Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Goldilocks and Just One Bear

Title: Goldilocks and Just One Bear 
Author: Leigh Hodgkinson  
Illustrator: Leigh Hodgkinson 
Publisher: Nosy Crow 
Publication Date: August, 2012 
Genre/Format: Fiction-Fairy Tale/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: In this award-winning author/illustrator’s witty sequel to the traditional Goldilocks story, Little Bear is all grown up and Goldilocks is a distant memory. One day, Little Bear wanders out of the woods and finds himself lost in the Big City. Will he find the city too noisy? Too quiet? Or just right? And what are the chances of him bumping in to someone who remembers exactly how he likes his porridge? 
What I Think: Leigh Hodgkinson's artwork is colorful and playful and I am drawn to it every time (ever since Charlie and Lola...I adore them!). I love the sweet bear in this story...even if he does get a bit mixed up and if he does get a bit disrespectful to others' things. There are some great fractured fairy tales out there, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sciezcka being one of my favorites, and Goldilocks and Just One Bear puts a modern twist on the classic Goldilocks story. I think kids will love predicting what's going to happen to the bear and may even be surprised to discover just exactly whose house he has wandered into...or maybe not, but either way, I think they'll be delighted with the ending. 
     As a mentor text, I really like Leigh's style of writing and the great word choice she employs in this book. There are some wonderful adjectives and vibrant verbs that make the story so much more appealing. Usually these fun and fanciful words are in a different typeset in the book so they stand out. I always enjoyed talking to students about adjectives. We would brainstorm synonyms or look them up in a thesaurus and then rank the words from least to most. For instance, one of the adjectives in this book is "soggy." Synonyms for soggy would be: wet, moist, soaked, damp, sopping wet. Then we would put them in order based on their intensity. The list might become, from least to most:
sopping wet
And you might put them in a totally different order...but I liked having the discussion with kids about where we would put them. We would come up with examples for when we would use these words and put them in sentences as we talked through how to use them. I love the thesaurus as a tool but if kids go to a thesaurus, they have to realize they can't just substitute words for each other. They have to realize the intentionality that goes with using one word over another. This is a great opportunity to talk about word choice and how greatly word choice impacts writing. 
Read Together: Grades K - 5 
Read Alone: Grades 2 - 5 
Read With: Other versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears 
Snatch of Text:   
"Once upon a time, there was this bear.

One minute, he was strolling in the woods,
all happy-go-lucky...

The next minute, he didn't have a crumb-of-a-clue
where he was.

He was one 
lost bear."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences, Making Predictions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Descriptive, Word Choice, Adjectives, Compound Adjectives, Compare and Contrast, Personal Narrative, Repetition,   
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were lost - whether you were confused or really not sure where you were. How did you feel? What did you do in this situation? Compare this story to the traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears. What did the author change? What did the author imply about the decision that the bear made compared to Goldilocks' decisions from the traditional story?
Topics Covered: Confusion, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Making Decisions
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