Sunday, November 1, 2015

Poppy's Best Paper

Poppy's Best Paper
written by Susan Eaddy; illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet
2015 (Charlesbridge)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

At home Poppy told Mr. Fuzz Dog, "I am going to write the BEST paper ever!"

The idea of being a writer is great. You dream of people fawning over your words. Being famous for your writing seems only a step away. Then you actually have to put pencil to paper. Poppy is in love with the idea of being a writer. When Mrs. Rose announces  she will choose someone's paper to read aloud in class, Poppy is sure she will be the one. Nobody can match her enthusiasm. Arriving home that afternoon, Poppy finds her notebook, sharpens her pencils, and gets ready to write. She writes three sentences and then calls her classmate Lavender to announce that she has written the best paper. Lavender thinks she should write more. Poppy goes back and writes one more sentence. She is certain that she is on the way to fame and fortune. Not impressed with four sentences, Mrs. Rose picks Lavender's paper. Poppy seethes with jealousy. With the next topic announced, Poppy goes back home and writes two sentences with lots of breaks in between. On the bus the next morning, Poppy scribbles an ending and is sure she will be chosen. Stunningly, Mrs. Rose does not pick her. Poppy complains and kicks a desk. Even though some famous authors have been enfants terrible, it doesn't work for Poppy. She ends up in the Chill Out Chair (I have one of these in my classroom!). More tantrums follow at home. Exiled to her room and fresh out of tears, Poppy has an idea for her How To paper topic. This time, she focuses and doesn't take a break. Very different results follow the next day at school.

This book is terrific! It's a great way to share good writing habits with your students. I also appreciate how Poppy is a realistic character. How many of us have wanted to throw a tantrum when writing something? Not me of course, but you might have experienced this. Writing is hard work, but if you buckle down, something good might happen. In addition, the illustrations in Poppy are adorable. You can't go wrong with rabbits wearing polka dots. K-2 classes will connect and sympathize with Poppy.

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