Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chloe, Instead

Title: Chloe, Instead 
Author: Micah Player 
Illustrator: Micah Player 
Publisher: Chronicle Books 
Publication Date: April 2012 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Picture book
GoodReads Summary: Molly always dreamed of having a sister who is just like her. But she got Chloe, instead. These two sisters are nothing alike: Molly loves to color with crayons. Chloe prefers the taste of wax. Molly loves to read. Chloe prefers to nibble a book s spine. Molly is frustrated! But then she realizes that maybe sisters aren t the ones next to you on the piano bench, they re the ones dancing to the music you play! This humorous, perceptive snapshot of sibling love is perfect for those who may need a bit of convincing what fun little siblings can be!
What I Think: I love books about siblings! I have a younger sister and now I have two kids who are brothers (obviously...). This book was so perfect for my own experiences on both accounts. It's so interesting to be a parent and to witness firsthand and all the time how siblings interact. I have to say, my younger son is very different from my older son. He really is a tornado and reminds me of Chloe from this book. The idea of having a baby brother or sister is so exciting but when they are first born all they really do is sleep. It's not like you have a built-in friend right from the beginning. It just takes time for the baby to grow up a bit and to be able to be a friend. My youngest is two now and he is able to play more with his older brother. 
     What I'm really saying is that this book was perfect for our family because it so accurately captured how an older sibling might feel about a younger sibling. I think any family with multiple kids would be able to relate to this book. We have two boys in our family and the book has two girls, but we easily made connections with everything from the book. It also helped us start a discussion about how Little Bean really is the baby and how he does need time to grow up and learn how to share and take turns.  As a mom, I love books like this because it makes having that kind of discussion seem natural and not forced or like it's coming out of nowhere.
     As a teacher, I can see how talking about siblings can generate some great ideas for young writers. Family stories are fun stories. Kids can think about a funny or embarrassing family story or they can interview their family to ask about some of their memories. My nephews were just visiting last week and my husband told them something about each of them when they were little. It was so interesting to hear the curiosity in their voices, they really wanted to hear more. I think having kids interview family members to learn about family stories they may not know is so much fun. 
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 5 
Read Alone: Grades 1 - 5 
Read With: My Name is Elizabeth by Annika Dunklee, Emma Dilemma by Kristine O'Connell George, Take Two! A Celebration of Twins by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen, Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles, Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
Snatch of Text:  
"I was hoping for 
a little sister who was 
just like me.

But I got Chloe, instead."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Narrative, Personal Narrative, Interview, Expository, Characterization 
Writing Prompts: Write about your favorite family story. Interview a member of your family or a neighbor and ask him or her to tell about a fun family story. 
Topics Covered: Siblings, Family, Sharing
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