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.