This week I celebrate the wonderful passion my students have for picture books. Intense, obsessive and excited passion. We are a classroom of book lovers. Our room is FULL of books. But the thought of something new and fun and entertaining . . . it inspires book longing of the jump about and shout kind. Lots and lots of “We must have it now” eagerness.
It all started with 2 buttons that Josh Funk sent to me . . .
You might have seen them tweeted . . .
— Sterling Publishing (@SterlingBooks) May 28, 2015
I decided that it might be fun to get my students talking about this book. We talked about how we might predict something about a book that has not even been published yet. I gave them three clues: 1. It’s fiction 2. It’s a picture book 3. These two buttons . . .
I explained that their focus should be on the character names, not that there were teams. What were we thinking? What could we predict about the characters? Where did the story take place? What might happen? What might it be called?
It got loud pretty quickly.
“I think they are going to eat each other.”
“No, then there is no story.”
“That is the story!”
“They are both flat things.”
“I don’t even like French Toast.”
“They might come to Canada because we have the best maple syrup.”
“They might have a baby.”
“There might be butter.”
“Hold on, if we give him good ideas, will he use them in his next book?”
“That’s okay. He will give us credit. He will write all our names and say from Ms. Gelson’s class in Vancouver and put it on the book jacket.”
“This could be in a breakfast castle.”
“No, it would be on a stove or in a pan.”
“Go write it down,” I ordered. And write they did. Although there was still much talking and yelling out of fun ideas. And a little leaping up and shouting.
The sharing and energy kept all of the ideas coming. Here are some pieces of student writing:
“I think that Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are going to fight and build an army and have a battle to see who is better. I think this book is called Breakfast Fight. I think it all starts in a fridge. I would want to be Sir French Toast. Maybe they both have super powers. This book sounds so good that I want to be the first to read it.”
“I think they both want the butter for themselves. What if they were friends but now they are not friends? Maybe there will be a baby. Scrabbly Egg!”
“What if there is a Syrup Man and a Butter Man too. Grandma Eggs? Daddy Omelet? Mama Juice? Grandpa Poached Egg? Bob Bacon and Sammie Sausage? If I got to talk to Lady Pancake I would say” “You belong to my stomach.Yum!”
“Maybe they will build the Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower with pancakes and toast!”
“Maybe there will be a baby muffin who tells them to stop chasing each other.”
“Maybe they are in a restaurant and Sir French Toast is popular so Lady Pancake is jealous. I think the title is Fight the Food.”
“I think this book is about an eating contest. Maybe they eat each other and in the end they turn into a floating head.”
“What if they are starving to death and they tried eating each other. Or maybe it’s a contest to see who is tastier. Can I be the first to read your book?”
“What if Lady Pancake is a Queen and Sir French Toast is a burglar and he takes her crispy bacon money?”
I love the moment when everyone started talking about their names.
“It says Sir and Lady.”
“Oh – they are royal.”
“They sound elderly.”
Predictions were long and shared all over the room.
At one point I asked students to vote. Who is on Team Lady Pancake? They were eager to vote but not stop writing!
Then we watched the book trailer that premiered on Mr. Shu’s blog.
Students returned to their seats to write a little more.
Some comments were long and detailed. (and clearly a team has been chosen!)
“Now I know . . . that they were best friends but they secretly hated each other. The town announces that there is only one drop left of the syrup bottle and only one of them can get it. But wait, wait, wait . . .why only Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast? Why not anyone else in Breakfast Land? Okay back to the story – they both raced to the fridge and the story began. But wait, wait, wait . . How does the story end? I know (obviously) that the book trailer won’t tell you how it ends. But how, how does it end? Does Lady Pancake win? Probably Does Sir French Toast? Probably not! I don’t think that the author would make one of them win because authors don’t do that. So maybe they share the last drop. Maybe the bottle of syrup gets mad because they’re fighting too much. I don’t know. This is a prediction. And now it’s over. Always, Team Lady Pancake!”
Some were short and persuasive.
“Hey you really can’t make this book come out in September. If you do I will scream. YOU HAVE TO HURRY UP!”
These two kept writing and talking prediction possibilities through much of Reading Workshop. Keen little fans already guaranteed!
What a pleasure to celebrate the book love in my room. I love all of the excitement these two little buttons generated in a room full of devoted readers. 🙂
Make sure you put reading Josh Funk‘s picture book Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast on your September calendar! My students have made me PROMISE that we will read it together our first day back!
Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.