Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday My Radio Flyer Flew - Zachary Pullen

For: Kids
Published: 2008
Rataing: 3.5 for kid appeal, 5 for my use as a teacher
Read: October 2008
Endpapers: Pale Cranberry
Very large/almost oversized

I love picture books. I love the art. When the text is good or more-than good, I celebrate. I look for text that I can use in my middle school classroom to draw out responses from kids when I'm teaching figurative language or genre. My fifth graders are always weak when it comes to identifying genre. This is a perfect book to use to begin that discussion. It's short and is full-full-full of alliteration and snazzy verbs to boot! I've ordered a copy, I just wish it would fit up and down on my bookshelf, but it's too tall.

One Saturday I searched... (yeah, elipses! I love elipses!)
...and my dad's old Radio Flyer surfaced.
That Sunday we went for a stroll.
Then on Monday morning I got motivated.
Maybe that old Flyer could really move. (Okay kids, let's talk about capitalization...)
So all day Tuesday...
...I tinkered....
...and by twilight my Flyer twinkled.
But Wednesday was wet. We had to wait.
On Thursday I tried to take off...
...but took tumble after tumble.
Finally on Friday...
...I focused...
...and flew...
...and flew!

And oh, the illlustrations! Big and bold and in-your-face and FUN! I could look and look. They're done in oil paints and walnut medium. Now THAT'S interesting. Walnut medium? Zachary Pullen also illustrated The Toughest Cowboy (John Frank). I'm going to have to look for that one.

I took this book in to school a few days ago and shared it with my 8th graders. Two of the boys grabbed it immediately, and I'm not sure what they were looking for, but they quickly read it and put it aside. Would it have been different if it had been read aloud to them? I'm going to have to read it aloud to a class and see the reaction. And younger kids? I'll have to experiment with that, too.

So this book will go beside Weslandia, Violet the Pilot, Come On, Rain, My Mama Had a Dancing Heart, and Sleeping Ugly on my teaching bookshelf. Big grin.

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