Friday, June 7, 2013

One Cool Friend: Book Review

One Cool Friend, by Toni Buzzo pictures by David Small
This is a wonderful book!  It was nominated for the Monarch Award, and is a Caldecott Honor Book.  You can see why: the illustrations are superb!

Elliot built Magellan and ice skating rink. 

Elliot and Magellan
This book is also superbly written.  Elliot and his father go to the aquarium.  Elliot brings home a souvenir: Magellan a Magellanic penguin.  As a reader, I drew one conclusion. Now that I have read the book many times, I believe that there are many different conclusions can be drawn, discussed, and believed to be true.    What a great book to share with students that there isn't always one answer: but many.  How long did the father know about Magellan?  Was Elliot trying to hide the penguin from his father? Did he hide it from his father?

I remember when we did try to hide something from my mom--for how long we hid it, I will never know, but I was certainly surprised when she found out!

I grew up in a big family. We rarely had cold cereal, crackers, chips, or any junk food. One treat we made was peanut butter balls: the recipe consisted of powdered milk, peanut butter, and honey. The second treat was better, and we named it Nothing. Now Nothing is a wonderful mixture of butter, brown sugar, and oats. We would cook it up on the stove (then eventually the microwave), eat it, sometimes with milk (powdered at that) and clean it all up. We called it nothing, and we thought we were so clever because our mom never would know that we made it! Well, then one night we were down in the basement and my mom goes, "Hey let's have some nothing!" We couldn't believe our ears, she knew, for how long we don't know.

I am working on a packet for this book.  The ideas are flowing.  But in the meantime, I want you to look at this packet from my good friend at Joy in the Journey.  She did a really nice packet, and you can get it free from her Teacher Pay Teacher store!


My favorite sections are:
  1. B-M-E Organizer
  2. K-W-L Charts (on the explorer Magellan and penguins)
  3. Character Profiles  
I'm going to take a different approach, but I hope you will enjoy this as well!  

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