Saturday, January 16, 2010

Walter’s Fave

Walter is not yet two, but he knows a good book when he sees it. His mom thought it might be the friendly faces created by Tomie de Paola that caused her son to climb on her lap and ask her to read the same book over and over again–eleven times in three days. Maybe Walter thought those fun loving kids pictured on the pages were like his own friends.

THE SURPRISE PARTY by Annabelle Prager, illustrated by Tomie de Paola.

Nicky’s birthday is only days away. He wants to celebrate by throwing a party. Of course, he wants to invite lots of friends. This is how you get lots of presents, he says. However, the kind of party Nicky wants costs too much. He has a great idea. What if his friends give him a surprise birthday party? Then the expense won’t be Nicky’s problem. He asks his best friend Al to help. Al doesn’t quite see how you can surprise yourself, but he agrees to try and soon the two are engaged in the secrets and subtle humor that six and seven year olds find hilarious. Actually, Annabelle Prager wrote this book for grades 1-3 as part of an early reading program. In five chapters, the author's carefully chosen words and the illustrator's charming characters carry the young reader through to a surprise ending.

Now that you have the gist of the story, here is more about Walter. During this holiday read-a-thon, his parents realized that every time they came to the word SURPRISE written in caps, Walter was ready to shout, “‘prise.”

How long do you suppose it will be before, SURPRISE!, Walter will be reading books on his own?

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