Edgar, Allan, and Poe and the Tell-Tale Beets by Natalie Rompella; Illustrated by Francois Ruyer
January 20, 2011 in Adjectives, Books with Health Content, Elementary Educators, Fractured Tall Tales and Fairy Tales, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, six traits of writing Tags: Edgar Allan Poe, funny picture books
*Fiction picture book for preschool to third graders
*3 boys as main characters
*Rating: Edgar, Allan, and Poe and the Tell-Tale Beets is a cute take on Edgar Allan Poe’s scary story, “Tell-Tale Heart.”
Short, short summary: Edgar, Allan, and Poe are brothers who aren’t crazy about their mom’s cooking. Well, who would be when she serves things like beets and liver? But they do love her dessert. The problem is they can’t get any dessert until they finish all their dinner, and that’s impossible until. . .they discover the loose floorboard. The brothers decide to cause a distraction and then put the disgusting food in the floorboard. The plan works perfectly, and they get to eat all kinds of delicious dessert until . . .they start hearing Beet. Beet. Liver. Liver. And the smell! The food stinks under the floor board, and finally, they confess everything they’ve been doing right before a huge explosion occurs.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. You can use this book when also studying nutrition. Talk to students and children about why the boys’ mother was making and serving this food. Discuss alternative healthy foods she could serve. For example, what could she serve instead of liver or beets that have the same vitamins but are tastier? Ask students to write a letter to the mother and suggest these alternative foods.
2. Natalie Rompella does a great job with word choice in this book. There are tons of description words and strong action verbs. Make a list of the strong word choices in this book and post it on the wall. Point it out to students when they are busy writing.
3. Older primary students would be able to learn about Edgar Allan Poe and some of his work. Then talk to students about how this version is similar and different from “Tell-Tale Heart.”