Bink and Gollie, I’m Bad, Alphabet Rescue and Skippyjon Jones Picture Book Party Recap

Bink and GollieBink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This chapterized reader won this year’s Geisel Award. In “Don’t You Need a New Pair of Socks?” Bink & Gollie quarrel over Bink’s outrageous socks. Said socks are purchased at an “extremely sock bonanza.” Gollie can’t stand them & begs Bink not to wear them. Gollie won’t make Bink pancakes while Bink wears the rainbow-striped socks. Both girls refuse to compromise. Eventually, they make a solution to their sock dilemma. The vocabulary in this book is pretty sophisticated for the level of reader it appears to be.

I love Bink’s question about whom in “P.S. I’ll be back soon.” It’s a vocabulary teachable moment. Gollie’s on an imaginary mountain climbing adventure and wants to be left alone. Poor Bink has trouble with Gollie’s signs about interruptions again & again because she doesn’t know those words.

When Bink picks out a fish to bring home, Gollie thinks the fish is utterly unremarkable. Bink doesn’t care-she loves Fred. Fred has to come eat pancakes with Gollie. He has to go to the theatre. Gollie is rather embarrassed with it all When Bink drags the fish along rollerskating, Gollie leaves the two of them behind. Gollie comes back when Bink has a horrible crash and steps in to save the fish despite her jealousy. I love the panel showing six months later. Does anyone else think this is a hybrid book between reader and graphic novel?

The clean artwork really helps to move the story along and shows the heart of Bink’s irrepressible character and the emotions in this friendship.

I'm Bad!I’m Bad! by Kate McMullan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This dinosaur is definitely showing off his attitude. “I’m REALLY bad. Scare-the-tails-off-all-the-other-dinosaurs BAD.” He’s got claws, fangs, bad breat & ‘triple-digit, kick-a-whomper stompers.’ He fends off insults to his baby arms. For all his scariness, the dinosaur is having a very tough time catching food, leading him to declare “I hate fast food.”

Dinosaur pitches a fit over not catching any food. It’s too fast, too hidden for him. A flap reveals an unexpected truth about this ‘big’ dinosaur.

This would be a great kindergarten book on emotion as well as needs & wants.

Alphabet RescueAlphabet Rescue by Audrey Wood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ready for a school break, these letters hope onto a pencil and soar to Alphabet City. The little alphabet hooks up with some capital letters to try out big fire hoses. When the hose gets out of control, the little letters are sent away. They find a broken fire engine and decide to rescue it. In their fixed up truck, the little letters zoom around the city, finding others to help. A car to clean, a ‘cat’ in a tree. When a fire breaks out at the letter factory, these little letters get to play a big role.

One activity for the book would be to have students pick out letters they recognize or words they see in the illustrations.

Skippyjon JonesSkippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The cover has something new to me & something old. The new? The E.B. White Read Aloud Award. The old? Cat eating plant. The book flap shows a cat in a ninja mask, which definitely got my interest.

The names in this story are really a blast with Junebug and Doohiggy. Apparently Skippyjon Jones has quite the identity issue with all the many animals his mom tells him not to act like. That doesn’t stop Skippyjon Jones because soon he is pretending to be chihuahua while stuck in his room. Now El Skippito, the great sword fighter, is out in the desert facing down a band of colored Chihuahuas. Can he keep his nature as a cat incognito? When Skippito takes on Alfredo Buzzito, his fight ends with a giant, raining mess of treats.

Skippyjon Jones has a great imagination so I can understand why some of the kids love these books to pieces. Bits of Spanish & Spanglish are scattered throughout this story. The Spanish words could provide some great teachable moments. Some of the Spanglish doesn’t sit well with me because I think it could confused ELL students.

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