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January 23, 2017 Book Buzz: Great Groundhog! By Brian Smith
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Where I live we have quite a few groundhogs that you see sitting up along the sides of the roads. Then right before winter, they disappear. Well this year, the groundhogs aren’t going to be the only things to disappear — the groundhog’s shadow is going to disappear in my room!

    I have found a book that you need for your room. I have found a book that you will want for your room! I have found a book that you will love! It’s called Groundhog’s Runaway Shadow and it’s written by the super talented David Biedrzycki. If you read my previous Groundhog blog post then you know that he illustrated another of my favorite groundhog books, Who Will See Their Shadow This Year? 

    Groundhog’s Runaway Shadow is a really easy and fun read-aloud that kids get totally absorbed in. Biedrzycki doesn’t get too verbose as he tells his tale, and although this sweet story is simple and creative on the surface, it’s both rich and warm with multiple levels of meaning.

    One of my favorite things about this book is that the storyline doesn’t revolve around February 2. Instead, it takes common ideas such as friends outgrowing one another, and being true to who you are, and expands them. In Biedrzycki’s story, the groundhog grows weary of his shadow who responds by taking off. Soon, however, both groundhog and shadow realize that they need each other and a satisfying reunion brings the story to an end.

    For older kids, there is the whole idea of balancing the everyday tasks with activities that bring fun and joy into the individual’s world. This is a lesson that I need to be reminded of quite frequently.

     

    My Other Favorite Groundhog Books

    Groundhog Day

    I love the Rookie Read-About books and was so excited when they came out with a holiday set of books. Lisa M. Herrington does a great job with this cute nonfiction book that answers the questions that my kindergarteners ask every year. This is a great addition to your Groundhog Day set of books.

    Grumpy Groundhog

    This adorable book by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Amanda Haley reminds me of myself. Groundhog doesn’t want to get out of his cozy bed, which is me five mornings a week. The difference is that I don’t have the entire world waiting to find out if I can see my shadow or not.

     

    I’d Rather Be . . . Activity

    This charming idea is completely based on the wonderful art in Groundhog’s Runaway Shadow. I want my kids to remember the lesson from the book of making sure that they continue to participate in what makes them happy.

    This happens in six easy steps:

    1.     Take a photo of each child. Try to eliminate any space between the arms and the body as this makes cutting out the picture more difficult. The kids love making their “I’m bored” face.

    2.     Take a photo of their shadow. You can do this outside but I use my projector. It doesn’t matter what else is on the screen as you will be cutting out the shadow. Ideally, the shadow should be doing what the child is going to write about, but as long as it is the opposite of the child looking bored, that is OK.

     

     

    3.    Print the pictures.

    4.    Have the student cut out both their picture and their shadow. The shadow picture needs to be printed in a larger size than their “I’m bored” picture.

    5.     Glue the shadow picture down and then then the “I’m bored” picture on top of the shadow.

    6.    Have each child add a sentence about what they would rather be doing. 

    Don't forget to check out Scholastic Printables for all their Groundhog Day activities. My favorite is their Groundhog Easy Reader called What Does Groundhog See? It makes a great guided reading book or a take-home book to remind them of their Groundhog Day activities.

    Connect with me, dad2ella, on Pinterest and Twitter.

    I can’t wait to see you next time.

    Where I live we have quite a few groundhogs that you see sitting up along the sides of the roads. Then right before winter, they disappear. Well this year, the groundhogs aren’t going to be the only things to disappear — the groundhog’s shadow is going to disappear in my room!

    I have found a book that you need for your room. I have found a book that you will want for your room! I have found a book that you will love! It’s called Groundhog’s Runaway Shadow and it’s written by the super talented David Biedrzycki. If you read my previous Groundhog blog post then you know that he illustrated another of my favorite groundhog books, Who Will See Their Shadow This Year? 

    Groundhog’s Runaway Shadow is a really easy and fun read-aloud that kids get totally absorbed in. Biedrzycki doesn’t get too verbose as he tells his tale, and although this sweet story is simple and creative on the surface, it’s both rich and warm with multiple levels of meaning.

    One of my favorite things about this book is that the storyline doesn’t revolve around February 2. Instead, it takes common ideas such as friends outgrowing one another, and being true to who you are, and expands them. In Biedrzycki’s story, the groundhog grows weary of his shadow who responds by taking off. Soon, however, both groundhog and shadow realize that they need each other and a satisfying reunion brings the story to an end.

    For older kids, there is the whole idea of balancing the everyday tasks with activities that bring fun and joy into the individual’s world. This is a lesson that I need to be reminded of quite frequently.

     

    My Other Favorite Groundhog Books

    Groundhog Day

    I love the Rookie Read-About books and was so excited when they came out with a holiday set of books. Lisa M. Herrington does a great job with this cute nonfiction book that answers the questions that my kindergarteners ask every year. This is a great addition to your Groundhog Day set of books.

    Grumpy Groundhog

    This adorable book by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Amanda Haley reminds me of myself. Groundhog doesn’t want to get out of his cozy bed, which is me five mornings a week. The difference is that I don’t have the entire world waiting to find out if I can see my shadow or not.

     

    I’d Rather Be . . . Activity

    This charming idea is completely based on the wonderful art in Groundhog’s Runaway Shadow. I want my kids to remember the lesson from the book of making sure that they continue to participate in what makes them happy.

    This happens in six easy steps:

    1.     Take a photo of each child. Try to eliminate any space between the arms and the body as this makes cutting out the picture more difficult. The kids love making their “I’m bored” face.

    2.     Take a photo of their shadow. You can do this outside but I use my projector. It doesn’t matter what else is on the screen as you will be cutting out the shadow. Ideally, the shadow should be doing what the child is going to write about, but as long as it is the opposite of the child looking bored, that is OK.

     

     

    3.    Print the pictures.

    4.    Have the student cut out both their picture and their shadow. The shadow picture needs to be printed in a larger size than their “I’m bored” picture.

    5.     Glue the shadow picture down and then then the “I’m bored” picture on top of the shadow.

    6.    Have each child add a sentence about what they would rather be doing. 

    Don't forget to check out Scholastic Printables for all their Groundhog Day activities. My favorite is their Groundhog Easy Reader called What Does Groundhog See? It makes a great guided reading book or a take-home book to remind them of their Groundhog Day activities.

    Connect with me, dad2ella, on Pinterest and Twitter.

    I can’t wait to see you next time.

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