Chester’s Masterpiece by Chester, of course!
January 23, 2012 in Creative Writing activities, Elementary Educators, Making Predictions, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, Shared Writing, six traits of writing, Watt Melanie Tags: funny picture books, illustrations, parts of a story, story elements
*Picture book for preschoolers through second graders
*A creative cat as the main character
*Rating: Chester is such a great illustrator and author–who needs that Melanie Watt? If you haven’t read any of the Chester the cat series of books yet (with NO HELP FROM Melanie), then you must check one out. So cute and funny!
Short, short summary: Chester the cat has hidden his owner’s, author and illustrator Melanie Watt’s, supplies and has taken over the creation of the book with his red pen. Chester is trying to write a masterpiece. First he steals from Twas the Night Before Christmas, and then he goes through a series of exercises to break his writer’s block. Once he’s ready, he writes some stories about himself and mouse–always ending unhappily with something tragic happening to mouse! In the end, Melanie finds her art supplies in a terrible hiding spot. . .Kids and adults will get a kick out of this hysterical picture book.
So what do I do with this book?
1. This is such a cute book. I love how “Melanie Watt” leaves editorial notes to Chester on “yellow Post-it notes.” Children will LOVE this book, and they will love to leave their own notes to Chester. While reading it, let them have some stickee notes and they can jot a few things down to Chester about his illustrations, his stories, etc.
2. This book has a lot of reading lessons in it. For example, Melanie tells Chester he needs a setting. They both draw a jungle. She asks what type of story he plans to write, and he goes through several genres like humor, action, and romance. They talk about endings, problems, and characters. It is full of things writers need to think about and address when writing a story. You can start a discussion with your class on these topics, using Chester and his masterpiece as a starting point.
3. For fun, let children try to guess where Chester hid Melanie’s art supplies. See if anyone is correct by the end of the book!