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Fun and Games and Life Lessons with September 2015 Primary Titles!

August 28th, 2015 | Posted by etownsend in September | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2015-2016

hula-hoopin queenThe Hula-Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin. Illustrated by Primary Icon of a White-Tailed DeerVanessa Brantley-Newton. Lee & Low, 2014.

We love this multi-generational and multicultural story with universal themes of friendship, family and community! — ROW Primary Literacy Advisory Committee members.

Read the CCBC annotation:

Kameeka is determined to defeat Jamara Johnson and become the Hula Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. Kameeka’s so preoccupied with thoughts of victory that she makes a mistake setting the oven temperature for the cake her mama’s making for Miz Adeline’s birthday and it falls flat. Hoop in hand she heads out to buy more sugar for another cake but gets sidetracked when she runs into Jamara. By the time Kameeka remembers the sugar it’s too late to make another cake before the party. And Miz Adeline loves chocolate cake. But to Kameeka’s surprise it turns out she also loves something else — hula hooping! An appealing debut picture book set in a predominantly African American neighborhood is grounded in lively details and has a wonderful sense of family and community along with terrific dialogue and turns of phrase. (“Mama stands still as water in a puddle. She gives me her look.”) Highly Commended, 2015 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start discussion with these questions:

  1. What conflicts does Kameka face in the story? What is the result of these conflicts? How are these conflicts resolved?
  2. In the book, what do you think Kameka learns? What makes you think this?
  3. The author uses comparisons such as “Momma stands as still as water in a puddle” to describe characters and situations. What other comparisons did you notice in the book?

 

Ling & Ting: Twice As Silly by Grace Lin. Little, Brown, 2014.

A great funny story to engage and encourage beginning readers! — ROW Primary Literacy Advisory Committee members.

Read the CCBC annotation:

ling and ting twice as sillyAlmost identical in appearance, twins Ling and Ting have far from identical personalities as fans of this series that began with Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same (Little, Brown, 2010) know. But both girls excel at being silly, as the stories in this third offering about the Chinese American sisters show. Wordplay is at the root of the humor in some chapters, as when Ting gives up on her idea for a cupcake garden and decides to plant jelly beans instead (because beans are seeds). When Ling announces she can swing higher than a tree, even one that is taller than a building, taller than a mountain, and higher than the clouds, Ting is skeptical until Ling points out that “Trees can’t swing.” The six chapters conclude with Ling and Ting making up a story that is “very, very silly,” and that also brings the volume full circle as they imagine a cupcake tree.  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Start discussion with these questions:

  1. What does Ting plant in the garden to see if it will grow? Why does Ting plant this?
  2. What words do Ling and Ting change in the last story? How does this change the meaning of the story?
  3. The author/illustrator outlines the pictures in either straight lines or curvy lines? Why do you think?

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