakes and monsters.  Paul Zelinsky paints a city from the Shivers’ point of view inside the refrigerator – Orange, Hills, Egg Valley, Buttery Cliff.  As the reader I began rereading to catch all the clues.  You will definitely want to read this book several times to your students to help deepen their understanding.   For instance I did not understand they were magnets until Grampa got stuck on “the snowy peak of Mr. Ketchup.”  I also looked at the ending page with the little girl and her box, which does read magnets.  At the end, the real family questions, “I wonder how they got INTO the fridge?”  Turn to the page prior to the title page and notice the illustration of the little girl to find your answer.

Your students will have fun piecing the clues together as each member of the Shivers family disappear.  Paul Zelinsky uses play-on-words and typical family antics to add humor to the drama.  Don’t forget to enjoy the illustrations.  If you have an Elmo, I suggest using it during the second reading.  The first time through, chart questions, clues, and background knowledge.  On another reading focus in on the word choice used to help add to the mood.

Savorings for reading and in writing for The Shivers in the Fridge:

  • Element of Surprise – “Standing tall, Sonny Shivers faced that monster – and the monster SMILED!
  • Love of Reading –  on the fridge stands a calendar, an invitation, a recipe, an article, and a list.   “We keep this whole world running.”  There’s so much to read!
  • Voice – “m-m-mama was warm, the p-p-papa was …” ;  repetitive first letter is hyphenated creating the sense of chattering in the cold
  • Visualizing – While Mama tells Sonny a story at bedtime, the illustrations show Sonny’s thought bubbles of his visualizing.
  • Idiom – ” ‘Stop!’  Grandma gave him a sour look.  ‘Don’t get into a pickle!’
  • Repeating Line – “Its long, long claws r e a c h e d  o u t, r  e  a  c  h  e  d   o  u  t —
  • Inference – “a great blazing light shone forth” and then the earthquake happens
  • Onomatopoeia – PHOOMPH! represents the refrigerator door sound when closing
  • Conversational Lead – “Brrr!  It’s cold today!” groaned Papa Shivers.  “I’ll say” chimed in Mama Shivers.  “SHIVER MY BONES!  IT’S COLD!” roared Grandpa.  Sonny, the youngest, said, “It’s been c-c-cold ever since we got here — and dark.”

(PES Library book/ also WPL)

a must-have for me:)