Monday, February 20, 2012

Must Read Monday

Listen Buddy was always one of my favorite books to read to my first graders. I read it the first day of school, as a reminder of what can happen to little bunny rabbits who don't listen to their teachers. It was effective. When I left the classroom after Carson was born, I couldn't find my copy of Listen Buddy. I looked everywhere. I was so sad until I realized a child was probably really enjoying that book at home. I knew eventually I'd either come across my copy, or find another one. Then, while Carson and I were volunteering at The Commonplace, we came across Listen Buddy as we were sorting books. I was SO excited. We bought it and read it as soon as we got home.

Listen Buddy, by Helen Lester, is a story about a bunny rabbit named Buddy who has big, beautiful ears. He lives with his father, who is a super sniffer (due to his big, beautiful nose) and his mother who is a terrific chomper (due to her big, beautiful teeth). Since Buddy is equipped with larger than normal ears, his parents assume he will be a better than normal listener. But he is not. He brings his father a hen when he asks for a pen and his mother a slice of bed when she asks for a slice of bread. They keep yelling, "Listen Buddy!"

The story reaches its peak when Buddy is given permission to go on a long hop. His parents remind him to take the path to the left, in order to avoid the Scruffy Varmint (who happens to like bunny rabbit soup). Buddy, having quite developed ears, but not so mature listening skills, hops along the path and goes to the right, having remembered giving an affirmative "right" to his parents when they were discussing directions. He promptly runs into the Scruffy Varmint, who is getting ready to make some soup.

You'll have to read the rest to learn if Buddy the bunny rabbit gets out of his predicament. It is a great read for little ones--they'll laugh out loud, especially if you really ham it up when the Scruffy Varmint is speaking. I was thinking this would be a great story to make into a play. It teaches a great lesson about listening, and will open the door for you to read more of Helen Lester's books. She is a hilarious author. She also wrote the Tacky books. We LOVE Tacky.

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