Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Featured on the Nerdy Book Club Blog: Little Red Writing - Written by Joan Holub and Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

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  I wrote a guest post myself for the Nerdy Book Club for the first time in December. It was a great experience! You can read my book review on Little Red Writing (Written by Joan Holub and Illustrated by Melissa Sweet) by clicking on this link. I also included instructional strategies via a Google Doc. You can see my suggestions here as well.



                                     Instructional Ideas to Use with Little Red Writing

     Many instructional angles can be explored with Little Red Writing written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Melissa Stewart (Chronicle, 2013). Here are just a few ideas on how the text could be used instructionally with students:

  • Little Red Writing can be compared and contrasted with a variety of other books in several different ways.
    • As a fractured fairy tale, Little Red Writing could be compared with an original version of Little Red Riding Hood. A class could explore how the Joan Holub put a new twist on a classic story with humor, puns, and word play. Similarities could also be explored to show how the author honored and tied in the original storyline as well.                              

    • School supplies are personified in Little Red Writing, which could be compared to the humanistic office supplies in the book Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens and illustrated by Susan Stevens Crummel (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2011). Not only could a teacher compare these school tales to one another, but Little Red Pen is also a fractured fairy tale of the original Little Red Hen story.
    • Little Red Writing can be compared to another fractured fairy tale version of Little Red Riding Hood, such as Carmine: A Little More Red (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2005). This book happens to be written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, who served as the illustrator for Little Red Writing as well.

  • Cause and effect statements could be explored with students throughout the storyline. For example, because Little Red wanted to write an exciting story, the effect was that she went on an adventure around her school looking for creative inspiration. 
  • Opportunities to delve into using context clues abound with the book. A teacher could support students constructing sensible inferences, predictions, and conclusions with evidence in the text. Also, the meaning of vocabulary words that might be unfamiliar to readers can be figured out using context clues and hints provided with the illustrations.
  • Qualities of Joan Holub's writing could serve as a mentor for students, such as how she uses unique word choices, makes creative ideas come to life, and creates a memorable main character's voice in the story. Also, illustrator Melissa Sweet's interpretation of the story through her art creates a distinct presentation for the reader. 
  • Students could connect the writing challenges that Little Red faces with main characters in several other picture books. Some books that could be great for connecting Little Red Writing to include:  

o    Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills (Schwartz and Wade, 2012) 

o    Author: A True Story by Helen Lester (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2002)

o    The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf (Dial, 2008)

o    Library Mouse: A Friend's Tale by Daniel Kirk (Harry M. Abrams, 2009)

o    Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon (Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012)

Website Links:

     Chronicle Books has made a Teacher’s Guide available online for Little Red Writing to give some tips on how to use this book instructionally in the classroom. You can also view a preview of the text via Chronicle Books as well.                                                  

     You can find out more about Joan Holub and Melissa Sweet in a variety of ways. Here are some helpful links to give you some insight into their creative processes:

Author Joan Holub:

Illustrator Melissa Sweet:

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