I’m Not Invited? by Diana Cain Bluthenthal
April 16, 2009 in Bluthenthal, Diana Cain, Books with Science Content, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Making Predictions, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers Tags: Diana Cain Bluthenthal, I'm Not Invited?, Making Personal Connections, Making Predictions, mealworm projects, Picture Book
Reviewed by Margo Dill, www.margodill.com, email@example.com
*Picture book, contemporary
*Young girl as main character
*Rating: I’m Not Invited? is a realistic look at what it feels like to be left out!
Short, short summary: Diana Cain Bluthenthal reminds us all what it feels like when we are left out and the worries and emotions that we experience. In I’m Not Invited? Minnie overhears Kathleen ask Charles what time the party starts on Saturday, and then she gets excited. Charles is having a party! There’s only one problem–Minnie hasn’t received an invitation. Charles doesn’t seem mad at her–he even names his mealworm after her. All week, Minnie waits for Charles to ask her to the party, but he doesn’t. She checks her mailbox and imagines what could have happened to her invitation. She even rides by his house on Saturday and sees all the balloons. Surely, Charles just forgot that he forgot to invite her. So, what happens when one of Minnie’s friends asks her to go to the dirt field and play kickball while the party is going on at Charles’s house? Minnie sees Charles at the dirt field! But how is that possible–there’s a party at his house?
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Your students or children should really be able to relate to Minnie’s feelings in this book. At one time or another, they have felt left out–whether it is a party, a game older siblings are playing, a sleepover they have to miss because of a family commitment or whatever–it is a feeling all children experience. Use this book as a discussion starter for dealing with this type of situation. What does Minnie do when she feels left out? How does she express her feelings? What else do they think Minnie could have done to solve her problem? If Charles is her good friend, could she have discussed it with him? Then ask your students to write or draw (depending on their age) about a time when they felt like Minnie and what they did to solve their problem. They can share these with the whole class or in small groups.
2. Ask students to predict why they think Minnie is not invited to the party before you read the end of the story to them. Students should notice that Charles does not seem upset with Minnie and is treating her like she is one of his really good friends. Can students guess that this is a big misunderstanding before Diana Cain Bluthenthal reveals the twist at the end? When students give their predictions, make sure they provide reasons whey they think the story might end like this. (In other words, they should support their predictions with events from the story.)
3. Depending on the age of your students, they may not be familiar with mealworms. Mealworms are great for teaching students about life cycles. If you type, “mealworm projects” into Google, you will see several websites you can go to for more information. After reading I’m Not Invited?, consider doing a mealworm project if your science curriculum covers life cycles.
If you have used this book with your students or your children, let us know what you did! For more information on children’s books, check out Educating Alice!