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Skippyjon Jones

Last updated Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Author: Judy Schachner
Date of Publication: 2003
ISBN: 0525471340
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2009

Synopsis: This is a wildly wonderful book about a hyperactive kitten, Skippyjon Jones, whose head and ears are too big for his body, and whose imagination is too intense for his mama. According to her, he needs to do some serious thinking about what it means to be a Siamese cat instead of a bird (Skippyjon always wakes up and eats worms with his feathered friends). She sends him to his room, where he imagines he is a Chihuahua ("My name is Skippito Friskito./I fear not a single bandito"). Chock-full of rhyming chants and Spanish expressions, the feline's adventure as a doggy Zorro ends in chaos. His frazzled mother gives him a hug anyway and says, "Say good night, Skippyjon Jones." "Buenas noches, mis amigos," says the kitten, as he bounces on his bed all ready for another adventure. The buoyant and colorful cartoon illustrations match the exuberant text perfectly. Spanish-speaking children will be especially delighted by the words and humor; others may be a little bewildered by all of the foreign phrases and will need some explanation, but the story definitely has the potential of a fun read-aloud. A good multicultural offering. From School Library Journal.

Note to readers:
•  Vocabualry: Frijoles: (beans) Castenets: (hand held musical percussions, used to make clocking noise) grouse: (a type of bird similar to a chicken or game bird)

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What animals are on the cover? Do you have pets? Do bees make good pets? Why or why not?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do cats and birds get along? Do you hear birds when you wake up? Do you have a cat at home? What does your cat like to do? How should a cat act? What is a Chihuahua? Does Skippyjoy Jones look like a Chihuahua? What does muy mean? What is Mama Junebug Jones making for lunch? What do you like to eat at lunch? If you were an animal, what would you be? Why? What is the password? Say it slow. Say it fast. Which do you like better, a fiesta or a siesta? What are your favorite kinds of beans to eat? What do you like in your burritos? Would you like jelly beans in your burritos?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a bumblebee out of paper plate and cut out wings from construction paper. Color stripes onto paper plate or follow the picture on the cover (a bumblebee mask) Zorro like mask

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!