Book Spotlight & Creative Writing
So if you haven’t been able to tell by now I love children’s books (more specifically picture books)! However, what I enjoy most of all are picture books that make good read-aloud books and lend themselves well to reading extension or reading response activities. Today I am excited about two books that I recently came across that fit all of the categories metioned above.
This first is Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson.
The book is about a boy named Charlie who sits down to read his favorite book. In his book the main character just so happens to be reading their favorite book. And that main character just so happens to be reading their favorite book and so on. The story takes the reader through many different settings with many different chracters including ghosts, pirates, kings, etc. Oh, did I mention that the text rhymes? I find rhyming books so much fun to read aloud!
Reading Extension Ideas:
- Give each student 2 pieces of computer paper and have them fold them to make a book. Have the students write about their favorite book on page 1. On page 2 have them draw a picture of it. On page 3 have them write about what the main character of that book might read. On pg. 4 have them draw a picture of that book. On page 5 have them write about whether or not they liked Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book. On page 6 have them write about how the book relates/connects to them. And of course allow them to do an elaborate illustration on the front titled: (student’s name)’s favorite book.
- Have each student write and illustrate and poem about their favorite book. (Reread some of the rhymes from the book.)
- If you have enough copies of the book you could allow students to partner up and try to figure out the genre of each story mentioned.
The other book I found is That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell.
This book is about a little girl named Emily Brown and her favorite stuffed rabbit. The queen wants Emily’s rabbit badly and she sends every branch of the military, and others, to try and convince Emily to give up her rabbit. When Emily still refused the queen sent a special ops team to steal it while she slept. However, the queen ruined the rabbit by re-stuffing and washing it. Emily Brown marches into the palace and takes her rabbit back but does not leave the queen empty handed.
Reading Extension Ideas
- Have the students write a short story about one item they would refuse to part with. Tell them that in their story they must think of a creative way for President Obama to try and take that item and what they would do to stop it.
- The illustrations in the book (by Neal Layton) are amazing! Emily and her rabbit have all sorts of fun, imaginary adventures and for a lot of them Layton drew Emily and her rabbit on top of real life pictures. To have students recreate this you could give them a real photograph and have them cut and paste a drawing of them with their favorite item onto the picture. You could print these real-life pictures from online, get them from a magazine, or use the pictures from old (or dollar store) calendars.
I hope this inspired or encouraged someone! Enjoy!