Friday, April 26, 2013

Horrible Harry Bugs the Three Bears

I can't remember how I ended up selecting this book to read to the girls.  I spend time late at night reading other people's blogs and then order books which sound interesting from our library.  Then a few days or weeks later the books become available, I get them, and we read them.  Sometimes I have no idea why I requested it.

This book was interesting because it occurred in a third grade classroom in a traditional school.  So that introduced the girls to a different life than they lead.

The girls laughed a lot during this book and enjoyed the story. It is part of a series of books and we may get some others from this series.  They are easy enough readers that Catherine should be able to read them on her own, but she hasn't taken that leap into reading chapter books by herself yet. 

So Suzy Kline's Horrible Harry Bugs the Bears was one of the books we read this week.  It is a formulaic book and fairly simple, but I am glad we read it anyway:

The book is about a class whose teachers divides the students into groups.  Each group must choose a fairy tale and perform a skit about the fairy tale for the whole class.  These kids chose the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  One of the members of the group, Harry, loves bugs and finds a dead earwig on the playground.  He takes it home in a tissue and buries it.

He then wants to incorporate the earwig into the fairy tale, which the kids are able to do.  The children in the story get props, paint a background mural, make costumes, write a script, have a narrator, and do a pretty thorough job of putting on a mini-play.

My girls found the book funny and laughed a lot throughout it.  I loved that this book was a great vehicle to introduce the girls to various steps in the process of theater.  A few days after we read this book, we passed a wig shop.  Catherine stopped and said "these are like the wigs in the Harry book."  I had completely forgotten about that book, but Catherine remembered some of the details in the book.

Then, a few days after that, we saw a play.  Sabrina pointed to the stage and said "Is that a background, Mommy?"  I am sadly continuously shocked at what my kids don't know.  I tend to be very narrow minded and think that my kids know everything already.  So when my kids ask a question like "Is that a background, Mommy?" I am reminded that my children are still only 5 and 7 and they really do not know this stuff.

The biggest thrill which I had as a result of this book was tonight.  We ate dinner at a place where the girls could play on a stage while we were eating.  Catherine came up and said they were going to act out Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  They had no props, background, or costumes.  But they pretended to knock on a door.  Then they pretended to eat three bowls of porridge, pretended to sit on three chairs, then pretended to lay down on three beds.  Then Sabrina roared at Catherine, pretending she was a bear, and Catherine ran off the stage like she was Goldilocks fleeing the bears' cottage.

Then the girls told me they were going to act out Cinderella.  They stood in the middle of the stage.  Catherine screamed "It's midnight!"  She took off one sneaker, dropped it onto the floor, and ran to the corner of the stage.  Sabrina very carefully carried the sneaker to Catherine and attempted to fit it onto her foot.

Lastly, the girls acted out Sleeping Beauty.  They have done this many times before, but not on a stage.  Catherine laid down in the middle of the stage as still as she could.  Sabrina came over and kissed her, waking her up.

The girls put no preparation or planning into these mini-skits they did, but they had a blast.  I was pleased to see how they were able to act out scenes from these fairy tales, including picking out the most important scenes.  I may actually assign them "do a skit" again.  Bravo to this chapter book, which introduced them to some elements of the theater!

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