Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Twisted Tuesday!

I've been doing my miscellaneous posts as "Freaky Friday" for the past few weeks because of a lack of other posts. However, this week I'm switching to "Twisted Tuesday." I'm using the term "twisted" loosely as a noun, indicating a deviation of direction. As I'm sure you'll gather from this post, none of these books have anything in common, hence the idea - a change in direction in when considering each of these books!

Schallau, Daniel.
Come Back Soon.
September 2009.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

It’s a long way from Elephant Island to Icetown, but good friends will travel great distances to visit one another. And so Elephant leaves home to see his penguin penpals - Elephant has helped them build a hotel, and there will be a party in his honor. In Icetown, things don’t go as planned. In fact, they don’t go smoothly at all. But just like friends will travel far across the sea to be with one another, good friends will also always help to make things right. A story of friendship, a story of travel and global community, Come Back Soon will cheer anyone who has ever made a mistake and been forgiven.

This is a great story for animal-lovers! What I enjoyed most about the book was the ability for these very different creatures to work together and accomplish huge projects! It would be an inspiring tale for teaching children about cooperative learning in a classroom where there seems to be little cooperation!

Isadora, Rachel.
Happy Belly, Happy Smile.
September 2009.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Every Friday Louie sees the hustle and bustle behind the scenes at his grandpa's Chinese restaurant. The chef's hands fly as he chops vegetables, the delivery boy zips in for a pickup, and the waiters holler out order after order. Then it's time to eat. Grandpa offers Louie a whole fish and crabs. "No, thank you, Grandpa!" But the dumplings, egg rolls, and chow mein sure look good. No trip to the Chinese restaurant is complete without a fortune cookie: "Happy food, happy belly, happy smile."

This is a cute book and definitely one that I could see being used in many ways, both in the classroom and at home! The book touches deep on the heart of Chinese culture (in particular, eating habits) and is perfect for introducing the youngest of children to a culture different than their own (or to allow them to see their own culture portrayed in literature). I think this book would be a perfect way to inspire children to broaden their eating habits and try Chinese food for the first time. I did that this week (tried a whole slew of different things - beef and broccoli, sweet and sour pork, cashew chicken, and General Tsao's Chicken)! Okay, so for the most part, I didn't enjoy the food, although I must say, the General Tsao's sold me and I'll definitely be having that again! It could have been that it's a very local place, not exactly the name that would pop into one's mind when giving recommendations for Chinese food, but it's all that we have as far as Chinese in this minuscule village where I live! The book, however, is certainly worthy of a recommendation, so check it out, see if it works for you!

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities:
Nolan, Lucy.
Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys and Gulls.
June 2009.
Sylvan Dell Publishing.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

What if Jack and Jill had been playing on a nice soft sand dune instead of that treacherous hill? And suppose Mary's pet wasn't really a lamb. What if Mary had a little . . . clam? Those questions - and more - are gleefully answered in Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls. This collection retells Mother Goose rhymes and celebrates America's coastlines and waterways - from sea to shining sea. Young readers will meet playful pelicans, seagulls and otters. They'll ride wild island ponies, meet pirates, and hopefully, they'll learn the important difference between "orca" and "okra." With clever twists on old standards, Mother Osprey is a salute to sea breezes, sand, and just plain silliness.

This one strikes me as different from Sylvan Dell's typical books, however, that's different in a good way! I could totally make the connection between the nursery rhymes here and ones that children will likely be familiar with! I would definitely use this book in a classroom and at home with my some-day children! I think it would be great fun to compare these nursery rhymes to the ones they most-closely resemble - challenge kids to see if they can determine which traditional nursery rhymes these are takes on. Can you figure them out? Test your own knowledge of traditional nursery rhymes vs. original nursery rhymes (answers disclosed at the very end of this post)!

Nursery Rhyme #1
There was an old woman who lived in a shell;
she had too many children to fit very well.
So she added an attic and three or four sheds,
to make room for all of the oyster beds.
Nursery Rhyme #2
Lydia Gail has lost her whale.
He's somewhere around Nantucket.
Leave him alone, and he'll make himself known.
(He's hiding in her bucket).
Nursery Rhyme #3
What are little buoys made of, made of?
What are little buoys made of?
"A bell and a light that flashes at night,
that's what little buoys are made of."
What are little gulls made of, made of?
What are little gulls made of?
"Mischief and daring and one pickled herring,
that's what little gulls are made of."
Nursery Rhyme #4
Old Mrs. Wise
made lobster pies,
all on a winter's day;
her greedy son
grabbed every one
and took them clean away.
What a surprise
for Junior Wise
lay inside that croaker sack.
When he sat on a bench
to eat a pinch,
the lobster pies pinched back!
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.

#1) There Was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe
#2) Little Bo Peep
#3) Boys and Girls (What are Little Boys/Girls Made Of
#4) The Queen of Hearts