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Emma Kate

Last updated Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Author: Patricia Polacco
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 0399244522
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2006

Synopsis: Emma Kate and her elephant best friend sit next to one another in school, share lunches, play at recess, finish their homework, and go to soccer practice. They even have their tonsils out at the same time, sharing a hospital bed and gallons of pink ice cream. The girl's bright red dress stands out against the white background and soft charcoal-gray pencil drawings of the large friendly elephant. Subtle hints in the illustrations of the dress, a license plate that reads BIGMOME, and a hospital chart lead readers to the surprise ending: Momma and Daddy elephant comment on their child's active imagination as they are told all about her day with Emma Kate.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Which character on the front do you think is Emma Kate?
•  Why do you think the girl is hugging the elephant?
•  What are your friends like? Why are they your friends?
•  Do you have any stuffed animals? What kinds of animals are they?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What kinds of things do Emma Kate and the narrator do together?
•  Do you think Emma Kate is real?
•  Why does this girl have an elephant for a friend? Would you want to have an elephant for a friend?
•  What kinds of animals would make good friends?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a picture of you and your best friend.
•  Make an elephant face using circles and paste onto paper bag to make a hand puppet. Add googly eyes to the face.

*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!