Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Books to Love: "The Great Gracie Chase" by Cynthia Rylant

"The Great Gracie Chase: Stop That Dog!" written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Mark Teague is a wonderful book for kids of all ages. Your little ones will fall in love with Gracie, an adorable, good dog who loves living in her quiet house. Then, her life gets disrupted by some painters and Gracie decides to leave, beginning a chain reaction of people who follow her to get her back home.

Well-written books can be so much fun to read - sometimes, again and again! Action-packed books like "The Great Gracie Chase," filled with great images and descriptive language, make it so easy for children to visualize the characters and action taking place.

Kids will love the bright pictures and funny portraits of the various characters who join in the chase. Try some of these activities:

  • After reading, try to recall the order of the appearance of the various characters and record them in a list - see how many you can get before checking back in the book.

  • Talk about the parts of the story - the beginning, the middle, the end - and about how the chase keeps building, adding people and then narrowing down to the end, like a cycle.

  • Children can draw their favorite parts for retelling. Introduce transition words like first, next, then and finally, to help them put their stories in order.

  • Trace a black and white picture of Gracie for little ones to color and make into a Gracie puppet, attaching a craft stick for a handle. 

Have fun with it!

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