Tag Archives: Predicting

One Day I Went Rambling by Kelly Bennett

What a creative and thought-provoking, rhyming book for both adults and children!

As an elementary school librarian who reads books aloud to children every day, I can see this one as a book that will capture their attention because there is substance here that will connect with their prior knowledge to make this book worthy of their time. I predict that this title will be on several award lists this year. Readers are challenged to use their imaginations to repurpose and recycle objects that they own or discover on their path.

The illustrations, created by Terri Murphy, and names of the characters are multi-ethnic featuring children of all races. The expressions show joy, contentment, and pure fun as they “ramble” around the neighborhood. Even the kid who makes fun at first is motivated to join in the fun.

Schema: repurposing
Text-to-Self: Can you think of something you have re-used as a pencil container? Ever made a jewelry box from an egg carton?
Text-to-Text: Oliver by Birgitta Sif; Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Compare and Contrast: How is each “find” similar and different from what they imagine it to be?
Mental Image: Can you imagine the “find” being what they imagine it to be?
Predicting: Try predicting what the items on the last page might be used for. There is an illustration, but no text so the reader has to use his or her imagination to infer or predict what these could be used for.
Synthesis: Can you think of other things their “finds” could be? Can you think of something you see that could be like something else? Think about the places you like to play and what you have played with there. I remember as a child playing house inside a group of Cedar trees where there was a small clearing in the middle of them. It was like nature made me my own playhouse.
Extension: Do a search on the Internet to find how people have repurposed what might be trash to some people into useful or artistic objects.

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Oh No! by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann and Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton

Schema: When things don’t go right or the way we want them to go

Text-to-Text: Both books share the “oh, no!” phrase for similar reasons

Figurative Language: Fleming’s book adapts naturally to the song “Frog Went A-Courting” with rhyming words.

Problem Solving: Both stories have a problem that is solved with either self-control or help.

Predicting: With Oh No George! students can predict what George will do with each challenge.

Dog in Boots by Greg Gormley

Schema: dogs, boots

Text-to-Text Connections: Puss in Boots

Predicting: After reading about the dog getting an idea–he will look for some boots

After each set of boots–predict what kind of boot or shoe the shopkeeper will tell him to try next

Before turning the last page, predict what the shopkeeper will say are the perfect solution for his shoe problems

Synthesis: Create a story together about a dog who tries to dress like Red Riding Hood. What types of problems could he face with the hood and cape? He might try several different types of clothing before he discovers that his fur is the best thing for him to wear.


Henry’s Heart: A Boy, His Heart, and a New Best Friend by Charise Mericle Harper

Schema: human heart functions, love

Informational Literature: much factual information about the function of the heart is included. Information about foods, exercise, and the function of the parts of the heart are included in the story.

Personification: Henry’s heart is depicted with some human features with eyes a mouth and feelings.

Henry falls in love with a puppy. We finally have an author who thinks about the chaos that is caused by a nude body part and includes a fig leaf to cover that part in the illustration of Henry’s body. This would be a fun book to read around Valentine’s Day.

Cause and Effect: Henry’s heart is effected by the different causes that occur in the story. His heart reacts to the different stimuli with a fast or slow beat.

Drawing Conclusions and Inferring: What do you conclude Henry has fallen in love with when you read the description of the “girl?”


Doodleday by Ross Collins

Schema: drawing

Text-to-Text Connections: obeying parents

Text-to-Text Connection: Harold and the Purple Crayon

Large font and colorful, but simple drawings make this a super read aloud. The plot sequence lends itself to teaching predicting. A young boy is about to draw when his mother says that no one draws on this particular day, Doodleday. He disobeys and begins to draw a fly which flies off of the page and is huge! He then draws a spider to eat the fly, then a bird to eat the spider. The text-to-text connection with There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly will be noticed.  Young listeners will love the story and art.

Cause and Effect: Because he draws a fly, the effect is that he must draw a spider to eat the fly…

Because he disobeys his mother, the effect is the disasters that occur.

Predicting: What will he draw next? Do you think he will draw on Doodleday next year?

Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake by Michael B. Kaplan

Schema: waiting, obeying,  favorite foods, making healthy choices,  tantrums

Text-to-text connection: Where the Wild Things Are by Sendak

Point of View: The story is told from Betty’s POV.

Thoughtful  language and detailed illustrations come together to create a book about patience and manners that does  not talk down to children. The feeling and lesson this story conveys will connect with young readers and listeners. The concept of patience is difficult to explain to young children, and the author and illustrator have done an excellent job. It’s wonderful to come across a children’s book that is as strong as this one.   Betty Bunny is determined to get her way, but she listens, tries, and learns, and  grows.   The mother in the story is a great role model and example of patience as she uses appropriate language and examples to explain patience to Betty.

Cause and Effect: Because of Betty’s behavior, the effect is that she is sent to her room without her cake.

Predicting: What do you predict will happen to the cake in Betty’s sock?

Synthesis: Ask students to share some examples of when they have had to be patient.  What is patience like?  What can we do to show that we are being patient?



The Desperate Dog Writes Again by Eileen Christelow

Schema: families, new moms and dads, getting a second pet, accepting change

Text-to-text connections: Detective LaRue books by Teague, and Help Me, Mr. Mutt! by Stevens

Emma, owned by George, and Hankie, owned by Loretta, are worried about what is happening to their owners, each thinking the other’s owner may be trying to kidnap their own owner, when in fact, they are dating.  To solve the problem they write to an advise column, Ask Queenie.  The setting for writing e-mails is at the public library. The art incorporates picture book and graphic formats with many frames of dialogue along with full page art.

Point of View:  The story is told from George’s dog, Emma’s POV.

Drawing Conclusions: George and Emma both conclude that their owners need help.  Find text evidence that supports their conclusions.

Synthesis:  Share situations that are like Emma’s such as when a parent begins dating, getting a new brother or sister, when a new pet is added to the home and how the other pets react

Predicting: Predict what Loretta will do after she gets the dogs out of the dumpster…bath time!

The Hired Hand by Robert D. San Souci

Schema: fairy tales, element of magic

Genre: traditional literature

Setting: Virginia

Predicting: Predict what young Sam will do when the man comes back with the request to make his wife young again

Character Motivation: What motivates young Sam to charge the man for what the hired hand did?  What motivates him to change at the end?

Compare and Contrast young Sam and old Sam:

Characterization of young Sam: He damaged the saw blades because he didn’t clean the logs first concluding that he is lazy; he cuts the boards unevenly concluding that he is careless; he refuses to sweep the shop concluding that he is again lazy and disrespectful toward his father; he is dishonest and arrogant as he “puts on airs” when he is in charge.

Characterization of old Sam: hardworking and kind

Internal consistency of young Sam’s character: What types of things would you see young Sam doing in the future?

Big Idea or Theme: Work hard and treat people well or trouble will find you.

What evidence supports the conclusion that young Sam learned a lesson?

The Witch’s Guide to Cooking With Children by Keith McGowan

Schema: Hansel and Gretel , step-mothers, fairy tales, science fairs

Big Idea: Good vs. evil

The publisher offers a detailed reading guide for teachers that includes vocabulary,  poetry,  and writing responses.

Text-to-Self Connections: sibling rivalry, bullying, moving to a new apartment, visiting the library

Author’s purpose: to entertain

Cause and Effect: Because an inheritance was at stake, the effect is that the children’s lives were in peril.

Because the dog, Swift, followed commands, the effect is he brought the children a knife to free themselves.

Because the children’s so called “parents” wanted to have them killed and eaten by the witch, the effect is that the children had to find a way to escape.

Because the children had access to the library and the Internet, the effect is that they were able to do some research to help themselves.

Because the pet shop owner rushed them out the back door of her shop, the effect was that they stayed one step ahead of the witch.

Drawing Conclusions: What conclusion did the children come to after seeing Swift with the bone and then reading the witch’s journal?

Inference: What do you infer happened to the children’s real father?

Point of View: The story is told mainly from Sol’s POV.

Predicting: At the end of the book as the children walk away all alone, where to you think they will go first when they get to their new town?  Based on what they did in the story, they might visit their public library.  I predict they just might be very quiet in the library and stay away from the librarians too!

Synthesis: The readers will synthesize that the author has created a modern day version of Hansel and Gretel.  Ask them to further synthesize by creating a modern day version of a different fairy tale.

Satire, making fun of certain causes or situations is also seen in the book when the author says the children’s real mother was drowned while investigating global warming when the ice she was standing on melted.

Although the topic of this book is controversial, the author uses no foul language, and good does win over evil.  Although many children that have been eaten previously, they are mentioned in the witch’s journal to set the premise.  Even in the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, the reader infers that other children have been enticed to enter the witch’s candy house and have been eaten.

Book Talk: Bring a copy of a cookbook with the similar red and white plaid cover to compare with this one and ask,

What would you do if you thought your parents were planning to give you to a witch who wanted to eat you?  Would you be suspicious if you saw a neighborhood dog holding a very large bone in its mouth?  Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were kidnapped? Do you want to read a book that will give you nightmares?  Well, here’s that scary book you been asking for!

You know the old fairy tale Hansel and Gretel…that mean old step-mother that sends her step-children off into the woods, hungry, just looking for something to eat.  What if instead of sending you off to find fire wood, they just dropped you off at the mall and disappeared leaving you in a new neighborhood lost and confused?  The kids in this book are too smart to fall for that.  They know how to use their public library and the Internet.