Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Won Ton and Chopstick Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Title: Won Ton and Chopstick: a Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku
Author: Lee Wardlaw  
Illustrator: Eugene Yelchin 
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. 
Publication Date: March 17th, 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Poetry/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Won Ton has a happy life with his Boy, until…Ears perk. Fur prickles. 
Belly low, I creep…peek…FREEZE!My eyes full of Doom.A new puppy arrives, and nothing will be the same. Told entirely in haiku and with plenty of catitude, the story of how Won Ton faces down the enemy is a fresh and funny twist on a familiar rivalry. 
What I Think: When Kellee and I reviewed Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku in 2012, it was funny because I am not a cat person and she totally is. Despite not being a cat person, I loved Won Ton then and still adore him now. What I love most about Won Ton and his story is that readers truly get a sense of who he is. It might be because the poetry is to tight and specific that it gets right to who he is but in Won Ton and Chopstick especially, we get to see who he is even more.
The more and more I write, the more I realize the power of revision, of looking closely at words and truly thinking about which words are necessary, which words add to the message, and which words can just plain be cut out. I know I use lots of words. I can be very verbose...but writing has helped me see how to be more concise in my words and how to make sure I tighten up my words as much as possible. I can see how writing poetry, especially Haiku, can help students tighten up their writing. Just look at the snatch of text below. By using compound adjectives, Wardlaw squishes description into seven syllables but still packs a punch with the words. Really concise description is much more powerful than a page full of words. This is great to show to students. 
I love talking to kids about $100 words. Awesome adjectives and adverbs add to a sentence but finding the best verbs is as important. We would brainstorm a list of synonyms for common words an then put them into a continuum from least to greatest. Then students can see how many options there are when it comes to words but also pay attention to the fact that synonyms aren't interchangeable. It's a great way to show students that they have the power to choose the words that truly match the intention of their writing. I've done this with students in all grades, adjusting as appropriate to their level and it's amazing how quickly the can integrate $100 words into their writing. As soon as I've shown this to students, they become motivated to find ways to really pack a punch with their words. If you haven't read The Right Word by Jennifer Bryant yet, that book is such an amazing introduction to a thesaurus and Roget's love of words and would match well with Won Ton and Chopstick and looking at precise description. 
Read Together: Grades K - 3
Read Alone: Grades K - 3 
Read With: Won Ton by Lee Wardlaw, Dogku  by Andrew Clements, Dog In Charge by K.L. Going, The Right Word by Jennifer Bryant 
Snatch of Text:  
"Master of escape!
High-flying, dog-defying
acrobatic cat!

outputhimoutputhim --- wait!
I said him, not me!"
Writing Prompts: Write about a time when you felt jealous of someone else. How did you handle the situation and what helped you deal with your feelings.  
Topics Covered: Family, Friendship, Emotions
Additional Resources: Lee Wardlaw swears that her first spoken word was “kitty.” Since then, she’s shared her life with 30 cats (not all at the same time!) and published 30 books for young readers, including Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku, recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children’s Poetry Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, and the Cat Writers’ Association Muse Medallion. She lives in Santa Barbara, California with her family. Her website is:

Activity Kit for Won Ton and Chopstick:

Teacher’s Guide for Won Ton and Chopstick:

Twitter: @LeeWardlaw
I *heart* It:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit other stops on the Won Ton and Chopstick Blog Tour!
Mon, Mar 30
Library Fanatic
Tues, Mar 31
Kid Lit Frenzy
Wed, Apr 1
Teach Mentor Texts
Thurs, Apr 2
Fri, Apr 3
A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
Sat, Apr 4
Booking Mama
Mon, Apr 6
The Children's Book Review
Tues, Apr 7
5 Minutes for Books
Wed, Apr 8
Cracking the Cover
Thurs, Apr 9
Unleashing Readers
Fri, Apr 10
Word Spelunker
Sat, Apr 11
Bermuda Onion

*Thanks to Blue Slip Media for 
a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review 
and the opportunity to offer this giveaway!*

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