Saturday, February 25, 2012

Picture Book: Nothing like a Puffin (by Sue Soltis)

Summary of Nothing like a Puffin (by Sue Soltis):  
“Look, a puffin!  What a marvelous creature, one of a kind and amazing.  Indeed, there is nothing like a puffin.”  Not a ladder.  Not a house.  Not a newspaper.  Wait.  A newspaper does have something in common with a puffin—they are both black and white.  The narrator realizes that a lot of things have something in common with a puffin—a pair of jeans, a goldfish, a shovel, a snake, and a helicopter.  When they meet a penguin, the striking similarities can’t be overlooked. They appear to be almost identical, but there is one major difference though.  It is clear--"There is nothing like a puffin!"  

Author Sue Soltis leads readers on an amusing ride of compare and contrast, prompting children to look at things in their world in a refreshing manner.  Even though she takes seemingly random objects, a clear link is made between them.  Children will be challenged to look at how other objects are similar.  On another level, identical twins can be encouraged to look for and to cherish their unique qualities.  All children have the opportunity to ponder how they are special.   Bob Kolar, the illustrator, has created artwork that is bright, witty, and lively.   Youngsters will want to revise this stunning book over and over.  I recommend Nothing like a Puffin for ages 4-9.    

Teaching Opportunities:  
  • Science:  Learn about puffins, penguins, and other arctic animals
  • Comparison Chart:  Make a chart showing how puffins and penguins are similar; then, create another chart on two animals or things to show their similarities or differences
  • Predicting Skills:  Before reading, list all the objects that are connected in the book; ask, “Do you see how each one might be like a puffin?”
  • Critical Thinking:  Write the names of objects on note cards; allow children in small groups or independently to connect them and explain why (you will need to think through this ahead of time to make sure there is one or more connections)
  • Writing:  Using the objects provided or creating their own object links, write a story that parallels Nothing like a Puffin
  • Similes:  Teach or reinforce the concept of similes (because they are also focused on similarities); children can practice identifying them or creating their own
  • Other Resources on the Internet
This post is linked with the Sunday Showcase at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.  Check out  this LINK with dozens of great ideas you can do at home with your kids.  

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