Wednesday, April 25, 2012


One of the things we know about good readers is that they connect one book to another and another. In other words, they can see how books relate one to the other. I can hardly begin reading a book before I start to think of other books I would put in a "ladder" with this title. Or, as I am reading a handful of picture books, as I did this morning, I can see how all 5 could connect. At the end, I present my connections for you. See h ow I did. Bet you could connect them in different ways, too.

SOPHIE'S FISH by A. E. Cannon (who also writes YA fiction) (Viking 2012) is about Jake. He has promised Sophie that he will look after her fish while she is gone. As soon as he makes the promise, he begins to worry. In some ways, Jake reminds me of Alexander from the lovely Judith Viorst books in how his situation seems to grow more dire the more thought he gives it. Before long, Jake is looking for ways to escape from his promise. Quite a surprise awaits Jake and the reader at the end of the story. <207>

THE PRINCESS AND THE PACKET OF FROZEN PEAS by Tony Wilson with illustrations by Sue deGennaro (Peachtree 2012) is, of course, a variant on the familiar story of the Princess and the Pea. When it is time for Prince Henrik to find a bride, he asks his brother for advice. His brother tells him the story of how he found his wife by using a tiny pea and a stack of mattresses. However, Henrik is fairly sure he wants the opposite type of wife from his brother's who seems to be too sensitive. So, he uses a thin mattress and a packet of frozen peas with wonderful results, ultimately. <208>

MOOSHKA A QUILT STORY by Julie Paschkis (Peachtree 2012) is a story of tradition and stories. When Karla is small, she receives a special quilt from her grandmother. She calls the quilt Mooshka. At night, as Karla touches the individual squares, known as "schnitz," they whisper to her of their story. The blue square was the neckerchief worn by her grandfather when he came to ask her grandmother to marry him Other squares have different stories. And now Karla's story is about to change as her baby sister moves into her room. Mooshka stops talking to Karla until one night she covers her fussy sister with her special blanket. Then, the stories come back in a whole new way. <209>

YOU ARE A LION AND OTHER FUN YOGA POSES by Taeeun Yoo (Nancy Paulsen/Penguin 2012) is a fun rhythmic book that will invite readers to pose as lions, snakes, dogs, and other creatures. <210>

THE WIND THAT WANTED TO REST by Sheldon Oberman with illu8strations by Neil Waldman (Boyds Mills Press 2012) tells of the winter wind's search for a place to rest. Time after time, he is chased from different locations. The mountain fears that the wind will cause him to crack; trees want to be free from his presence as well. Only the kindness of a small child keeps the winter wind from destroying the entire village. Pair this one with LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET as a example of the small act of kindness of a child helping an entire community. <211>

OK, now how can we connect these? Well, the wind in THE WIND THAT WANTED TO REST would make someone cold. That someone might want to use a quilt like MOOSHKA to keep warm. The wind might also be welcomed by Prince Henrik who is using frozen peas to help him locate a bride. Of course, the wind would be just one more thing for Jake to worry about in SOPHIE'S FISH, but the children practicing their yoga poses in YOU ARE A LION would not be in the least concerned.


  1. Definetly want to read, THE PRINCESS AND THE PACKET OF FROZEN PEAS by Tony Wilson. This book seems like it would be very humourous. I enjoy reading twisted fairtales know I will probably enjoy this one two. In addition, when I showed the picture to my 4th class, they were also excited and can't wait to hear it.

  2. Sophie's Fish takes me back to my childhood when my brothers would make promises they just couldn't keep!

  3. The girls in the class would love the princess and the pack of frozen pea's. First I think they should read The princess and the pea in order to appreciate the story with it's new twist.

  4. The use of personification (the wind behaving like a person)make this an excellent book for my writing class.

    Maria Sanchez

  5. Is it weird that I think Mooshka would be a fun name for a grandma? What a great way to combine stories...using a quilt! Feeling random today...sorry!