Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon
by Ute Kraus
TeenReader, your favorite literate teen, strikes again with the “O” review, Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon. This is the tale of a young boy named Oscar who, against his will and the will of the village, has to go up the mountain and become the annual meal of a very vicious dragon. But using the power of good cooking, Oscar makes the dragon seriously consider whether or not human children are really the tastiest thing in the world.
When it comes to literature, I love it when a book takes the middle way (sounds like a band name, doesn’t it?). It makes the average Joe (like myself) feel like they have a place in literature. The dragon, although he starts this way, is neither a godless killing machine nor a soft mushball. (Let’s face it — the he’s-tough-but-really-kind-and-sweet routine has gotten old.) This book is fun to read and a very neat mix of modern and medieval culture.
For the culinary genies in your gift-receiver, a cooking set would be a lot of fun, or a cuddly dragon for the sweetie pies, or look for more Ways to Give a Picture Book or over a hundred other Ways to Give a Book this holiday season.
The Letter O
Book: My Very Own Octopus, by Bernard Most
Fingerplay: “Open, Shut Them”
Open, shut them, open, shut them.Book: Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell, or Little Hoot, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Give a little clap, clap, clap.
Open, shut them, open, shut them.
Lay them in your lap, lap, lap.
Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them
Right up to your chin, chin, chin.
Open wide your little mouth...
But do not let them in.
(Act out the hand motions.)
Fingerplay: “Five Little Owls”
The first little owl has big, round eyes.Book: Over in the Meadow, by Olive A. Wadsworth (I sing it instead of reading it.)
The second little owl is of very small size.
The third little owl can turn her head.
The fourth little owl likes mice, she said.
The fifth little owl flies all around,
And her wing hardly make a single sound.
(Count owls on fingers, and then “fly” hands around.)
Book: Some “O” name book like Olivia, by Ian Falconer; Olvina Files, by Grace Lin; Otto Goes to Camp, by Todd Parr; Owen, by Kevin Henkes; or Otis, by Loren Long
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