Thursday, October 18, 2018

#road2reading Challenge - The Infamous Ratsos Project Fluffy 10.18.18

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

A few years ago I read this little book called The Infamous Ratsos.  I was immediately grateful for it because it was a book that filled a void - an early transitional chapter book that was funny.  It was going to be a book I could pass on to readers, but I was already thinking about my readers who don't come to books naturally.  Not only did I see the importance of this book, the Geisel committee did as well, awarding it an Honor.  I was thrilled to hear it was going to be a series.  Now here we are, celebrating book 3!  Brothers Louie and Ralphie are back in another adventure.

The Infamous Ratsos: Project Fluffy
The Infamous Ratsos: Project Fluffy
written by Kara LaReau
illustrated by Matt Myers
published by Candlewick

Goodreads summary
Louie Ratso tries to help super-cool Chuck Wood win the heart of his friend Fluffy Rabbitski in the third installment of the Infamous Ratsos.

Chuck Wood is the most popular kid in school, and Louie Ratso can't believe that Chuck has asked him for help! Chuck likes Louie's friend Fluffy Rabbitski, and he wants Louie to help him get Fluffy to notice him. As for Ralphie Ratso, he can't believe that his brother wants to spend all his time with Chuck instead of with him. Meanwhile, despite Louie and Chuck's attempts to get Fluffy's attention, she has eyes for only one thing: her garden. But there may be hope. As their father, Big Lou, tells his boys, the best way to get someone to like you is to show that you're interested in what they like. After all, that's how Big Lou won over Mama Ratso years ago. Can Louie help Chuck find a way into Fluffy's heart? And will Ralphie find a way to let his brother know how much he misses him?

My thoughts

When I think about readers of this book, I think about what they need.  They need a straightforward plot line and one they can relate to.  In Project Fluffy, Louie is trying to help cool-kid Chuck find favor with classmate, Fluffy.  They try multiple solutions to this one problem, but nothing works until the words of the wiser moment from dad, Big Lou.  There is a secondary problem with this one, and although sometimes those can throw off a reader with there being too much to follow, I think readers will be able to relate to it.  While Louie is busy helping Chuck, he starts to leave Ralphie in the dust and Ralphie feels pretty upset about it.  Feeling left out is a common problem kids have - especially when it's not intentional.  I think readers will empathize with Ralphie and want everything to work out ok for him.

THE INFAMOUS RATSOS: PROJECT FLUFFY. Text copyright © 2018 by Kara LaReau. Illustrations copyright © 2018 by Matt Myers. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

While many of these characters have been introduced in the past, there are quite a few to keep track of while reading.  When I notice I am having trouble keeping everyone straight, I usually know it's time to show readers how to make use of a character map.  Readers can sketch new details for each character or write down quick descriptions - something that will make the character stick for them.  I encourage readers to keep their maps tucked away inside the books so they can use it when confused about who is saying what!

I've heard there are more Ratsos adventures coming our way!  This news makes me so excited!  Our readers need more smart stories like these.

THE INFAMOUS RATSOS: PROJECT FLUFFY. Text copyright © 2018 by Kara LaReau. Illustrations copyright © 2018 by Matt Myers. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

More about authoKara LaReau:
Kara LaReau is the author of numerous picture books, as well as the middle-grade series The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Do you work with readers who are starting their journey on the road to reading?  Join Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy and me every Thursday as we explore books and ideas to help readers have a successful start to independent picture book and chapter book reading. If you blog or have a Goodreads page, please link up with us!

No comments:

Post a Comment