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Sarah Wiggins

Reading Log 1: Traditional Literature and Modern Fantasy


FREC 7232: Children’s Literature
Dr. Susan T. Franks
June 6, 2010

Traditional Literature
Lon Po Po
Author: Ed Young Title: Lon PoPo
Illustrator: Ed Young Published: 1989
Genre: Asian Folktale
Format: Hardback Picture Book
Awards: Caldecott Award, Boston Globe–Horn Book Award (Picture Book, 1990), A
Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (1990), 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before
You Grow Up (2009.0331|2009, Ages 5↑)
Summary: This is a Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood. Three children are home
alone when a wolf comes disguised as their “Po Po” or grandmother. The wolf is deceptive
and able to fool the children to get in their house, but eventually the children figure it out and
trick the wolf. The children get him to climb into a basket, but the drop the basket from the
limb of a tree. The children work together to trick the wolf and return home and lock the door
until their mother returns.
Strategies: This book could be used in a number of meaningful ways. The most obvious
would be for students to use it to compare and contrast the traditional version of Little red
riding Hood that the students know.
The book could also be used as a response to literature book. They could respond
identifying the characters and their character traits, or use it to identify the problem and
solution of the story. For higher elementary students the story could be used as a mentor text
for writing. It provides a wonderful example of how to develop a character in a narrative piece
of literature.
The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
Author: Aesop Adapted by Janet Stevens Title: The Town Mouse and the Country
Illustrator: Janet Stevens Mouse
Published: 1987
Genre: Fable
Format: Hardback Picture Book
Awards:
Summary: This picture book illustrates Aesop’s fable of the Town Mouse and the Country
Mouse. Two cousin mice live totally different lives. The Town Mouse comes to visit in the
country, but is bored by the slow pace and peacefulness of the Country Mouse’s lifestyle. The
Country Mouse goes to the town to see the fast paced world of the Town Mouse. After eating
junk food and almost becoming the watchdog’s meal, the Country Mouse returns home to
realize “It’s better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and pies in fear.”
Strategies: This book could be used as a response to literature to compare and contrast the
characters and setting. The students could create graphic organizer to illustrate the differences .
For upper elementary students this story is a perfect example fo theme wich is a difficult
concept for students to understand. Students could use this as a mentor text to create a version
of their own in which their audience can learn from the character’s experiences.
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
Author: Jon Scieszka Title: The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
Illustrator: Lane Smith Published: 1989
Genre: Fractured Fairytale
Format: Hardback Picture Book
Awards: ALA Notable Children's Books – 1990, Black Eyed Susan Book Awards
(Maryland): Picture Book, 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow
Up (2009.0332|2009, Ages 5↑)
Summary: This is a humorous fractured fairytale which is a take on the story The 3 Little
Pigs. The story is told by the point of view of the wolf. It walks the reader through the events
of the story while explaining it was just a big mistake. All the wolf wanted was a cup of sugar
to finish a cake. Due to his cold, the tragic events occurred.
Strategies: As a5th grade teacher, I love using this book as an example of point of view in a
story. It can be used to illustrate point of view for reading comprehension, but it can also be
used as a mentor text for writing and the students can write the same story from several points
of view.
The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
Author: Jon Scieszka Title: The Stinky Cheeseman and Other
Illustrator: Lane Smith Fairly Stupid Tales
Published: 1992
Genre: Fractured Fairytale
Format: Hardback Picture Book
Awards: Caldecott Honor (1993), Rhode Island Children's Book Award (1994), ALA
Best Books for Young Adults (1993), A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (1993), BCCB
Blue Ribbon Book (1992), ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (1997.04|
Going Alternative, 1997), 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow
Up (2009.0337|2009, Ages 5↑)

Summary: This is an incredible book filled with great illustrations. The author has taken some
of the most famous fairytales: Chicken Little, The Princess and the Pea, Little Red Riding
Hood, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, The Tortoise and the Hare, and
the Gingerbread Man and he has rewritten them and even combined some of them in a
humorous and fractured way. Throughout the retelling of the tales, he includes cute dialogue
between Jack from jack and the Bean Stalk and the Little Red Hen. The book is truly
amazing!!!
Strategies: A great strategy for this book would be to use it to introduce the parts of a book.
The author makes a point to show the reader the end pages and the table of contents.
Each of the fractured tales could be used together or separately. For example the
Cinderumplestiltskin could be used in writing to have students take different characters of two
books they have read and merge them together into one story.
Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears
Author: Verna Aardema Title: Why Mosquitos Buzz in People’s Ears
Illustrator: Leo and Diane Dillon Published: 1975
Genre: West African Folktale
Format: Hardback Picture Book
Awards: Caldecott Medal (1976), 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before
You Grow Up (2009.0279|2009, Ages 5↑)

Summary: The story explains that a mosquito was talking with an iguana and lied to him.
Tired of listening to him, the iguana chose to put sticks in his ear which led to a series of
events that eventually leads to the sad death of a baby owl. In an effort to punish the animal
that caused the death, the animals explain the chain of events in backwards order and the
finger is finely pointed directly at the mosquito. In turn the mosquito is punished and he
goes and whines in humans ears.
Strategies: This is a perfect example to illustrate cause and effect. The students can use a
graphic organizer and show each cause and its sequential effect. To further the students
understanding, they can write their own tale to explain how things came to be using a cause
and effect scenario.

Modern Fantasy
The Amazing Bone
Author: William Steig Title: The Amazing Bone
Illustrator: William Steig Published: 1976
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Format: Hardback Picture Book
Awards: Caldecott Honor (1977), A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book (1977), School
Library Journal Best of the Best Books, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Honor
Book for Illustration, New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the
Year, New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year
Summary: The Amazing Bone is a fantasy book written on a 3rd grade reading level. It is an
incredible picture book about a happy pig named Pearl that stumbles upon a magical bone one
day. It enjoys its time with Pearl and they become friends. As the story progresses, the bone
actually rescues Pearl from robbers and from being eaten by a sly fox.
Strategies: This book is filled with wonderful vocabulary. A teacher could easily use this book
to introduce new vocabulary terms. The book could also be used to illustrate plot and climax in
a story. There is a clear rising action in this book.

The Phantom Tollbooth


Author: Norton Juster Title: The Phantom Tollbooth
Illustrator: Jules Feiffer Published: 1961
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Format: Hardback Chapter book
Awards: Waterstones The Nation's Favourite Children's Books (1997, No 81), 1001
Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up (2009.0545|2009, Ages 8↑)
Summary: This is an incredible book about a boy who appreciates nothing, but due to a
phantom tollbooth he is given the opportunity to experience a magical world where he learns
the value of knowledge, friendship, loyalty, and even family. Milo’s adventures take him to
lands filled with amazing phrases, strong words, incredible characters, and life lessons. This is
a book that EVERY teacher should read to their students, and students should read to
themselves all over again to enjoy it again and again!!!
Strategies: The vocabulary of this book along with the figurative language is the perfect
lesson for upper elem. and middle grade students. The concept of a word market would be a
great strategy to get students to invest in stronger vocabulary within their writing.
Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine Title: Ella Enchanted
Published: 1997
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Format: Hardback Chapter book
Awards: Newbery Honor (1998), Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award
(2000), ALA Best Books for Young Adults (1998), School Library Journal Best Book
of the Year, Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year
Summary: This is an incredible Cinderella story. Ella is cursed with the gift of obedience
when she is born and lives her entire life trying to rebel against it. After her mother’s death,
her father is not sure how to deal with her and he sends her away, but she continues her quest
to try to find the fairy who “blessed” her with her gift. Throughout the book she is in the
process of falling in love with the Prince, but she knows that her gift would only hurt him and
the kingdom. Eventually her father remarries and her new stepmother and stepsisters make her
a servant. The climax of the book takes the reader to the ball where she disguises herself to be
able to see the Prince and he eventually finds her after she runs away and loses her slipper.
Strategies: This book would be a great novel to use to compare and contrast characters and
their traits. Alongside the characters, the rise and fall of the climax is a perfect example for
students to study a plot line.
The Little House
Author: Virginia Lee Burton Title: The Little House
Illustrator: Virginia Lee Burton Published: 1942
Genre: Fractured Fairytale
Format: Hardback Picture Book
Awards: Caldecott Medal (1943), 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You
Grow Up (2009.0059|2009, Ages 3↑)
Summary: This is a sweet picture book that shows what happens to a little house through the
progression of time, and growth of cities and populations. The Little House starts on a hill in
the middle of nowhere, but time changes all things including the countryside. As a city grows
around the house it is forgotten. Until one day, it is reclaimed and moved back to the country
where it belonged and lived happily ever after.
Strategies: This book would be an excellent book to use to combine social studies and
literature. It is a perfect illustration of time and change. In the lower grades, the story can be
used to express feelings and how sometimes our surroundings can change our feelings.
The ANYBODIES
Author: N.E. Bode Title: The ANYBODIES
Illustrated: Peter Ferguson Published: 2001
Genre: Modern Fantasy
Format: Paperback chapter book
Awards:

Summary: This story is a fantasy book in which 11 year old Fern’s life is turned around
when she finds out that her boring parents are not actually her parents, but she was swapped
at birth. The story continues in an exciting adventure as Fern goes with her biological father
to learn more about who she is, and why the crazy things have happened around her
throughout her life. She helps her father to get back her mother’s book ‘The Art of Being
Anybody” and she meets her biological grandmother who has been protecting her all along.
Strategies: This book is a wonderful read aloud for elementary students. Teachers can use
this to introduce the concepts of fantasy along with plot development and character
development.