I guess you can’t call this a book review -it is really a book recommendation. I have not really read the book yet since it comes out on October 1 but I know the author, her process and the care and detail she gives to everything she creates.
Debra Frasier appears to have done it again creating a perfect book as a teacher mentor text. She has in the past connected to vocabulary learning (Miss Alaineus), science concepts (The Incredible Water Show), alphabet learning (A Fabulous Fair of Alphabets), as well as her original book connection to birth and the world around us (On the Day You Were Born).
Now she gives us a wonderful way to explore teaching voice in our writing. The story is of Spike an ugly dog building a friendship against all odds. Spike is written in first person, which give us a chance as teachers to explore writing from another persons or animals view point.
Debra’s creative art works as a metaphor for the beauty we find in things that may appear old or useless. She works in collage, which is a great medium to use with students.
With Debra there is always an added bonus. Stop by her web site to view how Spike was created from “ugly” old blue jeans or view the gallery of images on how to develop a characters voice. http://www.debrafrasier.com/pages/books-events/spike/index.php
If you scroll down her page you will find her classroom activities
- 30 dog profiles for your student to practice writing with
- Spike Vocabulary
- Video of dog diaries
- Booklets to be made (Debra alway has a book in mind)
If you can find a way to have her visit your classroom she will create all the wonder of book development with you and your students. You will fall under her trance of creating beautiful books.
I am already planning how we will use this fabulous book and ideas for our October writing unit. (I am so glad I was asked to help out in a few 3rd and 4th grade classrooms this fall because I know what I will be doing!)
If you are not familiar with Debra’s work or other books take time to explore her web site with lots of teacher support materials for
- On the Day You Were Born
- Miss Alaineus: a Vocabulary Disaster (I know this one well it came right out of my classroom work! Love it!)
- The Incredible Water Show (the water cycle)
Enjoy the color and magic of Debra Frasier!!