We Met Jon Scieszka

Stinky Cheesefrank einsteinBattle BunnyTrue Story Pigs

In 1991, my good friend from college introduced me to Jon Scieszka books.  She was taking a Children’s Literature course for her degree in Early Childhood Education.  I’ve followed his career for over twenty years.  I consider him the father of the “Fractured Fairy Tale” subgenre.  I’m sure others penned these types of tales before him; but his book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs was the first I read.

Several months ago, I learned he was visiting our local bookstore on August 25th to promote his new book.  I hesitated for a second… 7 pm after the first day of school.  Might make our day extra crazy.  Sanity returned.  I thought, “Who cares?  Jon Scieszka doesn’t visit a bookstore half a mile from your house everyday.”

ML’s book club read The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales for their second meeting.  I drove four girls from the club to the event.  With the windows rolled down, they were singing at the top of their lungs some pop song out the window to the high school guys playing basketball at our local park.  I love second grade girls.  Free as can be, not worrying about what others think.

That’s what I love about Jon Scieszka too.  He didn’t follow the conventions of children’s literature in the nineties.  All you have to do is read The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.  This book includes the words stupid and ugly.  Various fonts and different sized text are used.  Common these days; but rare last century.

I love the timelessness of his books.  I am confident his new series will continue this trend. Frank Einstein and The Anti Matter Motor is the first book.  Five more books to come. “Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination, and definitely unusual.”  The series  “takes readers from Matter to Energy to Humans to Life to Earth and on through the Universe – from the smallest objects (atoms) to the largest (the cosmos).” (Quotes from Frank Einstein’s website.)

When we meet authors or illustrators, I always purchase a book to be autographed.  ML chose Battle Bunny.  I stood in line while she and her friends perused the children’s books.  Each girl begged me to buy them a Rescue Princess book.  I said, “I’m not buying any more books tonight.”  In unison, they begged, “Please, please, please.”  I told ML, “You’re welcome to use your money to buy the book and share it with your friends.”  She did.  I asked Jon Scieszka if he could “Battle Bunny” it.  Not sure what this means, check out mybirthdaybunny.com.  I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover; but I am princessed and fairied out.  Want to “Battle Bunny” a book, print up a copy of Birthday Bunny, get out your pen, and go to it.

He has so many other great books for kids, especially boys.  I featured his Time Warp Trio on the Series Fiction for Elementary School Boys post. I can’t wait to read some of his Guys Read books.  I discovered them a few days before the event.

Finally, here’s proof we met him.  After, I told him about ML’s book club reading The Stinky Cheese Man, he started calling them “The Stinky Cheese Club.”

Scieszka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ML’s Second Book Club

PoppyStinkyCheese

We had our first meeting in September and our second today.  Didn’t plan for it to  happen that way.  But life got in the way.  So I gave the girls three books to read.

First, we played twenty questions.  Each girl read about a non-fiction animal or not – ML didn’t.  Her mama forgot to pick one up from the library.  The girls asked questions to try to guess each friend’s animal.  Some were really hard.  Do you know what an okapi is?

Then, we discussed The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith for about three minutes.  Several girls’ favorite story was “The Princess and the Bowling Ball.”  I bought stinky cheese for the meeting.  Not one girl wanted to taste it.  I enjoyed it with a fresh baguette and wine afterwards.

Next up… cake, pretzels and strawberries.  Thankfully, it was a beautiful day so all eating, crumbs and spilled drinks happened on the driveway.

Finally, the main event.  The girls read Poppy the Pirate Dog by Liz Kessler.  Poppy goes on vacation with his humans.  They try out a few boats.  Poppy doesn’t like any of them.  Finally, they find the perfect boat for a Pirate Dog.

ML and I filled three large boxes with stuff – ribbons, recyclable containers, bottle tops, googly eyes, sequins, markers and lots of other things.  The girls were divided in groups. Each group used the contents in their box to design and decorate their boat.  I enlisted a middle schooler, Lillian, to help.  All future book clubs will be arranged around her schedule.

Boxes

Stuff

The girls were still working on their projects when parents started arriving.  Below are pictures of “The Mayflower” and “Girls Rule” and “Pirate Girls.”

THE MAYFLOWER
I love the fact they included a toilet.  Can you find it?  Hint: It’s green.
This group wins the teamwork award.
Every time I walked by Bridget, Lily, Piper and Clara were sharing ideas and encouraging each other.

Mayflower

GIRLS RULE
Is the boat named Girls Rule or Miriam?
I wish I took pictures of each side.  This group worked more as individuals.
Each girl decorated one side.
The other sides probably said Siena, Anna Giles and Avery.

GirlsRule

PIRATE GIRLS
Do you see the sail boat behind the  big boat?.
Annabeth and Roslyn did a large percentage of the boat design.
ML and Sara Jane dressed as “Pirate Girls.”
Sequins tapped to the ears, eye patches created from satin ribbon…

Pirate Girls

HAPPY READING

DSC00854