Joe and Sparky, Superstars! by Jamie Michalak; Illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
October 20, 2011 in Book Club Possibility, Chapter Books, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Michalak Jamie, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, Shared Writing, Writing Skills Tags: chapter book for early readers, easy reader
*Easy reader (I’d compare to Amelia Bedelia books, divided into chapters), fantasy
*A loveable giraffe and turtle as main characters
*Rating: I won Joe and Sparky, Superstars in a blog contest at Clara Gillow Clark’s blog, and I am so glad I did What a super cute book for those readers transitioning from having Mom or teacher read them a book to reading on their own. Joe cracks me up!
Short, short summary: Since Joe is a giraffe, he can stretch his neck from Safari Land and see something fun. He wants to share this something fun with his friend, Sparky the turtle, who only wants to take a nap on his warm rock. But Joe convinces Sparky to go along, and they see little people in a box (this would be a TV). They watch a reality show about entertaining pairs, and so Joe thinks they should join them. They are a pair after all. The problem is. . .what is their entertainment? The pair seems to think Joe has many talents, but they just can’t seem to figure out what Sparky is good at. So, the duo try different talents, such as the Hokey Pokey, trying to find a talent for Sparky that will make him a superstar.
So what do I do with this book?
1. Joe and Sparky are unique animals with their own personalities and characteristics that make each special–just like your own children or all the children in your classroom. First with children, make a list of Joe and Sparky’s character traits based on the book. Then ask students to make a list of their own character traits. If you are working with preschoolers or kindergartners and sharing this book, you can make a general list and then students can choose one or two words to write or illustrate depending on their ability level.
2. Ask students: what is your talent? You discover in the end of the story what Sparky’s talent is and it is great! So, do a think, pair, share activity in your classroom. Ask students to think what their talent (s) is, pair them up with other students and tell them to share with their partners, and then their partners share the talent with the class.
3. What is a superstar? Ask students to draw a picture, write a poem, write their own story, or any other way to describe what a superstar is in their opinion. This could also be a Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/Christmas present idea with something like: My mom is a superstar because_____________. Students fill in the blank and illustrate the sentence. OR My dad is a superstar like Sparky and Joe because_________________________________.