Sunday, July 24, 2011

Complete Book List as of July 2011

Chapter Books:

Challenged Books ( 4 of 6):
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Are You There God? It's Me Margaret by Judy Blume
Go Ask Alice by Annonymous

Coretta Scott King Award (2):
Miracle's Boys by Jacqueline Woodson
Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper

Bluebonnet Books (3 of 6):
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
Mudshark by Gary Paulsen
Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury

Newbery Honor Books (4):
The Underneath by Kathi Applet 
The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Notable Books for Children (1 of 3):
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

New York Times Bestseller (1 of 3):
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

New Moon by Stephanie Myers
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Picture Books:

Caldecott Medal Winners (4):
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward
The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel
One Fine Day by Nonny Hogrogian

Notable Books for Children (2 of 3):
Good Enough to Eat by Brock Cole
Nothing by Jon Agee

Pura Belpre (2):
Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes
Just in Case by Yuyi Morales

Challenged Books (2 of 6):
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Super Diaper Baby 2: Invasion of the Potty Snatchers by George Beard and Harold Hutchins

New York Times Bestseller (2 of 3):
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Phillip C. Stead
Should I Share My Ice Cream by Mo Willems

Bluebonnet Books (2 of 6):
Pirates by David L. Harrison
That Book Woman by Heather Henson

How to Eat Fried Worms

This book is on the Challenged Book List
Summary: This is the story of four boys that have been life-long friends. Alan bets Billy that he cannot eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. Now Billy is up for a bet, for he's the kid that was dared to sleep in an igloo in the dead of winter and did it. However, eating fifteen worms has to be worth his while so Alan agrees to pay him fifty dollars if he can do it. After Billy eats the fourth worm with little trouble, Alan begins to get worried. He and Tom try every prank in the book, including gluing worms together so Billy will have to eat a monster of a worm. They tell his mother, they send fake doctor's notes describing poison worms, and they make a fake worm out of beans. Billy is encouranged by Tom not to fall for the pranks. After all is said and done, Billy wins the bet and buys a mini-bike with his winnings.

Personal Reaction: When I went to look for challenged books to read I had to just laugh that this book made the list. Supposedly it is challenged because it promotes inappropriate behavior. I doubt after reading this book that young boys will be inclined to run off, digging for worms, smothering them in ketchup, and eating them. Of course I remember this book when I was younger and it was a lot of fun reading it again. Since all four boys were introduced at once I thought I might have trouble keeping the characters straight, but it is a nicely written book that quickly establishes who is who. The boys get into typical boy trouble, including pulling silly pranks and fist fights. This is definately a classic, a fast-paced story about friendship and growing up.
Rockwell, T. (1973). How to eat fried worms. New York:Yearling. 

Just In Case

This book is a Pura Belpre Honor Book

Personal Reaction: This brightly illustrated book is actually a Spanish alphabet book. I loved it and read it to my own children. My kids are teenagers, one of them taking Spanish in high school. She had fun correcting me on the Spanish words. Told in English, the story begins with Senor Calavera setting off on his bike for Grandma Beetle's party.  He is approached by Zelmiro the Ghost who questions him about what gift he will be bringing to the party. This is where the fun begins. Senor Calavera collects gifts for each letter of the Spanish alphabet. However, every few letters (gifts) he is interrupted by the ghost. The words have a great deal of rhythm to them. There are many repeated phrases that if read aloud to a class the students would soon be speaking along with the cadence of the words. This would be a great book for ELA students. I think it would be a great introduction in a beginning Spanish class as well. I really enjoyed the illustrations and the use of skeletons and ghosts seems culturally appropriate. When I was at the library with my enormous stack of books, I leaned down to pull this one off the shelf. There happened to be a little guy, probably six years old, and when I put this book on top of my stack he reached for it. Well, battle was on! I quickly scooped the stack up and went on to search for other books. This little guy became somewhat of a stalker. The  cover was so colorful, he really wanted MY book. Yes, I resorted to some immature tactics to get my book home, but hey, a librarian does what she has to.

Morales, Y. (2008). Just in case: a trickster tale and Spanish alphabet book. New York: Roaring Book Press.   

Los Gatos Black on Halloween

This book is a Pura Belpre Honor Book

Personal Reaction: This illustrator also illustrated Just in Case. They are whimsical and beautifully done. They may be a little dark with a lot of ghosts, skeletons, vampires, and witches, however, it is a Halloween book. Some parents may not want to read it to really young children as it contains verse such as, "the corpses with their cold dead eyes." I wouldn't have a problem with it as the story is about a Monster's Ball and in the end, it's the monsters that are afraid of the trick-or-treaters. It is a rhyming book with Spanish words interspersed throughout the verse. The text lends itself to this amusing little story as it slants and curves giving the rhyme a musical quality. It would be great read-aloud Halloween story to any class. When I read aloud to my students and come across a Spanish word it is always my ELA kids that get a big smile on their faces and correct my pronunciation. This book also has a helpful glossary at the end.

Montes, M. (2006). Los gatos black on Halloween. New York: Henry Holt and Company.


This book is a 2010 Bluebonnet Book

Summary: This is not your typical book of poems about pirates. It is richly illustrated and the poems are about the harshness and dangers of being a pirate. The first poem describes the sad and lost man that would decide to be a pirate. From there it takes the reader through the signing of the pirates oath, the consequences of breaking rules, the boredom of being at sea, capturing and robbing ships, and eventually death by hanging. It is a realistic view, beautifully illustrated, that does not glamorize the life of a pirate.

Personal Reflection: This book is amazing. I can't believe how bold the illustrations are. They show the pirates with broken teeth and sinister expressions. You can just feel how difficult and scary it was to meet a pirate. The poems have a natural flow as it takes the reader through the life of a pirate. It has one pirate being beaten and another being left for dead on an island where he is to live out the rest of his life alone after breaking the rules. It's a great book to illustrate that Jack Sparrow is NOT a real pirate and pirates certainly aren't heroes. I love how the author included a "Here's How It Was" page at the end of the book. It has little gems about pirates that kids really should know like the harrows of scurvy and the filthy water, rotting wood, and manure that could be found on the pirate ships. This is a BIG book, easily measuring one foot by one foot. Kids will love it!

Harrison, D.L. (2008). Pirates. Honesdale, PA.: Wordsong.

Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invation of the Potty Snatchers

This book is on the challenged book list

Summary: The Hoskins family goes on a where Super Diaper Baby and Diaper Dog come to the rescue of many people that need their superpower help. Meanwhile, evil Dr. Dilbert Dinkle and his cat, Petey, are up to know good. After being accidentally shot by his evil Liquidator machine, Dr. Dilbert is turned into water. This suits him just fine as he can still rob people even if he's water. Then Petey drinks Dr. Dilbert and over the course of a day, turns him into pee. Now nobody in town wants to deal with an evil puddle of pee so Dr. Dilbert goes on a rampage. He builds a giant robo-cat and has it steal all the toilets in town. This forces the people to pee themselves and stink like Dr. Dilbert. In the end, Super Diaper Baby and Diaper Dog are able to push the earth so the temperature drops, turning Dr. Dilbert into a block of ice. They deliver him to a planet where he will never hurt anyone again, Uranus.
Personal Reaction: This is the most ridiculous book I have ever read! I loved it and kids will love it! There is not a kid in the world that is not going to find humor in this story. It is written in comic book style and has plenty of purposely misspelled words to give the book the feel that it is written by a baby. For instance "New clear" is used for "nuclear" and the technique works well with the silly plot. I can see kids reading this book over and over just because they get to say things like "Rip-Van-Tinkle" and "urine big trouble." I can understand why this is a challenged book. It can definately be labeled as inappropriate. I think kids are going to talk about pee and diapers and a lot of other stuff so why not put it down on paper and let them read a fun little story about it, as inappropriate as that sounds. I think I could hand this book to a reluctant reader and they would enjoy it.
Beard, G. & Hutchins, H., (2011). Super diaper baby 2: invasion of the potty snatchers. New York: The Blue Sky Press.

New Moon

Summary: Bella is in love with Edward. She attends a b-day party that the Cullens are throwing for her and cuts her finger. This triggers the bloodlust of the vampires and Jasper attacks her. Edward and the Cullens will not put Bella in jeopardy so Edward tells her he does not love her and they move away. Bella goes into deep depression until she decides she will start hanging out with Jacob. Jacob becomes increasingly distant because he can transform into a werewolf and will not break the promise of his pack; the promise that he can tell no one. Bella eventually guesses what Jacob's secret is. Victoria, a very evil vampire, returns to Bella's town. Meanwhile, Alice Cullen has seen a vision and tells Edward that Bella has died. After escaping death from the Volturi, the Cullens return to Forks and Edward vows to never leave Bella again.
Personal Reflection: Several years ago I went to a Book Talk workshop. It was excellent and I've gone every year since then. One of the books highlighted that year was Twilight. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and read it. I told my daughter that this book was going to be the next Harry Potter. Was it as well written? Not the best in my opinion, but it was a fun and memorable book. I began to see girls at my school carrying the book around and I begged my daughter to read it. When she finally did she loved it and quickly became part of Team Edward. This is the perfect series for teenaged girls. It has thrills, suspense, vampires, and undying teenage love. What more could a girl want?!

Meyer, S. (2006). New moon. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Hunger Games

Summary: Katniss is our protagonist and the story is told in first person by her. The story takes place in the future. Katniss and her family live in District 12 and the reaping day is quickly approaching. Reaping day is a lottery selection where one girl and one boy from each district are selected to participate in the Hunger Games, in which only one person will survive. When Katniss's little sister is chosen, Katniss quickly jumps in to take her place. Peeta is the young man that is selected and both he and Katniss must leave to prepare for the Games. When the Games begin Peeta and Katniss must fight not only against the other contestants but against each other. The Capitol changes the rules and announces their will be two winners. This forges and alliance between Katniss and Peeta where Peeta quickly begins to fall in love with her. When in the final hours of the Games the Capitol makes yet another rule change. There will be only one winner. Peeta and Katniss decide they will both eat poisonous berries and there will be no winner. The Capitol rushes in and declares both victorious. 
Personal Reaction: This book had me on the edge of my seat. I could not put it down. I read it when it first came out and re-reading it brought back just as much suspense. The characters are all well developed and believable. Oh, Katniss may be a little bossy and hard-headed and you want to just slap her once in awhile but that is what makes her beleivable. I loved Haymitch, the old codger really loves those kids but he keeps it well hidden. This is a dark book that really has a horrendous plot but it is sure to appeal to this generation. My library didn't have the last book of this trilogy so I asked one of my sixth graders if I could borrow her copy. She was happy to lend it to me and we had a great discussion about it. This is a captivating series.

Collins, S. (2008). The hunger games. New York: Scholastic Press.

My Brother Sam is Dead

This book is a Newbery Honor Book

Summary: This story takes place during the Revolutionary war in Redding, Connecticut. The Meeker family runs a tavern and there sixteen-year-old son, Sam, has run off to fight with the Rebels. The rest of the family, especially Father, are on the side of the Tories so Sam's decision does not sit well. While Sam is gone, Father and his son, Tim, take a three day journey so they can sell their cattle. During the trip Father is captured by cowboys. Tim and Mother must now survive without him. Sam continues to fight and his company arrives in Redding. Sam urges his mother to slaughter the cattle they own before it is stolen but before Mother can do that, Sam is falsely arrested for stealing his own cattle. Young Tim appeals to the Generals, but in the end, Sam is sentenced to be shot.
Personal Reaction: I really enjoy historical fiction and this book did not disappoint. This story is told in first person by Tim. His greatest dilema is what side of the war he believes in. What with his father being a staunch Tory and his brother joining the rebel cause, he is torn. He really loves and admires Sam and struggles to be as brave and courageous as he believes his brother to be. I enjoyed seeing Tim grow-up because of the pressure of the war. He really had to step up and went from a boy that complained about his chores to the man of the house very quickly. I always like the author's notes when it comes to a historical fiction novel. It sorts out what was real and what was made up. These authors included the names of many real people and places and events. And although Sam is a fictional character, there were many executions similar to the way Sam was excuted. 

Collier, J.L. & Collier, C. (1974). My brother Sam is dead. New York:Simon & Schuster.

Are You There God? It's Me Margaret

This is a challenged book

Personal Reaction: I actually have a copy of this book. I bought it years ago to read aloud to my step-daughter (who is now 27!) I kept the book because I loved it when I was a young girl. It held such taboos at the time that it almost felt like I was doing something wrong when I read it. When my own daughter turned 13, I broke out my worn copy of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. I would like to think that I have two children that love to read but truth be told, they would rather be on the computer. However, when I gave my daughter this book she read it right away and loved it as much as I did at her age. I think of this book as a classic. All girls feel self-concious during these years and Margaret is very relatable as she struggles with growing into womanhood. I plan on keeping my worn copy and handing it down to another generation.

Blume, J. (1970). Are you there God? it's me, Margaret. Cavaye Place, London: Piccolo.

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

This is a NY Times Bestseller

Summary: This is a darling book about Elephant who is in a dilemma. He has bought an ice cream and wants to share it with his best friend Piggie but he is finding excuses as to why he shouldn't. After going back and forth on whether or not he should share, his ice cream melts and he is sad. Then along comes Piggie with and ice cream to share with her best friend, Elephant.
Personal Reflection: We all have been put in a situation where we would like to share something with a friend but find excuses to keep it to ourselves. This is a great book to illustrate to kids why sharing can be difficult. Elephant decides he wants to share with Piggie but then finds excuses as to why he shouldn't. Just like with kids they may not see the rewards of sharing and how sharing is a good thing.
This book is simply illustated with cartoon-like pictures. The simplicity of the pictures goes well with the simplicity of the concept. I liked this book and can see how children would want to read it over and over. 

Willems, M. (2011). Should I share my ice cream. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

This book is a NY Times Bestseller
Summary: This is a sweet tale about a zookeeper, Amos McGee. He is very kind and evey morning he spends time with the animals until one day when he is too sick to go to work. So the animals return the kindness and make there way to Amos's house. They wait with him until he is well again.
Personal Reflection: This book is not only a NY Times bestseller but a Caldecott Medal winner. The illustration are as sweet and gentle as the story. Color is used sparingly and the illustrations show great detail. Bunny rabbit slippers under Amos's bed and a teddy bear perched on top illustrate how tender Amos's nature is. I loved this little tale about being kind and receiving kindness back. When the animals load the bus to visit Amos so they can take care of him, it shows how much they love him. And as a reader I loved Amos too.

Stead, P. C. (2010). A sick day for Amos McGee. New York: Roaring Book Press. 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Rodrick Rules

This book is on the NY Times Bestseller List

Summary: This is the diary of Greg Heffley. Greg has many hilarious events happen during the course of keeping his diary. His best friend, Rowley, bores him nearly to death with his vacation stories, his little brother, Manny, is always tattling on him, and he isn't very successful when his mom lays out a plan for the boys to earn Mom Bucks. When Greg's parents leave older brother, Rodrick, and Greg alone while they leave town, Rodrick throws a wild party and locks Greg in the basement. The school is having a talent show and Rodrick enters his band, Loded Diaper. Meanwhile, Greg is stuck being a magician's assistant to first grader. Greg refuses to videotape Rodrick during the talent show leaving it up to his mother who completely makes a mess of the video. Rodrick becomes a laughingstock because of it and lets out Greg's secret to all of his classmates.
Personal Reflection: My son is a big fan of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I literally had laugh out loud moments as I read through this book. Jeff Kinney is a genius in my opinion. He has Greg on the swim team and all the boys are wearing swim trunks. But darnit for Greg, Mom gives him Rodrick's old Speedo. The illustration of an embarrassed Greg and beaming mom is hilarious. In typical Mom fashion she is saying, "Your friends will be jealous because you'll be so fast!" Rowley is Greg's best friend that invites seven-year-olds to his birthday party and wants to be a nurse when he grows up. This book is so clever. I absolutely loved it.

Kinney, J. (2008). Diary of a wimpy kid Rodrick rules. New York: Amulet Books.

A Light in the Attic

This book is a challenged book

Personal Reaction: I love Shel Silverstein and I love this delightful book of super-silly poems. This book has been challenged on the grounds that it promotes disrespect, horror, and violence. Sure, there are poems about a broiled face and a girl who died because she didn't get her way but they are presented with humor and wit, not violence and horror. This actually became one of the most challenged books of the 90's which made me wonder. How could a book of nonsensical, light-hearted, and downright goofy poems be one of the top challenged books. Looking further I found that some considered the illustratins to be too suggestive. (I counted only one bare bottom in the whole book :) The black and white drawings, done by Silverstein, are whimsical and playful in my opinion. And I had to love the last objection I found about the book. It claimed the book "glorified Satan, suicide and cannibalism, and also encouraged children to be disobedient." I find nothing offensive about this book and can see myself reading these poems to my sixth graders during those few minutes after recess.

Silverstein, S. (1981). A light in the attic. New York: HarperCollinsPublishers.

The Underneath

This book is a Newbery Honor Book

Summary: Ranger, the abused dog of Gar Face, lives underneath the porch, chained and nearly starving. A mother cat, also neglected, wanders into the Underneath and quickly the two become friends. Mother Cat gives birth to two kittens, Sabine and Puck, who are warned to never venture out from the Underneath, as Gar Face is an evil man. But Puck is curious and one day he disobeys and is swept up by Gar Face. Mother Cat, going to his rescue is also swept up. Gar Face puts them in a sack and throws them in the river. Only Puck survives. Left on his own to find his way home he encounters many obstacles. Meanwhile, Ranger and Sabine must escape from Gar Face by venturing out from the Underneath.
Personal Reflection: I'm not a big fan of books about talking animals but this book was amazing. It was haunting. I loved the way the author used the language and just the overall tone and voice as well. There are several stories going on at once. There is the ancient Alligator King, over 100 feet long, friends with Grandmother, a water moccasin shape shifter. Grandmother seeks revenge for the loss of her daughter, Night Song. This tale, woven throughout the story of Ranger, Sabine, and lost Puck, almost gives the book a magical feel. The writing is so beautiful, I just knew this author was going to have a wonderful way of bringing everything together. And she did. Simply beautiful. It is beautifully crafted and although the stories seem to have nothing to do with one another it all comes together in a suspenseful and heart-breaking ending. My daughter read the book after I told her how good it was. Her comment? "I wanted to scoop up Ranger and the cats and punch that evil Gar Face in the head." (me too!)

Appelt, K. (). The underneath.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Midwife's Apprentice

This book is Newbery Honor Book

Summary: A young, orphaned girl, living on the streets and sleeping in dung beetle heaps to keep warm, is taken in by a harsh, yet not unkind, midwife. The girl, who calls herself Alyce, learns the art of midwifery as she accompanies Jane Sharp, the midwife. When she births her first baby the townspeople are pleased with her making the midwife jealous. When she is asked to go alone, without the help of Jane, to birth a baby, Alyce soon realizes she is not as experienced as she thought. Doubting herself, she calls for the help of Jane. After the baby is born Alyce is ashamed, full of self-doubt, and believes herself to be a failure and to be too stupid to even be a midwife's apprentice. She and her faithful cat, Purr, run away to the next town where she becomes a worker at an inn. One night a group of travelers arrive at the inn. A man proclaims his wife is being devoured by a stomach worm but the innkeeper and Alyce tell him she is with child. The innkeeper tries to help with the birth but gives up leaving Alyce to step up. She is scared, scared that she will fail again, but she delivers the baby. She realizes that her destiny is to be a midwife, therefore, she must return to Jane Sharp to learn what she can. Whe the cat and Alyce arrive Jane Sharp turns them away. But with persistance and a newfound understand of who she is and what she wants, Alyce will not give up and Jane accepts her back.

Personal Reacation: I really enjoyed this story. I picked it up thinking it was a book that I had read before but quickly realized the story was a new one for me. I really loved the character, Alyce. She was full of such self-doubt and pity but as the reader that is not the side that I saw. I saw her as a fighter, a survivor, and really wanted her to win in the end. The girl slept in dung beetle piles to keep warm for heaven's sake! If that is not resourceful and ingenious, I don't know what is.  I was glad the character of Jane was not overly harsh, as I wanted Alyce to have a little kindness in her life. When Alyce finds the young boy, Edward, and directs him to the manor house where he could find food and shelter, we are given further insight into what a caring heart Alyce has. In the end she is given many choises as to what she can do. But with self-realization, she choises what she was meant to do. Become a midwife's apprentice.
Cushman, K. (1995). The midwife's apprentice. New York: Clarion Books.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Whipping Boy

This book is a 1987 Newbery Medal Winner

Exposition: The story begins in a castle where Jemmy, the whipping boy for Prince Brat, is being whipped for the prince's misbehavior. Jemmy has no use for the prince but has been plucked off the street to live out his fate. Bored and full of arrogance, the prince decides he wants to run away and he is forcing Jemmy to go with him.
Conflict: Once out in the world they are soon captured by two outlaws, Hold-Your-Nose Billy and Cutwater. The outlaws quickly assume Jemmy is the prince since he can read and write. Jemmy orders that the ransom note he was forced to write be sent to the king by way of his whipping boy, Prince Brat, hoping the prince will take the opportunity to flee. But the prince refuses to leave.
Rising Action: Prince Brat and Jemmy are able to escape from the outlaws. Dodging soldliers they soon meet Mr. Nips who invites them to ride along in his hot-potato cart. But soon enough they are stopped by the outlaws and pulled from the cart. The outlaws are outraged and whip Prince Brat thinking he is the whipping boy. To whip a prince, even unknowingly, is an offense punishable by death.
Climax: The two boys are saved by a bear, owned by Betsy. The bear approaches and scares the outlaws away. The boys, Betsy, and the bear find Mr. Nips and ride with him to the street fair. Once there we begin to see a change in Prince Brat's arrogant ways. He enjoys his first handshake, relishes at collecting water, eats his first potato, and laughs for the first time. Then a paper seller balks that the whipping boy has kidnapped the prince and he is wanted dead or alive.
Falling Action: As Jemmy flees the fair, the prince follows. The outlaws are back in the picture and are after them yet again. Jemmy and Prince Brat dodge into the sewers. Jemmy is very familiar with the sewers as he was a rat catcher prior to his whipping boy duties. As the outlaws struggle to find them in the dark sewers, the boys are able to lead them to the rat-infested area of the tunnels.
Resolution: The outlaws are attacked by rats and bound out of the sewers. Jemmy and the prince are safe. Begrudgingly, Jemmy returns to the castle with the prince. The prince promises the king that he will never misbehave again. For he would not want his friend, Jemmy, whipped.

This book has language that befits the setting of a prince, a ratcatcher, a dancing bear, and a potato salesman. Phrases such as, "Let's fetch us a crowd and earn a copper or two," and "Lads, you won't mind if I truss you up like a Christmas goose."

Fleischman, S. (1986). The whipping boy. New York: Greenwillow Books

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet

This book is a 2010 Bluebonnett Book

Summary: This story is about an irresponsible nine year old boy. Starting fourth grade he manages to get in a food fight and let a centipede escape into the classroom the first day of school. He learns that his family will be having a guest stay with them, a snotty, sixteen year old girl from Texas named Stella. Because of this Calvin will be moving out of his room into the storage closet in the garage. When a sixth grader threatens to beat him up Calvin thinks of a clever way to get him off his back. This is a fun book for young boys and girls.

Personal Reaction: This is a great book for young readers. It has a simple writing style that is easy to read. There are small illustrations thrown in as well. Was it a favorite of mine? Not really. I can see how younger kids would actually have laugh out loud moments when they read it like when Calvin gets pulled into the surf on a wakeboard, but it is definately a chapter book for grades 2-4 and could easily be used as a read aloud book. The story takes place in Hawaii and the kids in the book are very diverse. It's got muliculture going on for sure. The new boy in class is introduced as "blond, a haole, a white boy." This is to eventually become a series that I think will catch on quick.

Salisbury, G. (2009). Calvin Coconut: trouble magnet. New York: Wendy Lamb Books.

Copper Sun

This book is the 2007 Corretta Scott King Award Winner

Exposition: This historical fiction book begins in a small village in Africa. We are introduced to Amari, a beautiful African American girl. She is sweet in spirit and looks forward to the day she will wed her betrothed friend, Besa. The day comes when a group of strangers enter the village, and although they are greeted with much hospitality by the villagers, they bring out guns, shooting most of the villagers except the younger and stronger amongst them. Amari and Besa face many horrendous obstacles before they are locked on a ship to be transported to the States.
Conflict: Amari is befriended by an older woman who tells her she is now a slave, her life will never be as it was. Amari is sold to Mr. Derby, to be a birthday present for his son, Clay. Amari is put in the care of Polly, an indentured servant. Both are to live together in a small shack.
Rising Action: During the nights, Master Clay calls for Amari, and during the day she and Polly are assigned to work in the kitchen with another slave and her young son, Teenie and Tidbit. Life goes on and Polly and Amari begrudgingly enter into a friendship. Mr. Derby's second wife has become pregnant and melancholy. As part of the marriage agreement she is accompianed by her slave servant, Noah.
Climax: When Polly and Amari get a chance to serve dinner in the main house rather than work in the kitchen disaster strikes yet again. Amari trips, spilling wine, and is relentlessly beaten by Mr. Derby. Master Clay decides to go gator hunting using Tidbit as bait. And Mistress Isabelle, Mr. Derby's wife, has her baby, a black baby.
Falling Action: Amari, Polly and Teenie help hide the baby in the slave quarters and Mr. Derby is told the baby died. Mr. Derby discovers the baby, realizes it is Noah's child, and shoots both Noah and the baby. As punishment to the slaves and Polly for hiding the baby he will sell Amari, Polly, and Tidbit, and that's when the three decide to run away. For weeks they travel south, starving half to death, encountering many obstacles along the way, including encountering a broken Besa that is dead inside.
Resolution: The three finally reach Fort Mose, a Spanish settlement, where all people are free. Since Polly can read and write she is asked to help open a school. Lastly, we find Amari is pregnant with Master Clay's child. Although this is a bitter realization to her she ends up embracing the situation. She is, after all, a survivor.

This is a beatiful book told with such passion. I couldn't put it down. The dialogue between the slaves is authentic without being condescending. For instance, "That's why Massa keepa bringin' in new Africans." Amari speaks with the distinct flavor that this is her second language, not her native tongue. "What to do?" There was a lot of suspense in this novel that holds the reader's attention. The use of understatement was shown after the baby was born. Amari simply states, "Black baby, white mama, big trouble."
Draper, S.M. (2006). Copper sun. New York: Atheneum Books. 

That Book Woman

This book is a 2010 Blubonett Book

Exposition: Told in first person this book takes place at little home on the Kentucky hillside. The voice belongs to young Cal who helps his pa with the sheep and cows. He has a sister, Lark, that loves books, loves to read, and loves to play Teacher with Cal. Cal, on the otherhand, does not like books, does not like to read, and certainly does not like when Lark plays Teacher.
Conflict: One day a woman shows up on horseback bearing a parsel of books. Father is willing to trade the blueberries that Cal picked for a book for Lark. The Book Lady refuses, says they're free, and she'll be back in two weeks to bring more. True to her word she comes back every two weeks even in the dead of winter. Cal begins to wonder if there is something to this reading business.
Rising Action: Cal begins to wonder if there is something to the reading business.
Climax: During the bitter part of a long winter, Cal asks Lark to teach him to read.
Falling Action: After being introduced to reading Cal doesn't even mind the long winter. He is content to stay inside and read. When Spring arrives Mama gives the Book Lady a pie.
Resolution: Cal's gift to the Book Lady is to read to her.

At first I wasn't sure if I liked the illustrations in this book. They seemed old-fashioned and a bit drab. However, after reading the story the second time I came to really appreciate the illustrations. Not only do they lend themselves to the time period of the story but they give insight into the characters. When Cal says that he brings the cow home in the evening while Lark reads it seems harmless enough. However, the picture shows Cal with a scowl on his face while Lark is hunched over in the backgroud with a book. When the Book Lady arrives for the first time we see Cal with a suspicious look on his face. And we see the time period readily reflected in the pictures as well with oil lamps and barefoot Cal and Lark.

Henson, H. (2008). That book woman. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.


This book is a 2010 Blubonnet Award Nominee

Exposition: This is a fun story about a boy nicknamed Mudshark due to his his agility and quickness in a sport called Death Ball. Mudshark is also incredibly cool, not because of his clothes but because he is a thinker. He can solve problems like nobody's business. His observational skills are off the chart. In the school that he attends his classmates are quick to come to him when they have a problem.
Conflict: Mudshark is the number-one-go-to-guy for his fellow classmates when it comes to solving problems. However, the eccentric librarian at the school, Ms. Underdorf, brings a parrot into the library as a school pet. This parrot can solve problems just as quick as Mudshark and soon his classmates are going to the parrot for assistance. Mudshark also notices that strange events are occurring around the school. Specifically, all the erasers are missing.
Rising Action: Mudshark collects clues while observing his classmates behaviors. Kyle is becoming increasingly good at magic, especially in making things disappear. Betty can make some pretty stinky concoctions in the science lab, and the custodian, Bill, is receiving strange packages.  
Climax: Mudshark discovers Bill has been taking the erasers. He doesn't like things of beauty being erased from the chalkboards. He also discovers the parrot stealthily escapes and explores the hallways. That is why he is so knowledgeable.
Falling Action: Ms. Underdorf declares that electronic blackboards are going to be installed. Bill is thrilled that things can now be stored and not erased. With the help of Kyle, Betty, Ms. Underdorf, and Bill, Mudshark is able to get all the erasers back into the classrooms.
Resolution: The schoolboard approved electronic blackboards for every classroom. The parrot was sent away due to Bill's allergies.

This is a fun story that has disappearing cars, a pet armadillo that is really a change purse, an art-loving custodian, and a cool boy that wears poodle sweaters to school. It uses several repeat and rhyming terms to grab the attention of the reader. A boy is named Risdon Risdon, triplets named Sara, Kara, and Tara, and the Amazing Armadillo. It also has some great figurative language. Written on the chalkboard was, "I can hear the color green and taste the color blue."

Paulsen, G. (2009). Mudshark. New York: Wendy Lamb Books.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

This is a Notable Book for Children

Exposition: This story is about a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. He belongs to a little girl, Abilene Tulane. Edward lives a good life and he gives himself much credit. He is very much the self-absorbed rabbit and pretty much only loves himself. Pelegrina is Abilene's grandmother and she seems to be aware of Edward's arrogance. Everything is Edward's life, from his fine cloths to his fancy lifestyle, is about to change when the family decides to take a trip on a ship.
Conflict: Once the family is on the boat, Abilene takes Edward on deck. He recieves many compliments until he is grabbed by two boys and thrown overboard. He loses his hat and his pocketwatch in the process. As he lies at the bottom of the ocean he is sure that he will be rescued by Abilene but as months pass, he becomes distraught. Then one night he is rescued by a fisherman who takes him home to his wife. The fisherman and his wife live a simple life and Edward finds himself becoming humble, accepting his new name and his meagar belongings. Edward's emotions are changing as well. He finds that he is capable of loving.
Rising Action: Over many years Edward changes owners several  more times. Each time he develops stronger emotions. He travels with a hobo and his dog. He hangs from a stick as a scarecrow. He is loved by a dying little girl and her brother.
Climax: When the little girl dies Edward is in complete despair. He is taken to Tennessee with the girl's brother and ends up being slammed onto a counter in a diner. His china head is competly shattered. The boy takes him to be mended and Edward awakes in a doll maker's shop.
Falling Action: Edward is completely mended. The boy had allowed to shopkeeper to keep him in exchange to mend Edward. Edward now belongs to nobody. He sits on the shelf year after year losing hope. After having a conversation with another doll he allows himself to hope. He hopes someone will come for him.
Resolution: One day a girl and her mother walk into the shop. The little girl picks up Edward to show her mother. As the mother leans close to Edward he sees a something shiny around her neck. It's his pocketwatch. And she is Abilene.

This is one of my favorite stories. It is beautifully told in a voice that reflects the time period.
It has beautiful full page illustrations for each chapter. It is a lovely book. Pelligrina had told Abilene a story the night before they left for their trip. It was about a self-absorbed princess that loved no one and was turned into a warthog by a witch. Edward was hardly impressed with the story but over the course of his journey he reflected on that story many times comparing himself to the warthog.
DiCamillo, K. (2006). The miraculous journey of Edward Tulane. New York: Candlewick.


This is a Notable Book for Children

Exposition: The story takes place in a shopping area of a town. Otis the shopkeeper is about to close up shop after selling his last item in the store. But before he can lock the door in walks the richest lady in town, Suzie Gump.
Conflict: When asked what's for sale Otis replies nothing. Suzie gladly wants to pay for nothing. Otis thought she was ridiculous. Then he remembered what his father had told him, "The customer is always right." He takes Suzie's money and puts nothing in her car.
Rising Action: After the town gets wind that Suzie is buying nothing they all want some too. The other shopkeepers are happy to take the people's money in exchange for nothing.
Climax: People had to get rid of all their things in order to make room for nothing. As people are dumping their belongings out the window, Otis is quickly collecting it and is able to restock his shop.
Falling Action: Suzie realizes that having nothing means she doesn't have even a towel or bathrobe. She decides to go back into town and back into Otis's shop. When she asks what's for sale she is told by Otis, "Everything." She gets out her checkbook and buys it all.
Resolution: As Suzie loads up, Otis is once again left with an empty shop. Then in walks another customer and asks what's for sale. Otis does not want the same thing to occur again and tells the man he's closed.

The illustrations in this book are fun, colorful and lively. They are perfect for this cute story about nothing and everything. They are cartoon-like and simple. Many span two pages with the text embedded within the illustration.

Agee, J. (2007). Nothing. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.

Love That Dog

This book is a 2002 Bluebonnet Book

Exposition: This story is a dialogue between young Jack and his teacher. This is written as Jack's journal and although we do not hear what the teacher writes back to him, we can infer quite easily. The class is beginning a unit on poetry and Jack is adamently anti-poetry.
Conflict: Jack begrudgingly enters the poetry unit with little enthusiasm. However, when poems and their authors are introduced he slowly becomes more interested. He enjoys some more than others and even writes some of his own. One of his poems seems to haunt him as it is about a car racing down the street. He is very emotional about the poem and the reader soon learns it's about his dog, Sky. He continues with other poems about his yellow dog.
Rising Action: When a poem by Walter Dean Myers is introduced Jack is finally able to finish his own poem. He writes to Walter Dean Myers to request a visit to his school.
Climax: The reader learns that Sky, Jack's dog, was hit by a car and died. And then something good happens! Walter Dean Myers came to visit Jack's class.
Falling Action: After the visit from Mr. Myers Jack is elated! The reader feels he has a new appreciation for poetry. He writes the author a thank you letter.
Resolution: Included in Jack's thank you letter was a tribute poem he wrote to his dog, Sky. It was also a tribute to Mr. Myers poems as it was "inspired by Walter Dean Myers."

This book is packed full of literary elements. Of course the poems use much figurative language and imagary.  Jack's own poem shows the element of rhythm such as "wag-wag-wagging," "slob-slob-slobbering," and "thud, thud, thud."
Creech, S. (2001). Love that dog. New York: Harpers Collins Publishing.

On My Honor

This book is a Newberry Honor book and also on the Challenged Book List. I am posting this as a Challenged Book.

Exposition: This story takes place over the course of one day. It starts out early in the day when two friends, Tony and Joel, decide to go for a bike ride out to the bluffs. Tony has grand ideas of scaling the bluffs while Joel is a much more timid soul. He asks his father if he can go, pleading inside that his father will say no. However, reluctantly the father agrees and has Joel commit that they will bike straight there and back. On his honor, he tells him.
Conflict: As the two boys bike toward the bluffs, Tony decides to take a detour. He tells Joel he would rather swim in the river now. Joel, conflicted between the promise he made to his father, and the relief of not having to scale the bluffs, decides he will join Tony.
Rising Action: Before diving into the river the boys get in a verbal argument resulting in a bet to swim to a sandbar out in the distance. Once they set out Joel can hear Tony splashing behind him. But when Joel arrives at the sandbar Tony is nowhere to be seen.
Climax: After searching himself and flagging down help, Joel realizes Tony has drowned. He must go back home alone.
Falling Action: We quickly realize that Joel has no intention of telling his parents or Tony's parents about what happened. He is pained as he goes about the rest of his day including his daily paper route.
Resolution: When the police arrive after Tony's parents grew concerned about his absence, the truth finally comes out. Everyone is devastated .Both father and son realize they will have to live with Tony's death the rest of their lives.

One of the literary elements this book has throughout is the tension between the characters. Even the two boys had tension in their relationship, getting into several verbal arguments and disagreements. Then there's the fact that Joel dared Tony to swim to the sandbar which results in internal tension and conflict. It is definately a book I did not want to put down. The author also gives Joel's guilt a sense of smell. After Joel returns home and showers he still "couldn't cover the stench of the river clinging to hs skin" and "as he rubbed his skin, the smell rose in his nostrils again, the dead-fish smell of the river."

Bauer M. D. (1986). On my honor. New York: Clarion Books.

The Snowy Day

This book is the 1963 Caldecott Medal Winner

Exposition: This is a sweet story that takes place during winter. It is about a little boy named Peter and his adventures he has the day it snows.
Conflict: Peter is very excited the morning he discovered it snowed the night before. He puts on his snowsuit and his adventures begin. He makes snowangels and snowballs and is a bit conflicted when he can't participate in the snowball fight with the older boys.
Rising Action: After his big day out he makes a snowball and puts it in his pocket. He then goes into his house.
Climax: As Peter taks a bath he thinks about his day. When he checks for his snowball it is gone and he is left feeling sad. We get the impression that he is missing the snow already.
Falling Action: That night, as Peter sleeps, he dreams the sun has melted all the snow away.
Resolution: Aha! Peter awakes to find not only is the snow still there but it is also snowing new snow. He goes back outside with his friend for another adventuresome day.

The illustrations it this fun little story are interesting. They look to be torn or cut paper, perhaps even fabric like sack cloth. The illustrations are very simple to go along with this simple tale yet there is a quality about them that shows much care was put into them. Ther are three pages, two at the front of the book and one at the end, that are filled with stencilled snowflakes. The illustrator really used a unique medium. 

Keats, E.J. (1962). The snowy day. New York: Puffin Books.

The Biggest Bear

This book is a 1953 Caldecott Medal Winner

Exposition: This story takes place on a farm way back in the day. This was when young boys roamed the forest in search of bears. In fact, Johnny Orchard hopes to meet a bear. He wants to shoot a bear and nail the bearskin to his barn. For that is how it was done back then. Eveyone had a bearskin nailed to their barns except Johnny's family.
Conflict: Johnny decides he will go bear hunting. He takes his gun and does indeed meet a bear. But this is not the bear Johnny had been expecting for it was only a cub. Instead of shooting it Johnny feeds him maple sugar candy and brings him home.
Rising Action: His parents were surprised that Johnny had brought home a live bear. Apparently the family allowed him to keep it and it ended up eating everything. Not only that but the bear got into the neighbors barns and made some really big messes. The neighbors were not happy and Johnny's father told him it was time for the bear to go.
Climax: Twice Johnny tried to bring the bear into the woods and twice the bear was back again the next morning. The third time Johnny put the bear in a boat and brought him to an island. The bear was back the next morning. Finally his father told him that Johnny would have to shoot the bear.
Falling Action:  As Johnny leads the bear into the woods they are both caught off guard when they become trapped in a bear trap.
Resolution: The trap had been set by people who were collecting animals for the zoo. Johnny was happy that the bear would have a nice place to live. He was told he could visit as often as he wished. And bring maple sugar candy!

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. They are black and white but I would actually descibe them more sepia in color. They are very detailed and the expressions of the people and the bear are well captured.
Ward, L. (1952). The biggest bear. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Good Enough to Eat

This book is from the Notable Books for Children List

Exposition: This fairy tale takes place in a gated town to protect the citizens from an evil ogre. Our hero of the story has no name, is homeless, and the townspeople consider her a pest. She is referred to Scraps-and-Smells, Skin-and-Bones, and Sweets-and Treats. She sells stale buns or begs or starves. The mayor will not allow the townspeople to throw her out of the city.
Conflict: The day the ugly ogre came to the city demanding a bride was the day the citizens voted to send the girl to him. They did vote and Scraps-and-Smells, Skin-and-Bones, and Sweets-and-Treats were the only girl(s) to get votes. So away our young hero went.
Rising Action: The first time the girl was sent out she told the ogre she was Scraps-and-Smells. She was rejected with great force and the ogre retaliated by eating several farm animals. The second time she was sent out with a dowry. After calling herself Skin-and-Bones the ogre again rejected her and again raided the town's farm animals. The third time she was sent with swords and called herself Sweets-and-Treats.
Climax: Calling herself Sweets-and-Treats certainly got the ogre's attention. He picked her up declared her "good enough to eat" and swallowed her whole. Then she takes a sword, slashes the ogre's belly, and he dissolved into ash.
Falling Action: Once she returns to the town with the farm animals intact the townspeople offer her the lame reward of a barrel to live in and a sausage to eat.
Resolution: After the paltry reward is offered the young lady goes off on her own with the dowry, the swords, and the farm animals. She declares her new name will be Good-Enough-To-Eat.

This book was very well illustrated. I loved the  pictures more than the story. They were brightly colored and cartoon-like. When the text has vivid language such as "he had rats in his hair instead of lice," the illustrations really capture it. It looks to be watercolor and ink. It is a perfect style for such a far-fetched little story.

Cole, B. (2007). Good enough to eat. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux

The Funny Little Woman

This book is a 1973 Caldecott Medal Winner

Exposition: This story takes place "long ago, in Old Japan." (p. 2.) Our main character is a funny little woman who enjoys making rice dumplings. She lives up on a hill in  a little house.
Conflict: One morning one of her rice dumplings rolls down a hill. She chases and falls into a deep underground tunnel filled with talking statues that warn her of the evil "oni."
Rising Action: Once discovered by the evil "oni" she is taken to his house and forced to make rice dumpings for all the evil "onis." She is given a magic paddle that produces a pot full of rice from only one grain.
Climax: One day she decides to escape. She takes the magic paddle, hops in the boat and paddles away. However, only halfway across the evil "onis" discover her and, because they don't swim, the slurp up all the water in the river.
Falling Action: The funny little woman was left stuck in the mud where she made quite the funny little sight.
Resolution: Stumbling around in the mud made the evil "onis" laugh out loud, in turn, releasing all the water back into the river. This allowed the funny little woman to hop in the boat and go back home. And since she had the magic paddle she was able to make many, many rice dumplings.

The illustrations in this book are lovely. They are exquisitely detailed with a blend of watercolor and ink. I love when the funny little lady is underground that her home on the hillside is still portrayed in black and white. It seems to be a lonely little house waiting for it's owner to return.

Mosel, A., & Lent, B. (1972). The funny little woman. New York: E.P. Dutton.

Go Ask Alice

This book is on the Challenged Book List
Exposition: This personal account of a young girls spiral into drug addiction begins with her first diary entry. She is a typical teenager, adjusting to school, struggling with friendships, noticing boys, and concerned with finding her place in high school. It is written in a typical teenage voice that could be the voice of any teenager until she finds out the family will be moving.
Conflict: Although we don't know the girl's name the reader can relate to her excitement and fear about the upcoming move to a new school. Once there she has to begin making new friends all over again. She finds herself feeling isolated and her mood shifts between typical hormonal ups and downs of adjusting to her new situation. She returns to visit her grandparents for the summer and is introduced to drugs. Her daily entries are, at times, difficult to read. She is conflicted on so many levels. She has a love/hate relationship with drugs and at the heigth of her internal struggle she chooses to run away with another girl struggling with the same demons.
Rising Action: Once the girls are in their new city, they vow to stay away from drugs. They get jobs and find an apartment. We are really rooting for them but their lives are difficult. When they are invited to a party they jump at the chance to go and are once again inundated into the drug world. After a month our girl realizes she can't continue on this path and calls her parents who are elated to have her home again.
Falling Action: Basically our girl does a repeat performance, staying clean, finding drugs once again, and running away. After months of being on the street she once again calls home and is accepted with open arms. She vows that it will never happen again until she is slipped some bad stuff and is hospitalized.
Resolution: After getting out of the hospital she is once again comitted to staying off drugs. The last of her diary entries shows a committed, happy, young lady that is not going to let drugs rule he life. Sadly, the book notes this at the end: "The subject of this book died three weeks after her decision not to keep another diary." No one knows if it was an accidental or premeditated overdose.

This was a very hard book for me to read. It was very sad. I checked several times if it was indeed considered a young adult book. Indeed it is and was actually required reading for many high school students in the 70's. Supposedly students would be "turned off" to drugs after reading this account. Literary elements such as personification of the diary is used throughout. Examples are "Oh Dear Diary, I'm sorry I've neglected you."
Annonymous. (1971). Go ask Alice: A real diary. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Miracle's Boys

      This book is a 2001 Coretta Scott King Award Winner

Exposition: This story takes place in the ghettos of New York City. It is told in the first person voice of young Lafayette who lost his mother a year or two ago. Lafayetee was the one that found his mother dead and that haunts him.  The story begins by introducing us to Lafayette's brother, Charlie, recently released from a correctional facility. Charlie is not the same brother from when he left which is why Lafayette refers to him now as Newcharlie. Ty'ree is the oldest brother with the disposition of a saint. He gave up his dream of attending MIT to raise his brothers since their father has also died.
Conflict: Each of the brothers has their own cross to bear. Lafayette blames himself for his mother's death since he was home the day she died. Charlie battles his own demons trying to find his place in the world after his recent release from juvie. Ty'ree, now the full-time caregiver of his two brothers, struggles with holding down a job, providing with what little money he earns, and giving up his dreams to go to college.
Rising Action: As Ty'ree and Charlie strive to maintain a brotherly relationship, Charlie slips further into the world of bad choices. If he breaks the law again then the state will ship Lafayette to his aunt's house leaving their family broken. The brothers are keeping secrets from each other about their parents deaths. We soon learn that Ty'ree was at the park the day his father fell into the lake and died of hypothermia. And we learn that Mama was not dead yet when Lafayette found her the morning she died.
Climax: Ty'ree and Lafayette have bonded during the three years Charlie was in the correctional facility. Charlie, trying to find his own place, befriends a young man that brings him to a gang initiation. Bad choices find Charlie back at the police station, beat up and accused of stealing a car.
Falling Action: When the brothers arrive Charlie swears he didn't know the car was stolen and a police officer shows him mercy by releasing him to Ty'ree. When the brothers arrive home they have a sense of family once again. They know that they only have each other.
Resolution: This particular situation seems like it is one in a long line of stories for these three boys. They realize that life, their lives, are full of struggles, pain, love, and family. For now, they have learned the lessons that brothers stick together and although their parents are gone they will indeed honor their memory by remaining a family.

Two Strong Literay Qualities: The dialogue between the characters reveals their unique personalities. For example, Charlie, is a bitter, hard young man recently released from juvie.
"Your brother is talking to you, man." Aaron said.
"Yeah--I hear you. Later, Milagro killer."
"Oh shoot." Aarron laughed. "That's cold, man."
"It's true," Charlie said. (p. 14.)
He is meanly calling Lafayette his mother's killer.
Unexpected insights is the second literary quality. Toward the end of the book when the brothers realize the need for each other, Charlie waves his hand over his brother's and exclaims, "This is art though, ain't it?" "Sometimes I feel like our lives are one big piece of art--it's everything." (p.129.)

Woodson, J. (2000). Miracle's boys. New York: G.P. Putman's Sons.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One Fine Day

This delightful book is a 1972 Caldecott Medal Winner.
Exposition: This story is about a fox as he travels through a great forest. His unfortunate encounter with an old woman leads him to other parts of the forest in search of help for his dilemma.
Conflict: Our poor little main character, Fox, finds himself in quite a predicament. He is a very thirsty little guy and when he stumbles upon a pail of milk he drinks it up. Unbeknownst to him the milk belonged to an old woman in turns cuts off his tail. Fox wants his tail sewed back on but the ond lady only agrees to do that if her milk is returned.
Rising Action: Fox is very sad and afraid if he returns to his friends he will be laughed at because he has no tail. He decides to set out into the forest in search of milk. This way he can repay the old woman and have his tail sewed on.
Climax: Fox begins a frustrating journey to find milk by first asking a cow. The cow will only give him milk for grass. Grass asks for water. Water asks for a jug. And on and on until we meet a kind man.
Falling Action: The kind man is the answer to Fox's problem. He asks for nothing in return and Fox is able to use the man's kindness to set off a chain of events to eventually return the milk to the old woman.
Resolution: As promised, once the milk was returned to the woman, she sewed on Fox's tail. He was able to happily return to his freinds.

The illustrations in this book are wonderful. They are very childlike in nature such as disproportinate limbs but it works for this very sweet tale about Fox. It appears that they may be watercolor or some type of wash. The pictures are bright and colorful. This book was first published 40 years ago and the illustrations would still hold the attention of any child today.

Hogrogian, N. (1971). One fine day. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks.