Two unlikely friends embark on a life altering journey in The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi. Diva is a small dog who lives in an apartment complex at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. She takes her job of guarding the courtyard very seriously.
Flea is a streetwise cat who loves exploring the city of lights. One day, his travels take him past 11 avenue Le Play...and Diva. He finds the petite pooch to be quite interesting. Flea cannot understand why Diva runs away every time that someone enters the courtyard. A miscommunication soon turns into a budding friendship.
Diva loves listening to Flea's stories about the wondrous sights of Paris. She admires his bravery and courage and decides to become an explorer too. Does this curious canine have what it takes to make it on the streets of Paris? Can Flea conquer his fear of brooms and the humans that come with them? Most importantly, will Diva and Flea's friendship survive despite their vastly different backgrounds?
I absolutely love this book! The story reminds me of a mixture of Disney's Oliver and Company with a dash of Madeline. While I have not been to Paris, I can definitely relate to the bond that Diva and Flea share. My husband and I rescued a two week old kitten from the middle of main street in our town and our three-legged dog, Penny, immediately bonded with the kitten and began raising her.
This story has so many fantastic themes woven intricately within the chapters. I also love how the story is told from both Diva and Flea's perspective. It is truly magical to see how their individual lives come together to create a relationship that each hadn't thought possible.
Tony DiTerlizzi's illustrations are enchanting. Readers of all ages will fall in love with the adorable Diva and Flea. I am also blown away by the detail that DiTerlizzi puts into each image. His buildings are simply incredible! I almost felt as if I was in Paris, smelling the scent of coffee and freshly baked bread.
I would highly recommend this book to readers ages 8 to 108! This classic story of friendship, courage and discovery will surely be treasured for years to come. I think it would also make for a fantastic movie or television series.
Thunder Cake is a heart warming story about Patrica Polacco's Babushka, who helps her overcome her fear of thunderstorms. She achieves this by having Patricia go to different places across the farm to collect ingredients for her famous Thunder Cake, which can only be made during a thunderstorm. Babushka must have tomatoes, strawberries, milk, and eggs which all call for Patricia to be brave and gather these things, all while working against the clock before the storm arrives. Just as all grandmothers, Babushka instills confidence in her granddaughter by proving she is quite brave after all. In the classroom, you could use this book to introduce your class to weather maps. By bringing in different maps from different parts of the world, you can teach students what different symbols mean and encourage them to inquire about the weather in your area, in our country, and around the world. This book is leveled in the AR system at a 3.5.
I read this story to first graders, and it was a cute story that teaches us to be brave no matter what comes our way. Great read for young children, 1-2 grade.
If I were to use this story in my own classroom, I would have my students do a "sequence of events" activity, putting in order the steps the chicks take to get past the dog to their feed. I would also use this story to practice sight words and reading comprehension by asking questions throughout the story.
Reading level: 2nd grade
Written by: Ed Vere
This is by far the most adorable book I have read! It is about a cat who is fearless and wants to go searching for a mouse. The only problem: he doesn't even know what a mouse looks like. This book will have you laughing the entire time you read it with your students.
I would read this book to K-2nd grade. It is a wonderful book to show the power of being brave, even when you don't think you can be. I would make the students cards that had each of the characters Max encounters on his hunt to find the mouse. When it gets to their animal being shown, they stand up and hold their cards up. This keeps them engaged through the reading and more interactive for the students. As an activity, the students could write about a time they were brave and how they felt. They could then draw a picture to go along with their writing.