Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Green Bowl Book Club

I mentioned a while back that we were going to start our own little book club based on the "Brown Bag Book Club" mentioned over on First Grade Parade. This past week was the week for us to finally kick it off!

We had a miserably dull and cold start to our Friday off, such a disappointment when summer should still be in full bloom around here! We made the most of it with some fun math games, a spelling test, science videos, and our first official meeting of our own personal Green Bowl Book Club.

Why Green Bowl Book Club? That's the color of the bowl I normally serve popcorn in! I know, silly, but it sure beat, "Cool Guys Only Book Club" & a few other names I've since forgotten, and I'm pretty sure if I did remember them you'd have wished I had forgotten them.

Ahh, the joy of raising boys! Seriously, they make me laugh all the time and while it can be confusing to the mother of all girls I find some of their insanity normal. But that's not the point of this post so let's get back on track!

I popped up a bowl full of popcorn while the boys cleaned up all their papers, pens, and pencils and we kicked off our first official meeting. So far this summer we've listened to or read: The Wombat Chronicles & Arabella & Piccolo and  The Very Messy Inspection. We're also nearly done with two other books and have started yet a third one and are about to begin a fifth as well. We have book issues, what can I say.

First, we had a lovely chat about The Very Messy Inspection. We're all very fond of the Annabelle & Piccolo books and we became so tired of waiting for the release of the rest of the series we emailed Mr. Axelsen about the hold up. We were so sad to learn that his publishing company wasn't interested in publishing anymore of this series. Apparently the last story didn't sell as well as they'd hoped and so they were worried about printing anymore. We were devestated to hear this news as we'll now spend forever wondering exactly how long the inspector will remain unware that he's been turned into a gorilla and knowing if and when Annabelle and Piccolo ever get things set to rights. On the upside his wife has encouraged him to write the stories anyway and post them on his website. We heartily agree with her and really hope he does so we can find out what happens!

As for our bookclub.. we discussed our favorite or funniest scenes, ones we disliked the most, favorite characters and least liked characters. It was interesting to see the boys takes, and of course the funniest moments in the book did indeed tickle them pink.. especially when Annabelle screams. I was drawn more to the funny moment when poor Piccolo is embarrassed to find his "Great Aunt" climbing the monkey cage at the zoo and actually communicating with them. My boys agreed it was funny, but I think Morgan felt Piccolo's acute humiliation at that moment in the story. May I please state that in all my life I have never done this to my child. I have, however, made farm noises when passing fields of livestock or been known to scream in horror, "Poor naked little sheepies!" after they've been freshly shorn.

I was also sneaky about working in some important lessons. When it was time to share our favorite parts of the book I mentioned that my favorite part was at the very end when Piccolo bakes cookies in an effort to help his Aunt pass an important test. I pointed out to the boys that it showed true forgiveness, acceptance, and love on Piccolo's part even though he never once had to utter any of those words. There was a bit of quiet around the table when I pointed this out and said how it was one of my very favorite scenes in the book.

Then we discussed The Wombat Chronicles. This was a funny book with lots of amusing moments in it, but the underlying theme was one of the main characters being desperately in love with the prettiest wombat in the district. At the very end of our meeting, meaning when there was no popcorn left, I asked the boys if they could give the books 5 stars for best and 0 stars for worst how many stars would they have given these books. Morgan's answer surprised me, he gave the first book 5 stars (no surprise), but he only gave this title 3 stars. When we asked him why it turned out that he didn't like the underlying theme of the book. He didn't find all that love stuff fun at all. (This coming from the child who had a back-up plan if his pick of girls to marry failed him, and he had a back-up plan for the back-up plan for a while too!) Jayden, on the other hand gave both books 5 stars without any complaints about either book.

Despite differing opinions on all the books, we had fun and the boys can't wait to tackle it again. Which means we need to finish up another one of our read alouds! We seem to have plenty of them hanging around just begging us to read them. My  only goals for this entire experience was to have fun and to encourage the boys to talk about the books we read, both happened so I consider it a completely success!

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