Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spells

A lonely frog finds an old book of spells that is in several pieces. In order to fulfill his dream of being a prince, Frog attempts to piece together a spell that creates a prince.  The reader, through mix-and-match pages, follows the frog through several failed attempts as he haphazardly puts mismatched magical words in sequence.  You might end up with a "fabbit" (frog and rabbit) for example.  Finally, Frog gets it right and creates a spell that allows him to become a handsome prince. Unfortunately, Frog finds out that printed words can be quite tricky.

Spells, written and illustrated by Emily Gravett, is less about plot and more about wordplay, which apparently rubs some folks the wrong way, but I find perfectly fine. Like The Odd Egg, Gravett plays with the pages by splitting them horizontally to create fun text and illustrations. There is a great potential for fun wordplay and writing exercises connected with this book. I would ask students "Which two animals would you combine and why?"

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