Friday, March 21, 2014

Creative Book Reports

Right after school started, Jenna and I joined a mother-daughter book club at the local library.  Each month features a book with a different theme e.g. science fiction, fantasy, biography, etc.  Jenna had read the Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell and seemed to like that and was able to participate in the discussion.  She didn’t care fro the City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau.  I don’t always enjoy Science fiction but found some of it interesting.  But not enough to continue with the series.  Jenna LOVED Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George. Fantasy.  I have such a hard time with fantasies.  I was able to read Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai.  I liked the poetry as well as the history.  Jenna on the other hand, seemed bored. 

The book we’re reading currently is called PIE – a mystery - with recipes included.  First book that the two of us are able to enjoy together. Before this I liked Inside Out and Back Again the best.  Jenna’s favorite has been Tuesdays at the Castle.  Last night the group met to discuss PIE. The librarian had set up the displays to match the theme.  I really appreciate her thoughtfulness.

After each book review is a craft activity and a snack.  Last night the girls were invited to make aprons.  The treat was chocolate cream pie but the girls were more interested in the 3D apple pie puzzle which they played with and pretended to make apple pies.  I’m happy (for Jenna’s sake) that there had been so much interaction among the girls.  

Jenna also goes to the school library once a week to check out books.  She usually gets three – two written in English and one in Spanish.  She will create class book reports or projects for books she has checked out at both libraries.

Her book projects are so much more creative than the standard report.  She is allowed to choose from a wide variety of suggestions.  She has put on puppet shows, acted out, drawn pictures of, and created scrapbooks from a certain characters point of view.  For instance, after Roland and Jenna read a book called The Brixen Witch by Stacy DeKeyser, she cut out pictures of rats, two old women (one for the grandma and one for the witch) a girl jumping rope, and a fiddler to name a few.  On the cover she added a photograph of a little boy whom she assigned the named Rudy – for the scrapbook represented what he may have created himself.  She did the same thing with Junie B. Jones adding a gorilla, a stuffed toy, a baby named Oscar, a crib, and a pregnant woman. 

Jenna loves being creative and has fun with her “book reports” and I enjoy her enthusiasm and the opportunity she has been given to use her imagination.

Among her latest creations is a letter written to Barbara Park – author of the Junie B. Jones series.  She decided that after she received her grade, she would send the letter to the author.  So we searched on line for an address for Random House (as I figured that is where we’d have to send it). In our search for the address, I stumbled across this site:  I wish I had discovered it years ago.  I am very excited to start exploring it.  It was through the site that I found the author’s address in care of Random House address.   

Sadly we learned that Barbara Park had passed away just four months ago. I told Jenna I would post her letter to my blog if that would make her feel better.  It hasn’t been returned to her with grade as of yet, but I will post it when she brings it home.

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