Thursday, April 30, 2015

Farfallina and Marcel 
by Holly Keller

Award: Charlotte Zolotow Award 

was drawn into this book by the interesting characters names in the title and the beautiful blue green earth tones in the cover illustration.

The book did not disappoint.

Book Talk
Taking place in one of my favorite, peaceful, serene settings—the pond, the story centers around an adorable caterpillar, Farfallina, and her new friendship with a young gosling named Marcel.

Right away, the theme of a caring friendship is evident: the friends play hide and seek, but when hiding, they consider the other’s limitations and hide where it is almost easy to be found.

My favorite lines from this part of the story:
"Farfallina hid under a fern close to the ground because she knew that Marcel couldn't climb. And he hid right behind the tree because he knew that Farfallina moved slowly."

Eventually, as with all friendships—things begin to change—but not in the usual ‘I am growing away from you type’ change.  One day Farfallina feels ‘uncomfortable’ and goes to the top of the tree.  Marcel, being the friend that he is, waits at the base of the tree….and waits and waits and waits for her over the course of several weeks.  Little does he know that she has spun her cocoon and is beginning her metamorphosis into a butterfly.  Marcel finally gives up waiting, but notices that he too, is changing.

Time passes, a new butterfly emerges from the cocoon—our Farfallina.  She flies around looking for Marcel, yet cannot find him. She sadly finds her way to the pond where she discovers a large, male goose swimming in circles.  By exchanging their sad stories of losing a friend to each other—they happily realize that they are back together again!  Their friendship picks up where it left off and deepens.

Suggested uses as a Mentor Text:
Genre:  Animal Fantasy
Reading Workshop Strategies: Predicting, Inferring, Connecting, Character development
Writing Workshop:  Fantasy Narrative
Curricular connections/ themes: Science: Lifecycle, Pond Life; Character Ed/Lifeskills (friendship)

An interview with Holly Keller:

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