Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book Review: Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

NEW AT THE HILLSIDE LIBRARY: Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han, Pictures by Julia Kuo

Clara Lee is a Korean American girl who lives with her family (which includes Grandpa and Mom and Dad) in a town called Bramley, and Clara Lee looks forward to the town's yearly Apple Pie Festival. Clara Lee is in the third grade, and her sister Emmeline is six.

Rarely does an early chapter book come along that makes me excited to finish it! Well written and delightful, it would be perfect for teachers looking to explore the use of SIMILE and METAPHOR with their classes, in kid-friendly language. You could see real kids coming up with these similes and metaphors, unlike some of the other texts I have seen used to teach these conventions.
Not to mention the fact that it features an Asian-American character with her family's culture woven sweetly into the story.

Great for 2nd-4th graders.

Here are some of my favorite examples of the book's fun text:

"All the kids at school call me Clara Lee and not just Clara. It just sounds better that way. Like peanut butter and jelly, like trick-or-treat, or fairy and princess, those words just go together. Just like me, Clara Lee."

"I can see through her like plastic wrap."

"It was like jumping into a cloud of fall. Leaves floated in the air like snowflakes."

"When you want the day to go by quick, it goes as slow as a ketchup drip. Whey you want it to go by slow, it's like somebody hit the Heinz right on the 57 and it happens all at once. "

"I was a stuffed pinata ready to pop!"

"I felt like Shayna had pricked me in my stomach with a needle. Suddenly I was a droopy red balloon with the air all sucked out."

"The day crawled by slower than a caterpillar up a tree."

"I felt like a candle on top of a birthday cake, burning oh-so-bright."