Ralph Fletcher newest children’s picture book is titled, The Sandman. He takes a child reader on a fantastical magical tale. A little man named Tor has difficulty sleeping. He happens upon a dragon’s scale, which he takes home and begins to file. The dust sprinkles on him causing him to sleep. Upon waking, he’s delighted with his finding.
I love the way Tor doesn’t just selfishly keep the potion for himself; he thinks of other children who might need help sleeping too. What a great avenue into discussing the topic of sharing and caring for others – especially in the classroom community. Since he uses the scale dust, Tor must find the dragon and collect more. Risk-taking is weaved into the story. Ralph’s word painting will have the children on the edge of their seat, visualizing the movie being read.
Savorings for reading and in writing for The Sandman:
- Setting Change – “At first all was quiet. But then he felt a change in the air. A sudden gust of hot wind made his throat dry. He heard the terrible flapping of wings.”
- Talks to the Reader (voice) – “Now you know how the Sandman lives. Suddenly your eyes fell so heavy….”
- Beautiful Language
- Predicting – Tor goes on several adventures