Author: Kate Hosford
Illustrator: Cosei Kawa
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Publication Date: October 1st, 2015
GoodReads Summary: What do you feed a trapeze family to keep them up in the air? A fire eater with a penchant for hot sauce? Or a lion with a gourmet palate? How do you satisfy a sweet-toothed human cannonball who's outgrowing his cannon?
Find out what keeps these performers juggling, balancing, and entertaining―meals prepared by their tireless chef! Poems from this jolly cook give a glimpse of his unusual perspective, from delightful to downright funny. Enjoy a front-row seat for this whimsical look at circus life that just might make you hungry!Kate Hosfords clever rhymes and unique characters shine in this collection of poems, giving a fresh, funny perspective on circus life: the chef's perspective. Through a variety of poetry forms, Hosford introduces a memorable lineup of circus performers and their dietary quirks--flaming hot sauce for the fire eater, a strict diet for the tightrope walker, ostrich a la mode for the gourmet lion, and more. Cosei Kawa's rich, offbeat illustrations bring each performer to life.
What I Think: This book is full of fun poems all about food. There are some pretty awesome words to read and learn about and admire when using this book as a mentor text. Readers can learn about different parts of a circus but also think about all the great words that might go along with it. One activity I used to do with students was to give them a topic and ask them to brainstorm as many word as possible to go with that word. They could write down absolutely anything that came to mind. It was a great way to see what they knew about a topic but also to get their brains making connections with any ideas they associated with a word or topic. Then we could write or read and make connections with what they already knew. This would be a great activity to go along with this book.
The illustrations in this book are super unique and there is so much to look at and pay attention to. Students could spend a lot of time thinking about the illustrations and how they support the poems and the general mood of the story since it's a collection of books about all the different performers.
Here's a little more about the author: Kate Hosford grew up in Vermont and is a lifelong fan of Circus Smirkus, a youth circus based there. In 2010, she read an article about Ringling Brothers chef Michael Vaughn and began to wonder about the quirky food requests a circus chef might get from the various performers. The poems flowed from there. She is the author of several picture books, including Infinity and Me which won the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book award and was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book. She lives in Brooklyn with her family. For more information, and to download a free curriculum guide, visit her website.
Read Together: Grades 3 - 6
Read Alone: Grades 3 - 6
Read With: Sometimes I Wonder If Poodles Like Noodles by Laura Numeroff, Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Snatch of Text:
"Feeding this one is a struggle.
Why? Because he loves to juggle.
Anything that's slightly round
Will soon be far above the ground.
Buns at breakfast? Must avoid,
Grapes at dinner? I'm annoyed.
He's growing thin: his plate is bare.
All his food is in the air!
He doesn't even seem to care.
I think I'll feed him something square."
Topics Covered: Food
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