Froggy Eats Out
Resurrecting an old favorite this week! I completely forgot about how much I loved the Froggy books when I was little. In this story, Froggy goes to a fancy restaurant with his parents for an anniversary dinner. Froggy is excited to eat somewhere fancy, but has a hard time controlling himself while there. In the end the family decides that eating at a fast flies restaurant is best! This book has colorful illustrations and a story that is easy and fun to follow.
Henry and Mudge and the Tall Tree House
I decided to stick with the theme of old favorites! In this book, Henry’s uncle builds a treehouse in the backyard for Henry. While Henry loves the new treehouse, it makes him miss Mudge. Luckily, Henry’s dad and uncle team up and figure out a way for Henry to have the best of both worlds. Cute book and a great introduction to chapter books!
The Berenstain Bears The Slumber Party
Another classic! In this book, Sister Bear gets invited to a slumber party that ends up getting quite out of hand. A great lesson about responsibility. While these books are a little lengthy, I know that many people enjoy them. It’s one of the few kinds of books that my entire group of kids (K-5) will sit through. Berenstain bears are always a crowd pleaser!
And now for my book of the week: The One and Only Ivan. This was a required book for me this week, and I’m glad it was! The story holds the honor of Newbery Award Winner for 2013. Now, I’ve heard of the Newbery Award, and have read quite a few winning and honored titles. However, before this week, I couldn’t tell you what a Newbery Award was given for.
The medal is given to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children”. They select books based off a few different criteria, namely plot, setting, and theme. For even more details on the award check out (http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyterms/newberyterms)!
After reading it, I can tell that The One and Only Ivan is deserving of this award. I easily identify the plot, setting, and theme, as the author does a great job executing them. For further explanation, continue reading!
A good book for me means becoming emotionally invested in the story. I get sucked into the plot, and no longer read to read—I read to live this story out through the characters. This usually happens with the rising action in the story. In fact most of my all-time favorite books have started off slow to me. In this book, Ivan has some pretty unfortunate things happen to him. It wasn’t until about a third of the way in that tragedy struck and I was hooked. That could just be me! But after that, I sped through the other 2/3 of the book in two sittings!
I think the setting is crucial to the story. Ivan describes his cage (aka domain) to the readers as a dreary and dull place. When we learn that the animals are housed at a shopping mall, it indicates that something is not right.
Theme has always been a hard concept for me, so sorry if I butcher it! This is what I interpreted from the text. I think the literal theme was about animal cruelty. In the story, the author personifies the animals. They can talk, and have feeling for each other. I think this really helps the readers to know how animals feel in captivity. My heart ached to see how depressed the animals got! On a more abstract level, I’m not entirely sure what the theme does. After Ivan loses someone close to him, he goes to the ends of the Earth to try and fulfill a promise made to the one he lost. The author beautifully depicts these feeling of friendship, loss, and loyalty. I really like how the author uses animals to depict very human problems.
I hope that this wasn’t too confusing—my hope was to intrigue those who haven’t read it without giving too much away. I really do recommend the book!