I’ve got some great new books for our classroom. Some of them add on to series I’m know you’re familiar with. The Princess in Black and The Mysterious Playdate is lots of fun. You have to love Princess Magnolia and Frimplepants, who along with Princess Sneezewort and Corny, vanquish the monsters. You have to smile at their secret identities – it’s just what readers do. There is a new addition to the Bad Guys series. This time they’re In the Attack of the Zittens. It is plain old silly. Full of laugh-out-loud characters in crazy situations. And the laughs are bound to go on because the evil guinea pig, Dr. Marmalade has just sent issued an ultimatum from his new lair on the Moon. Will he finally achieve his dream of world domination…or will The Bad Guys find a way to thwart his plans? We’ll have to wait for the next installment in the saga. In the meantime we can reread the first four books and snicker as we turn each page.
Dogman – A Tale of Two Kitties is one I know many of you are waiting to read. It’s my favorite one of the series so far. Petey is back with a plan to eliminate Dog Man along with the rest of the police force. Petey is sure this plan can’t fail…until it doesn’t go as he wants. Throw a U Clone ’em Machine, Flippy the Psychokinetic Fish (with newly added bionic parts) and a factory of Living Spray into the mix, and you’ve got an action packed adventure full of danger, heartache and joy. Yup, joy. It’s the first book that George and Harold have written since they’ve become mature 5th graders – they’ve become more serious about their comics. I think they pulled it off nicely, After you read it, let me know if you agree.
The last book in the pile that I’m going to write about is Salsa Stories by Lulu Delacre. This is realistic fiction, not funny, but full of heart. It’s New Year’s Day and Carmen Teresa is excited to be with her whole family. Her abuelas, tias, tios, cousins and family friends are gathering for their traditional meal. Mama is making her special sauce for the arroz con pollo – the house is full of laughter, conversation, and the wonderful cooking smells that mean celebration . Carmen receives a gift from Dona Josefa, and as she thanks her she asks, “What should I write in this book?”
Dona Josefa’s creased face lights up with a her smile. “There are many things you can write,” she says. Perhaps you will want to keep a journal like I did.”
“Or,” offers Abuelita, “you could write about things that have happen to you when you were younger.”
“Yes. Or maybe, you could collect stories from our family and friends,” suggests Mama, “since everyone is here today.”
“Stories – ahh, cuentos!” calls Abuelito from his seat in the dining room table where he has been eavesdropping. “I have a great story for your book…”
And so the stories begin and Carmen is surrounded by wonder and love. The stories are from all over the Spanish speaking world: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Argentina and more. They are magical. Each also all has a special food as part of it. The recipes are included. Yum!
I wonder if our class could collect family stories centered around celebrations and times when families eat together. I wonder what we’d discover! Want to give it a try?