by Pat Schories
24 pages; ages 4-8
Holiday House, 2015
I love it when stories begin on the end pages. Open the cover and you see a gentle scene, with mom and child placing a hot pie on the windowsill to cool.
Without even reading the story, we know there's gonna be trouble. It's all about that pie.
Big Chuck (he's a woodchuck - which, if you know anything about woodchucks, means he's nothing but trouble....) can see that pie. He can smell that pie. But he cannot reach that pie.
With some fun repetition, Pat Schories explores whether any of the other woodland creatures can reach that pie. We see them try....
... and fail. Until Big Chuck gets a big idea. I won't say what happens, but this last sentence should give you a clue: "Pie for everyone!" The wordless spread on the back end pages allows readers to fill in the rest of the story.
This book, with its lovable but zany characters, should entice even reluctant readers to open the covers. Because who doesn't want to read about a pie-stealing critter who outsmarts the mom? And it opens the door for sharing stories about when you were little and wanted to reach the popsicles in the freezer, or how your mom thought that hiding cookies on the tip-top shelf would keep them safe.
Or maybe your child is more technically inclined. Perhaps, if he were in charge of the story he'd have woodchuck build a catapult or some sort of pie-snitching crane? Grab some paper and markers and challenge your child to design different ways to get a pie off a ledge.
Here's a few more ideas for enticing children to read:
- Tell a few jokes or riddles, and then when you stop laughing, pull out the book where you got them. Maybe your kid wants to read a joke.
- Does your child want to learn magic? Make a car out of a mouse trap? Introduce him to "how to" books for things he wants to do.
- Introduce a series book (like Encyclopedia Brown, or Cam Jansen mysteries, the Magic Treehouse or Boxcar Children)
Cool online resources