Sophie’s Fish by A. E. Cannon; Illustrated by Lee White
March 11, 2013 in Cannon A. E., Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Making Predictions, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Prediction Skills, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, six traits of writing Tags: books about pets, silly picture books, six plus one traits of writing
*Humorous picture book for preschool to 2nd grade
*Little boy as the main character
*Rating: Sophie’s Fish is everything a picture book should be. It’s kid-centered and focuses on their imagination and comprehension of problems. It also has a great twist at the end! I love this book and would recommend it to anyone.
Short, short summary: When Sophie asks Jake to watch her fish while she goes to her grandma’s house, he readily agrees. But soon, he is regretting it because he wonders exactly what goes in to babysitting a fish. How will he feed it? Will the fish need bedtime stories? What about the fish’s favorite blanket–does he care if it’s wet? And so on. Pretty soon, Jake has worked himself into a frenzy, and he decides that the best thing to do is avoid Sophie and tell her no fish are allowed at his house. Then the doorbell rings, and Sophie is ready to bring her fish over. Jake calms down and realizes that taking care of a fish is probably no big deal until. . . (I’m not going to tell you the twist–find the book!)
So, what do I do with this book?
1. This is the perfect book to discuss what it takes to take care of a pet–not just a fish, but a dog or cat or hamster, too. You could make lists for each and post it around the room. You could do this before or after you read the book–or both.
2. This is also a great book for prediction skills. You can do predictions a couple different times during the book while reading it aloud to kids. You can stop before Sophie rings the doorbell and predict what children think Jake will do. Use clues in the text and the illustrations to support predictions. Also tell children that there’s a slight twist at the end and explain what this is–older children will understand because they’ve probably read several pbs with a twist at the end. Anyway, ask children to predict what they think the twist might be at the end before reading the last page. Again ask kids to support their predictions.
3. For very young children, this is a great book to talk about the difference between questions and statements. Jake asks a lot of great questions in this book. You can also talk about the punctuation that ends each type of sentence. You can also work in the 6 + 1 trait of sentence fluency while discussing this because the author, A. E. Cannon, does a great job of mixing the questions and statements, long and short sentences, to create a smooth flow of words.
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