Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Discussion for Grades 3-4 Book Club

September's Grades 3-4 Book Club was held on Wednesday, September 3rd at 3:00 p.m. We met to discuss the book Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. Present were: Ava, Cameron, Ellery, Marisa, Mary, Megan, Natalie, Sophia and Spencer.

Below are some snippets of our conversation. The questions are taken from

First, a quote by the author Neil Gaiman:

‘I think, and this is speaking as a dad, that dads do not get a fair crack of the whip, their fair acknowledgement in fiction. Normally we die before the story starts just to keep things interesting for our young heroes and heroines. So I decided that I was going to write a book in which dads get to do all of the really cool, important and exciting things that dads normally get to do on a daily basis, like get captured by pirates, rescued by a time-travelling Stegosaurus in a balloon, captured by people in a jungle who are going to sacrifice you to Splod, a volcano god . . . go into the future and meet magical ponies, get attacked by wumpires. There’s spaceships involved. There’s even a bucket of piranhas. And I thought I would put all of those in, and also have a book in which a dad got to do the important dangerous thing that dads get to do best of all, which is go down to the corner shop and come back with some milk’.

The narrator and his sister question some parts of their dad’s story e.g. the narrator wonders how piranhas, freshwater fish, could have been circling the pirate ship, and how a Stegosaurus could ‘nip up a rope ladder’. What do these questions tell us about the narrator’s character? Do you think the dad’s answers are satisfactory? Would you have asked for further explanation? 

-That the dad was really crazy. And that he likes to exaggerate a lot. 
-The boy doesn't believe in make-believe and he's cautious about what he believes.
-I might believe my dad. But if he got in a mood where he started telling a bunch of stories, I might not have believed.
-I don't think that aliens are living on another planet. Pirates don't exist anymore. I do believe in a stegosaurus time traveling.
-I don't believe that the stegosaurus is real!
-Aliens might exist but I don't have proof.     
-Pirates do exist.
-People do sail places and don't go on land. Modern pirates.

Professor Steg uses interesting descriptive names for objects e.g. she calls coconuts ‘hard-hairy-wet-white-crunchers’ and she calls her hot-air balloon a ‘Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier’. What names would Professor Steg give the following? 

-Hairdryer: "automatic-hot-air-machine-blower-thingie-that-blows air into your face"
-Gum: "chewy flavored gummy stuff", "chewy flavored thing that lasts a long time", sour-gummy-thingie"
-Snake: "Mr Squiggles", "slithering scaly creature that eats other animals and it sleeps with its eyes open", "slippery scaly slimy thingie that slithers a lot"
-Book: "thing that you read", "thing that you go into with a lot of words that has weird picture things", "flat light floppy thing"

What did you think when the brightly colored ponies appeared in Dad’s story?

-What the heck? Why the heck are they here?
-Why are they in the story?
-The little girl asked if there were ponies in the book earlier in the story.
-I think that the dad added them in to make his daughter happy.  

Which character was your favorite? Why? Would you have liked to read more about any of the characters?

-Professor Steg
-I would want to read more about Professor Steg and hear about her funny names. I would also want to know if she invented anything else.
-I would want to read more about the dad because he made up such a great story
-I want to know about Prof Steg because she invents cool stuff
-I wanted to know more about the sister because she hardly talks.
Do you believe the dad’s story? If you think he made it all up, what do you think inspired his story? (Clue: think about the things in the kitchen, and look closely at the illustrations of the children). If you don’t believe him, why do you think he made it up?

-I think he made it all up because he took so long at the store.
- No, because there was a golden doubloon at the bottom of the milk.
-I think he made it all up by looking at the stuff around the kitchen.

Did you think this was a funny book? Which parts did you think were the funniest? How does the author make things funny? 

-I thought that funniest part was when they met the wumpires.
-I thought it was funny when the dad saw the stegosaurus.
-It was pretty funny.  
Imagine the dad and Professor Steg press the button one more time and find themselves in a different time and place (e.g. an underwater world millions of years ago, Stone Age Britain, Ancient Egypt, or another planet – it could be anywhere you like, at any time in history!). 

-They would go to a talker planet and everyone talks
-A weird looking snake-head monkey, legs of chicken and a hawk and the talent of a bald eagle land.
- A floating land where everyone floats. 
-A fart land where everyone farts.
-In the future, there would be a world where everyone had alien antennae sticking out of their foreheads and live on Planet Zog: half alien/half human.
-A really long time ago on Planet Rabona and the dad would have met a girl named Eva 9 and an alien named Rovender. The dad wouldn't have understood anything.
-I think that I would go to someplace where everything is made out of candy and people are sour patch kids. Everyone is a kid.
-Candy Cove.



The next Book Club for Grades 3-4 will be held on Wednesday, November 5th at 3:00 p.m. We will be discussing Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. "Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures." Books will be available behind the Circulation Desk at the library. Please be sure to sign up so that Miss Lisa knows how many snacks to get!

April Grades 3-4 Book Club: The Collectors

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