Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully Review




I was introduced to another amazing opportunity on the internet....I still sigh and think how people survived homeschooling before.  There's a great website NetGalley where you can ask to review books.  Well I am trying to read more...yes trying to read more adult fiction and less picture books.  Hahaha...like that's ever going to really happen.   So I signed on to review some wonderful children's literature, what a great opportunity plus it's awesome for our literature/language arts class.

I was able to download the book immediately to an e-reader.  We started exploring.  This book written by Audrey Penn is a great feel-good story about how to deal with difficult situations such as being bullied.  (She is also the author of The Kissing Hand which gets a huge thumbs up from our family.)  The book is a great read-aloud, which is the way that we read it.  But very easily a quiet-time read by children Grade 2- and up (depending on reading level).  The illustrations of all the forest animals were remarkable.  Chester actually looked soft, even though we could not touch him!

I really liked how the animals went to their mother to seek out help, in this situation.  We were able to discuss that Chester had a bit of a hard time telling his mom what was going on and bothering him, yet she was willing to listen.  So they should always remember that Dad and I are here for them, even if we seem busy. 

Then we discussed why kids (and adults) sometimes act like bullies.  And why Mrs. Raccoon's advice worked out really well for all the kids, including the bully.

The kids really enjoyed the story and I enjoyed that the Kissing Hand references that appear in this title.  I wanted to do a project to help them to think about how to be positive around others.  There has been a HUGE fighting issue in our house the last couple weeks, so I thought this project and book will possibly help out in this area. 

We made Good Apple baskets.  I saw this project a couple years ago and it was perfect for this book.  (I'm sorry it was in a therapy book and I do not know which one.)  Basically you can use a list of positive adjectives to describe a person.  Write one on each apple and then build your basket up.

I cut out the apples quickly and we took turns writing something nice about each of our siblings.  Each child got a turn at saying something nice about another child.  I would write it down and they would add it to their baskets.  By thinking about nice things when we feel frustrated and upset at one another, we can avoid being the bully to our siblings.



 Here's two of our finished baskets.




The Krazy Kuehners' gave Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully....... ALL THUMBS UP!

Here's the publisher information:
Title:  Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully
Author:  Audrey Penn
Publisher:  Tanglewood
Pub Date: 8/14/2008
Contributor:  Illustrated by:  Barbara L. Gibson
URLs to Check out:
Audrey Penn's official Website:  http://www.audreypenn.com/
Tanglewood Publishing:  http://www.tanglewoodbooks.com/

netGalley


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