Just for Fun
These books that can be read your class or child just for the fun and love of reading. There might be a message or a story that goes before us hiding in the text, or it could just delight the senses.
CHARLOTTE AND THE ROCK
Author: Stephen W. Martin Illustrator: Samantha Cotterill
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia 2017
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I started reading it in the bookstore but had to buy it and finish it outside because I disrupted the book store with my very loud laughter. While it is very entertaining it also treats young readers with respect and a sense that they are adaptable human beings. There was no moral to this tale, it is not preachy or teachy, just delightful to read.
Charlotte, the lead character, is desperate for a pet and her parents benevolently gift her with a pet rock. The story documents the adventures that Charlotte and the rock have as they become best friends. We have had readers from 4 to 71 read this text and all found it highly amusing. The ending of the story is a surprise and one the reader doesn’t see coming, and has the added bonus of increasing enjoyment of the text.
The illustrations are lovely and hold subtle clues that enhance the humour of the text and leave the reader feeling very amused. I particularly loved the drawings of Charlotte’s character, a somewhat bemused, underwhelming, engaging heroine.
It can be used as a book to reflect on how we position ourselves when faced with an unexpected situation, or it can be read for fun and delight.
Possible Activity: One of the more obvious activities to do after reading this book is to have the students and teacher find a rock each and then document their own adventures with these rocks as their friendship develops. Follow this up with the creating and writing up of a text to match this new friendship. The ‘rock adventures’ could be a pathway opening up possibilities for the building of new friendships with people . It could lead to an iTime project, similar to one Penny (a delight-full student I taught in Hanoi) developed, which was a motel and other ‘sim city’ like settings and resources for the rocks. (Penny had pet toy mice and developed a whole economic system for these mice based on retail and home needs).
If you wanted to dig deeper into the ideas, you and the students could reflect on ideas strategies and how people position themselves when developing relationships with other things, places, ideas and events. We at BeConWiz have some great resources to help get you and your students started to explore positioning.
Or just read the book for the sheer delight it offers children and adults.