Friday, February 10, 2012

Flannel Friday-Cupcake: a Journey to Special by Charise Harper

This book is so funny to me. I love Harper's wonky drawings and bright colors. I always love the sense of humor she uses in her books, but sometimes they are best for one-on-one reading rather than storytime. I mean, we've all been there, reading the book with the punchline ending and getting a reaction of deafening silence as you chuckle awkwardly and try to transition onwards while the kids look at you like this 0_o


Love this book.

The first half reads quite well, with a pretty linear text about a plain vanilla cupcake who wants to be special like his (his!) family. He meets a candle who relates to his feelings, and decides to help. At this point the book kind of loses its large-group oomph. It becomes very dialogue heavy with lots of little asides and small pictures. I knew that reading it to the group would make it lose the impact of the humor. So I turned to flannel as a way to expand the story. Basically the candle suggests a whole bunch of gross/inappropriate toppings for the cupcake, which are summarily rejected.
How 'bout pickes? Or spaghetti?

Pancakes, egg, peas (which the kids think are sprinkles at first), and STINKY CHEESE

Yes, that's a squirrel

Funniest option, per the 50 or so kids who've seen it

Finally, the squirrel is rejected as too furry, and both candle and cupcake are discouraged. Then the candle sees a nut left behind on the cupcake's head, and climbs up to remove it. Obviously everyone is predicting the candle/cupcake partnership ending at this point. And sure enough, ssuddenly candle has an AMAZING idea!... turn the page... "Tomorrow, let's try a potato." The End. 

The flannel pieces helped kids engage with the humor of the story and added anticipation which made them pay attention more. They loved it!

I read the first half of the story from the book, and told the second half using flannel. I think it worked really well, and turned a book that would have been a storytime flop (for me) into a hilarious success.

This week's Flannel Friday round up is hosted by Libray Quine!
posted from Bloggeroid


  1. Welcome back! I think this is a great idea because I also love this book but you are right about the second half. This way you can still share a book that kids will like at storytime. I'm going to go ahead and call that winning.

  2. I do like this book and your pieces create the humor of the illustrator. Fun!

  3. That is great that you found a way to use this book--the illustrations are fantastic and your pieces rock! They look just like the book. Your post cracked me up when you talked about how sometimes we do get some looks of hmmmm...I have been there!

  4. I've always kept kids with me through the whole book, but we tend to do the second half free style - with lots of yelling and laughter. and WHY have I never thought of making this a flannel? You are BRILLIANT!

  5. How awesome that you turned 0_o into storytime fun! Very cute post and even cuter flannel!

    I second the "you are brilliant" comment. :-)

  6. Ha! What a great book to flannelize! Sounds like something that will really make the children laugh.

  7. Very useful post for me - helped me to think about stories in a new way - first of all, reminding me that a flannel is a great way to bring a book with small illustrations to my large groups, but also you helped me think about ways to fool around with the kids, get them involved with the story - great post!

  8. I love the expression on the cupcake. And what a great idea to start with storybook and continuing with the flannel story. I get so many great ideas reading these posts.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...