Tuesday Tales: A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe by Barbara Odanaka; Illustrated by Lee White
February 16, 2010 in Art activities, Books with Health Content, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Odanaka Barbara, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, Research Ideas, Rhyming Words, Shared Writing, Tuesday Tales, White Lee Tags: A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe, Barbara Odanaka, Lee White, rhyming picture books, table manners
*Picture book for preschoolers through second graders
*A skateboarding cow and other critters as main characters
*Rating: A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe is a fun, crazy read that will leave kids laughing and wanting more. Cute ending!
Short, short summary: In rhyme and with super illustrations, Barbara Odanaka and Lee White tell the story of the critter cafe. The cook and the waiter are relaxing on a quiet morning when a bus full of critters breaks down and in walks five raccoons. You might think five raccoons are bad enough at a restaurant, but they aren’t even the half of it. There are elephants playing instruments and Skateboard Cow as well as macaws, turtles, lizards, lambs, and penguins (and more!). As you can imagine, all these animals are very demanding when they are hungry and make quite a mess of things at the Critter Cafe! How do the waiter and cook survive this onslaught of customers? You’ll have to read the ending to find out–and to find out what happens to Skateboard Cow!
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Let students choose their favorite animal from the cast of characters, draw a picture, and write two sentences about it–something it does in the book and something it does in real life. For older students who are starting to research, you can ask them to find three facts about the animal to share with classmates. These can be displayed on a bulletin board (or on your kitchen refrigerator if you home school) with the title: “Here’s Our Crazy Critter Cafe.” You can use a checkered tablecloth as the background paper for your bulletin board.
2. The rhyme in A Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe is wonderful, and some of the words aren’t usual, familiar rhyming words for your students or children. For example: tunes rhymes with raccoons, grub rhymes with Bub, and fritters rhymes with critters. Ask students to put their thumbs up every time they hear a rhyming pair. Make a list of rhyming pairs on chart paper. Ask students to add their own words to the list. Talk to students about why words rhyme. Older students can attempt their own rhyming poem with 4 to 6 lines.
3. This is a great book to talk with students about how to act at a restaurant, the dinner table, and/or a friend’s house for supper. The animals have TERRIBLE manners, so children can have fun correcting the animals’ behavior without the book seeming preachy or a guide to “This is what you are supposed to do. . .” Students can even draw pictures illustrating one half of their papers with a picture of an animal behaving rudely, and the other half of the picture with themselves using their manners.