Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage by Nancy Stewart
June 14, 2012 in Book Club Possibility, Books with Health Content, Books with Science Content, Books with Science Content, Chapter Books, Elementary Educators, Helping Girls and Women Around the World, Making Personal Connections, Research Ideas, Stewart Nancy Tags: Chapter Books, dolphins, helping children with disabilities, rescue animals
*Non-fiction chapter book for kids 7 to 10 years old
*8-year-old girl is the focus of the book
*Rating: What an inspirational book! Kids will love Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage. It’s one of those stories that teachers/parents can use to help children who are struggling with almost any self-esteem issue. Besides, who doesn’t love a dolphin story?
Short, short summary: Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage by Nancy Stewart is the true story of a young girl, Katrina, who was born with a birth defect and therefore had a “helper” leg. She felt self-conscious about it and about being different than other kids her age. When the book begins, Katrina is on her way to Disney with her family. But before they go, her parents take her to an aquarium where rescued sea animals live. One of the animals is a dolphin named Winter, who has a prosthetic tail after losing his in a fishing accident. Immediately, Katrina is drawn to Winter and realizes they have a lot of similarities. But even better, Winter motivates Katrina to try activities she would have NEVER tried before. Instead of having an “I-Can’t” attitude, she does an almost 180, and she has an I CAN DO ANYTHING attitude. Katrina credits Winter as being her inspiration. For anyone who has seen the movie Dolphin Tale, Winter is the subject of that movie with Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., and Ashley Judd. (Winter did her own stunts in the movie! LOL) Nancy Stewart’s book focuses more on Katrina than on Winter, but it’s interesting that Winter is again “starring” in a story.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. After reading this book, ask children to journal about something that bothers them about themselves and how they can face this head on like Katrina and Winter did. What is something children have been afraid to do, but they did it anyway? Or what is something they are going to try? Children who are not good writers can use pictures to explain their thoughts.
2. Explore The Pier Aquarium website, which is where Winter lives. If possible, ask someone with a prosthetic leg to come to your classroom and speak about it. Bring the world of the book into your classroom.
3. Ask students to write a letter to Katrina and/or Winter, explaining what they liked about their stories and what children now feel inspired to do.