Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW and ACTIVITY IDEAS: Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins


Rodeo Red and her hound dog Rusty are happier than two buttons on a new shirt 'til Side Swiping Slim shows up. Red's sure anyone who hollers that much'll be hauled to the edge of town and told to skedaddle, but her parents are smitten. When Slim sets his eye on Rusty, Red'd better figure out a way to save her best friend in all the world. Can she bargain with a varmint?


Author PhotoMaripat Perkins is a former Montessori teacher who lives in Michigan with her plum peach of a family and a few rascally varmints. Rodeo Red is her first picture book.

Author PhotoMolly Idle had a career with DreamWorks Feature Animation Studios before leaping into the world of children's book illustration. She is the author-illustrator of the Caldecott Honor Book Flora and the Flamingo, as well as Camp Rex and Tea Rex. She lives in Arizona.
You can visit Molly Idle’s website here.

The minute I started reading this book, I had to read it out loud to myself with a western accent.  The characterization is so spot on that it was very easy to involve myself in the story.  Rodeo Red and her brother Sam play their parts to perfection.  I felt Red's frustration when her brother claimed her hound dog toy Rusty.  I even felt frustration at her parents for letting him do so that's how involved in the story I became.  A delightful picture book that would be ideal for a western story time or one on one read.


One of the funnest things to do related to books is to engage children in dramatic play and this book lends itself to this activity.  The western words and attitude with which Rodeo Red carries herself and acts is perfect for helping students to practice acting out certain characteristics.  And the problem in the book, sibling conflict is one that most children can relate to in one way or another.  There is of course no one right way to do dramatic play. You can have the child(ren) act out as you read or you can read and then read it again with the children acting it out as you go.  It might even be fun to teach the children a simple line dance or something to go with the story for a rip-roaring story time.

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