Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel is a book that I used for another class in a mini-lesson. There were really good elements of this book. For example, the strong verbs and extremely descriptive adjectives were very good. It is a great example of showing and not telling in text.
This book revolves around prairie dogs discovering a tennis ball (which they never find out what exactly it is) is dropped into their hole. The dogs are curious, and this leads them to pulling all the fuzz off the ball. However, conflict breaks out because not everyone had fuzz. One big barking prairie dog takes matters into his own hands and steals all the fuzz, but then he is captured by an eagle. The dogs must work together to help save him. This book throws in a little lesson in a very discrete way. The dogs were about to turn their back on another one, but then they realized it was not a nice thing to do. Although I liked the story line, it was not my favorite element of the text. As I previously stated, the words in this book are amazing. The dogs have many conversations, and this would be a fabulous read aloud opportunity. Also, there are many sounds represented in the text which are identified by enlarged text and different colors. The word choice for describing the dogs and the fuzz were really good. For example, regarding the fuzz, they swirled it, twirled it, pulled it, plucked it, etc. LOTS of good verbs that show the reader what is going on.
The illustrations in this book were also very strong. Some of the pages unfolded to make a larger picture, and I thought that was a neat feature. Also, the ball of fuzz (tennis ball) was never referred to as a tennis ball even though it clearly is. The pictures looked realistic down to the little whiskers for the the dogs and the crumbling dirt.
I would recommend this book to others because it is a fun read with lots of great literature elements. Like I said before, I think this book needs to be read aloud with lots of voice in order to fulfill its potential. It was great!

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