Mrs. Pidgeon has been reading Aesop’s fables to her second grade class. What’s a fable? Well, it’s a story that has animals as characters, and it teaches you something important, and . . . Once again it is Gooney Bird Greene who knows how to turn lessons into fun. She has an idea. A fabulous idea! What if each child creates his or her own fable, and tells it to the class? One by one Mrs. Pidgeon’s students create costumes and stories and morals and excitement. Everyone except Nicholas. What on earth is making Nicholas so unhappy? Leave it to Gooney Bird, of course, to help him solve his problem . . . in a truly fabulous way.
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Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine. To learn more about Lois Lowry, see her website at www.loislowry.comFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 1–3—Gooney Bird Greene returns for a third installment. Here, her second-grade class is learning about fables. In typical Gooney fashion, the precocious child takes over her classroom by suggesting that everyone write a new fable. Mrs. Pidgeon encourages her enthusiasm by letting her direct the project, and each subsequent chapter is dedicated to a student's work, including one fable about a T. rex done as a rap, concluding with, "Big mean nuthin' if you don't do school!" Given the age of these children, they are amazingly adept at writing, reading, and giving presentations, and they run into only minor glitches with their fables. While it is refreshing to hear from the other members of the class so clearly dominated by Gooney Bird, their creations lack the zest that hers usually have. Fortunately, her eccentric outfits and words of wisdom are peppered throughout to keep the story moving along while Thomas's characteristic black-and-white illustrations provide nice visuals. Full of new vocabulary words and information about fables, this slightly didactic first chapter book is a must for Gooney Bird fans.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA
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