The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal

February 11, 2019

IMG_3808 (1)

Visit The Lead Learners blog for my post of The SUN is Kind of a BIG DEAL by Nick Seluk.

Savorings for reading and writing for The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal:

  • Voice
  • Play on Words
  • Scientific modeling
  • Comic strip features
  • Hybrid text
  • Added tidbits in the back
  • Pair it with the book, My Light by Molly Bang, for further study

Dog in Charge

March 7, 2013

Dear Dog and Cat Lovers,

Dan Santat‘s cover illustration caught my eye quickly. How can a dog be in charge? The book, Dog in Charge, is full of mischievous fun. Do you have a dog? How about a cat? Does your dog obey? Cats certainly don’t; they just have a mind of their own (at least mine does).

In this book by K.L. Going, Dog is put in charge of FIVE cats while the family goes to the store. Yep! You guessed it. Mayhem, disaster, chaos hits the house.

The good dog, smart, dog, the very best dog does his best to keep order as each cat disappears for fun. One topples mile; another powders the dresser; flowerpots break. Can you imagine it? Everywhere good dog looks, he is met with a “I’m-in-charge-of-myself” cat-titude.

Trust me, you will have fun reading this book. And, while your reading, think of adventures your dog or cat have while you are away. It definitely made me wonder what my cat, Kippy, does all day long. It will definitely give you something to write about! I wonder if this happened to the author. Hmmm….

Cuddling with my cat,

Mary Helen

Savorings in reading and in writing for Dog in Charge:

  • Personification – you will feel empathy for the dog
  • Comic frame layout
  • Repeating structure and lines
  • Onomatopoeia – “Kerplooie! went the clothes.”
  • Every day happening – pets and their adventures

Robot Fun

July 26, 2012

Browsing the library display, my eye was drawn to Clink by Kelley DiPucchio.The lone robot enticed me and I am so glad. This book is one I want for my collection. There are so many reading strategies, community building, and writing craft lessons that can be used with this book. Boys and girls will be delighted with the character and feel the emotion weaved throughout the story.

Clink the robot, illustrated by Matthew Myers, will connect with every child’s heart. He wants to be exciting, fun, and new like so many of the other robots in the store. Instead, he’s old-fashioned and not upgraded.The illustrated scenes remind me of a child who is looking on to the joyful happenings, wanting to be included, but not knowing how.

The book, Clink, has several underlying themes dealing with acceptance for who you are, not being good enough to fit in, or recognizing your talent. This book is a great way to introduce theme or author’s message and can be a springboard for discussing community with children of all ages. Click here to view a Vemo video book trailer.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Clink:

  • Onomatopoeia and Alliteration – Plink! Pop! Ping!
  • Magic of 3 – with sentences
  • Personification – relate to the thrown-out, non-updated robot
  • Theme – not being good enough or acceptance for who you are
  • Asides – adds voice
  • Love the Dedication –

SOLSC: I am … the Van

March 8, 2012

I belong to Mary Helen. She cleans me, feeds me, and loves me. We have daily conversations. She talks to me and I listen. Sometimes I sing to her and lift her spirits. She knows she can unwind and relax in me as she journeys from here to there. I massage her back with my warming seat and wrap her with summertime-warm air. I tape record her laughter and play it back to her when she is alone. I even snuck a picture when she and Rick kissed.

She trusts me with her kids.  I cradle them and rock them to sleep on long drives. I tolerate their smelly feet and carry their equipment. I love attending all the games. I cheer from afar, while visiting with my friends nearby. I’m invited on vacations. Our trip to Florida was pleasant, refreshing, and downright fun. I can’t wait for the next one.

I chauffer her on errands and in return, she feeds me. She feeds me well; I’m like a growing teenager, with a never-ending hunger for more. I get thirsty and her bill-whew! Glad I’m not paying. I try not to eat so much, yet my energy has to be on high all the time.

My job is demanding, but I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. For many months, I spent time in a car orphanage waiting for the perfect family. Now I have one and will do my best to always be reliable. They are kind and get me check-ups when needed and even take me to be fixed on occasion. I definitely will go through plenty of shoes; roads can be rough.

Yes, I am the van, but to MaryHelen, I am so much more.