Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Club - The Littles

The next installment on my series of book clubs for first through third graders features the classic book, The Littles by John Peterson. Because of book availability we read either The Littles or The Littles to the Rescue. This was the best attended book club we have had, and the most popular book. I remember loving these books as a kid, and they're still popular. After book club, every copy we had of any Littles book was checked out and I could have checked out three times as many. I actually did this back in November of last year, so that is how far behind I am on this blog. Here's what we did for our book club.

Book: The Littles; The Littles to the Rescue by John Peterson

Introduce Yourself
What is your name, age, and which Littles book did you read? (I was surprised by how many children read multiple of the books.)

Discussion Questions
  1. What was your favorite part of the book? Why?
  2. Which is your favorite character? Why?
  3. What Little family member are you the most like? How?
  4. Do you think there are tiny people living in your house? Why or why not? (at this point we stacked up the evidences on pro/con lists as part of our critical thinking skills)
  5. Why do you think the Littles only take what the Biggs are done with? Is this like recycling? Bonus How can we recycle and reuse things at home?
  6. Why do you think the Biggs have never noticed the Littles?
  7. If you were a teeny little person, what would you "borrow" from your big house?
    What would you use for a bed? Blankets? Dishes? Tables?
  8. Can you imagine how the Littles would use other things beside the telephone to communicate? (example a computer)
  9. Lucy and Tom Little don't go to school. How do you think they learn?
  10. Are the Littles brave? When were they brave?
  11. What would be harder if you were noly five inches tall? What would be easier?

Postage Stamp Art
The Littles use postage stamps as art. I went to the post office to buy post stamps that looked cool and didn't have a lot of choices. I remember there being tons of choices as a kid. Fortunately I had an envelope at home of "pretty" stamps that are all the wrong denomination. I recommend asking your staff/family/friends for donations of "old" stamps (not valuable obviously) for this. We "mounted" the stamps on colored cardstock and made "frames" by gluing on colored toothpicks. I, naturally, had cut the colored toothpicks in half the day before. I also had blank spine labels and allowed them to draw their own miniature paintings.

Little Books
We used small strips of paper folded accordian styles and stapled between cardstock to create books. I had printed book covers in teeny miniature versions. Or they could draw their own cover on blank cardstock. Very fun and popular.

Food or Snack
I used the recipes on the fantastic Hamster Tracker in their Cooking for Lucy section. I made and brought in a few examples (the little burgers and little pizza) and sent home instructions on the "take home fun and activities" sheet. I used a picture from the site, and received permission from the site's author who was quite kind about it. I encouraged the kids to make their own at home since we don't do food here at the library. But it would be a fun group activity if the cutting was done ahead of time by an adult (naturally).

Take Home
I sent home a "Take Home Fun and Activities" sheet. It included the "micro-burgers" recipe and picture, a list of The Littles books, and instructions to decorate a "Little" house.

To Decorate a "Tinies" House
Start with a shoe box and set it up as an extra room for any visiting Tinies. An old sock (especially a child's sock) can be a sleeping bag. What other furniture can you find? Old water bottle caps make wonderful bowls. Hang up the art you made in book club. Make a tinfoil mirror. Use your imagination and have fun! (Remember to ask an adult before you "borrow" anything.)

Other Books
And of course I would be no kind of librarian if I didn't do a "if you liked The Littles, you should try..." segment. Here's my recommendations:
The Littles (series) by John Peterson (there are seven or so in the series)
Andrew Lost (series) by J. C. Greenburg
The Borrowers (series) by Mary Norton (for slightly more advanced readers)

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