Saturday, July 23, 2011

Module 8: Mystery and Series Books

Title: Where is the Big Bad Wolf?

Author: Eileen Christelow

Bibliography: Christelow, Eileen. Where's the Big Bad Wolf? New York: Clarion, 2002. Print.

Summary: Detective Doggedly is after the Big Bad Wolf but instead keeps finding Eleanor the sheep. Eleanor befriends the three little pigs and talks them into building a house of of straw, then out of sticks. But each time the house is blown down, when the detective goes to investigate, all he finds is Eleanor the sheep pulling the pigs to safety.

Reviews: School Library Journal (September 1, 2002)
Gr 1-2-A determined Detective Doggedly pursues the elusive BBW (Big Bad Wolf) in a delicious parody of the traditional tale. Three dim-witted and naive pigs, a wolf with a taste for unusual costuming, and three sharp-eyed residents of the nearby "Home for Elderly Cows" create a mystery worthy of the slightly befuddled detective: who is destroying the pigs' houses, when the wolf is currently hospitalized with mysterious flulike symptoms? Doggedly catches the culprit, but one doubts that this "egg-snatching, pie-pinching, chicken-chasing, pig-poaching" villain is ready to change his habits when released. Christelow's pen-and-ink and gouache cartoons show sticks and straw flying across pages, the not-too-bright protagonist, and a hilarious wolf in sheep's clothing. Characters comment on all the goings-on in dialogue balloons that add to the fun and humor. Pair this book with Jon Scieszka's True Story of the Three Little Pigs (Viking, 1989), another choice for lovers of fractured tales.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Impressions: I enjoyed reading this book to my three-year-old who was already pretty familiar with The Three Little Pigs. While she was a little young, and didn't catch all the clues (I had to point out the picture of the wolf climbing back in the window of the hospital), overall she enjoyed the story. I think this would be a great book to read to an elementary school audience.

Activities:Use Where is the Big Bad Wolf? with other books that are a play on fairy tales and then have students write their own version of a famous fairy tale.

Title: The Body of Christopher Creed

Author: Carol Plum-Ucci

Bibliography: Plum-Ucci, Carol. The Body of Christopher Creed. San Diego: Harcourt, 2000. Print.

Summary: When Christopher Creed, the annoying kid that every one grew up with but no one liked, disappears in the middle of the week, the entire town is in shock. Every one wonders why a spoiled kid with super strict parents would run away, or worse. When Victor "Torey" Adams is named in Chris's "suicide" note" he begins to investigate the disappearance.

Reviews:  First-time novelist Plum-Ucci wraps a well-crafted mystery... builds to a fever pitch enar the conclusion, vividly describing Torey's late-night hunt for Chris's body in a nearby Indian burial ground. Readers will likely be enthralled. -Publisher's Weekly

Impressions: This book started out rather slow, what should have normally took me a few days to read, took me about a week just to get through the first hundred pages. After that point the story really picks up and the book is difficult to put down.

Activities: After introducing the novel and reading the first four chapters, students will make guesses on the conclusion of the mystery. Students will analyze the mystery, and use text evidence to find all of the clues that lead to their conclusion.

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