Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rhyming Stories

Billy & Milly Short & Silly
by Eve Feldman
illustrated by Tuesday Mourning
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2009
review copy provided by the publisher

There are 13 short stories in this picture book, and when I say short, I mean SHORT -- each is only 3-4 words long. Each story rhymes. And each story depends on the pictures. For example: "Bike Spike Hike". This is the story of Billy, setting off on a bike ride. He hits a spike, gets a flat tire, and winds up having to hike rather than bike.

In the story, "Dream Beam Scream!", Milly is walking along the back of the sofa, then along a balance beam. The story ends with her jumping for joy as she holds the first place trophy. My students pointed out that the end of the story would be totally different if, in the final picture, Milly had fallen off the beam and she was screaming with sadness at losing. The stories depend on the pictures!

Because of the rhymes, these are great stories for making predictions. I also think this would make a fabulous mentor text for students who want to play around with rhyme, but who have a hard time making rhyming poems that make sense. Maybe rhyming stories would be just the ticket!

Here's my favorite story. It's about a dragon that gets a little out of control, feels remorse, and allows Milly to ride on his back while he flies: "Flame Blame Shame Tame".

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