In this wordless (except for street signs) picture book, a monkey escapes from a street performer, steals a banana from a grocer's outdoor display, drops the peel on the sidewalk, and, well, you probably know the rest. One thing leads to another and then another.
We had great discussions from the very beginning. The monkey escapes in the end papers, the banana is stolen on the title page spread, and the monkey scampers away from the street performer while he is detained by the angry grocer on the copyright page spread. "It's like an...introduction," I said. "No, a PROLOGUE," corrected one of the students.
As we read on, they made inferences based on facial expressions and body language, made predictions, and used the terms "cause and effect" and "point of view." Then, right when the judge who accidentally stepped on the skateboard runs into the lady with the baby carriage, my Firecracker who was tipping in his chair fell, knocking his desk over, and dumping its contents on his head.
They thought it was hilarious (and no one more than Firecracker himself, who was not injured in the least) that this had all happened at the moment in the book when there's the most chaos.
And then someone brought up the time when I was reading BLOOD ON THE RIVER and the character Samuel punched the character Richard in the mouth and Richard lost a tooth. At that very moment, one of my students lost a tooth. At the time, we went, "Ooooh, ahhhh," because it was like I made my student's tooth fall out. But now it happened again.
"It's just like in INKHEART!" one of my super girl readers said.
"Yeah!" said another. "You're like Mo!" (That might be enough to help me make it to the end of the year!!)
After we explained to the rest of the class about Mo being able to read book characters to life, one of the boys commented that I better not read aloud any books with guns and killing.
"But I already have," I replied. (BLOOD ON THE RIVER currently and DANGER ALONG THE OHIO last year) "I must only be able to read into life things that could happen in a classroom."
"Read a story about cookies!" tooth-loss boy cried out.
"Read a book about Christmas!" begged another.