Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book talk: Buddy and the Bunnies in Don't Play with Your Food! by Bob Shea

If you're a monster, you have to be tough. Buddy the monster is tough, and he can threaten anyone or anything -- including you, so watch out. He saw some little bunnies playing checkers, so naturally he threatened to eat them. Bunnies make such a tasty snack, don't you think?

However, Buddy the monster loves cupcakes, and that's what the bunnies were making, so he ate their cupcakes instead. Did I mention that he played hide-and-seek with the bunnies? He'll eat them later. Yeah, later...

 But first they have to go swimming...

One must nap before eating bunnies...

You know the expression, "Don't play with your food?" Is Buddy playing with his food? [Get input from the kids.] What?! He's not going to eat the bunnies? Are you sure? Well, what kind of a monster doesn't eat bunnies?!?

Buddy and the Bunnies in Don't Play with Your Food by Bob Shea. Unpaged. 2014: Hyperion. Booktalk to K-2.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book talk: Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld (Virginia Readers' Choice, 2014-2015)

[As preparation, make a sign of various English punctuation marks and hold it up at the beginning of your booktalk.]

If you were a punctuation mark, which one would you be? A question mark? A comma? A pair of quotation marks? Some of you are clearly exclamation marks, so let me introduce you to a member of your tribe.

[Show opening pages.] At first, our poor exclamation mark did not fit in, poor guy, except when he was lying down and sleeping. When he was awake, he really stood out, and he felt confused and deflated, like a kid with no friends.

But one day he got questioned over and over and over again by question mark. [Bring in some of your favorite questions of hers: "Do you think a snail could go around the world?"; "Am I boring?"; Who's taller, you or me?"]

He got so frustrated with question mark that he yelled STOP! which is SO exclamation marky of him. Exclamation marks are gold-medal winners in yelling, joy, pain, frustration, and all those emotions that take a lot of energy. They can laugh and cry better than the rest of us. Anyhow, question mark LOVED it when he yelled stop. I think those two make natural friends, you know?

Have you now decided which punctuation mark you are?

Exclamation mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. Unpaged. Scholastic Press: 2013. Virginia Readers' Choice, 2014-2015. Booktalk to K-3. This would be a great booktalk for students doing a grammar unit, as well.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book talk: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

It's a bummer when your mom goes out of town: annoying stuff happens, such as running out of milk when you normally don't, and your dad has to leave you to go get some. This is exactly what brings about a run-in with space aliens, you know? I'm serious. They're out there, waiting. This is part of what dad said he encountered:

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
1). Space aliens who want to re-decorate our earth, replacing trees with pink flamingos.
2). Pirates who have never heard of walking a plank. Duh!
3). A time-traveling stegosaurus who wears goggles and owns a time machine cardboard box.
4). Dinosaurs who love cereal, but they eat theirs dry.
5). Vampires with a lisp, called wumpires. Check out their accents.
6). Three dwarves with flowerpots on their heads who do a little dance.

Where are the Galactic Police when you need them?

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. 128 p. HarperCollins: 2013. Booktalk to intermediate grades, reluctant readers in middle school.