Title: Creepy Pair of Underwear
Author: Aaron Reynolds
Illustrator: Peter Brown
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 15th, 2017
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back!
What I Think: Happy Friday the 13th! What a perfect day to celebrate Creepy Pair of Underwear! It's so fun to see Jasper again. As I was reading, I thought of Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-Tale Heart and the song The Cat Came Back. My elementary school music teacher sang The Cat Came Back With Us so it would be cool to connect the song and this book with younger students. With older students, you could definitely tie this to Tell-Tale Heart. What a perfect opportunity to compare and contrast different texts for mood and also to look closely at how illustrations work with the text to contribute to the mood of a story.
Speaking of looking at how the texts and illustrations work together, the snatch of text I share below is an example of how Aaron Reynolds uses dialogue to show us what the characters are thinking and feeling but at the same time, Peter Brown uses the illustrations to hit the message home. As a mentor text, this is perfect for looking at how important dialogue is but also how description of what a character is doing when speaking allows an writer to really show how a character thinks and feels. To practice this, ask students to look at the page where Jasper is begging his mom for the creepy underwear and come up with a sentence to describe what they see in the illustrations or what they visualize in their head. Then have them try it in their own writing. Show, don't tell at its finest!
Snatch of Text:
"'Mom! Mom! Can we get these?" Jasper pleaded.
'I think they're a little too creepy,' said Mom.
'They're not creepy! They're cool!' said Jasper. 'I'm not a little bunny anymore. I'm a big rabbit now!'"
"...the underwear glowed. A ghoulish, greenish glow."
Writing Prompt: How does the author use dialogue to show what the characters are thinking and feeling?
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