Thursday, May 3, 2012


The longer I teach, the longer I believe Albert Einstein, who said, "“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” 

I believe here is enormous power in this genre- fairy tales help kids:

  • internalize story structure
  • understand the concept of the hero's journey
  • internalize the idea of  protagonist and antagonist
  • understand the idea of theme
  • provide kids with strong and powerful language
  • provide language supports for struggling readers
And on and on and on…
I'm always on the lookout, then, for new fairy/folk tales to share with my kids, and yes, I absolutely do believe in reading fairy tales to ten-year-olds. They love them, especially ones with a little twist. Today I will be reading aloud my latest find- Helen Ketteman's Señorita Gordita,, a southwest take off on THE GINGERBREAD BOY.  (You might know some of Ketteman's name from BUBBA AND THE COWBOY PRINCE or THREE LITTLE GATORS). 

Señorita Gordita is a little corn cake (and yes, there is a recipe for corn cakes in the back of the book). One day, she hops out of the pan with a "flip and a skip and a zip-zoom-zip." And of course, because this is a fairy tale, there is a journey; this one happens to be across the desert. And of course, she encounters various desert creatures- a javelina, a rattlesnake and a tarantula. And of course, there is a smart and wily protagonist, who teaches Señorita Gordita a life lesson, "being zip zoom fast is good, but being smart is better." 

Will Terry illustrates Señorita Gordita. Terry's digital illustrations are detailed and richly colorful. I googled his work and was led to his blog. Terry has some really interesting posts on his digital illustration process and also on social media. Don't go there until you have a few minutes- I dragged myself away after half an hour!

A great addition to your GINGERBREAD BOY basket. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

Review copy provided by publisher.

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