Thursday, March 28, 2013
April Fool, Phyllis
Much of the United States is buried under snow this first week of SPRING. I feel like we got punked by the groundhog that predicted an early spring this year.Snow isn't unheard of in these parts in March, but it is rare. Snow is a strange sight when daffodils have already popped up and birds have already started building nests in bird houses, only to be covered in snow. If you are experiencing the same weird weather, then you might want to check out April Fool, Phyllis.
In April Fool, Phyllis by Susanna Leonard Hill, the weather groundhog Punxsutawney Phyllis predicts a blizzard for April 1st. Phyllis's family decides it is an April fools joke. No matter how much Phyllis tries to convince them to cancel a treasure hunt planned for the day, the family won't listen. Instead, they reply with their own pranks. Pete spreads confetti to trick the other groundhogs that it is snowing, while Phil Jr. ices his paws to prank the family into thinking the temperature is dropping. Phyllis's predicition is no joke, though. When the family is out on the treasure hunt, a blizzard does arrive. Phyllis needs a plan to save her family from the weather and help them find the treasure.
This book has a nice flow to the story and cute illustrations. I like how the illustrator, Jeffery Ebbeler, placed many weather instruments into the pictures. You'll be able to locate weather maps, weather vanes, windsocks, thermometers, barometers, and more. If you study weather in early April, this book is a great addition to any weather unit.
In the book, the family has to read written riddles to find a treasure on April Fools day. After reading the book, we went on a reading treasure hunt. I got this idea when I was shopping at my local teacher store. The employees there are super helpful. When I was purchasing some early reader books, the checker started explaining an activity she did with her son when he was first starting to read.
To have your own Reading Treasure Hunt. Write "clues" on slips of paper. These will be activities for your child to complete. You might write, "Go get a red hat." These are all words I know my son can read. The focus here is making meaning out of what the child reads.
Give the child the direction, have him complete it, and the return for more directions. I know it sounds super simple, but kids love it. You'll love seeing all that your young reader can read independently.
By the way, we haven't given up on spring entirely. We built "snow castles" in the snow with buckets and spray bottles filled with colored water. As the boys built, I may have imagined I was relaxing on a beach...
Looking for other holiday themed books? Check out my books by holiday page.
Today's book is featured as the Picture book of the Day on my facebook page. Like my facebook page for daily picture book recommendations provided by a group of children's literature bloggers!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links.