The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon

Last updated Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Author: Mini Grey
Date of Publication: 2007
ISBN: 0375836918
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Sep. 2008

Synopsis: This romanticized, fractured spin on the classic nursery rhyme has the dish and the spoon running away to New York City to seek fortune and fame. They succeed at both, but a nonstop spending spree soon brings them to the door of some sharp and shady characters who gladly offer to lend them money. When their clients are unable to make their payments, a chase ensues, and, in desperation, the dish and the spoon rob a bank and end up in jail, separated for 25 years. Readers and listeners alike will love the sharp and shady gang in the guise of a meat cleaver, a serrated knife, and a cooking fork with menacing eyes and legs, while the stylish collage illustrations of early-20th-century New York City, in split-screen format, will dazzle and amaze them. The age-old lesson that crime doesn't pay and the poignant beauty of true love enduring the test of time are playfully and delicately portrayed. Combine this contemporary makeover with the classic original for a delightful mix that is full of panache. A whole new generation of youngsters, as well as older kids, will be enthusiastically chanting this nursery rhyme.

Note to readers:
•  Read the inside flap of the book as it may help relaying the story to the kids. Also, the illustrations on the sides of the pages are part of the story. The nursery rhyme is on the inside cover page written in the book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you heard the nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle? (Read the rhyme to them. This book describes what happened when the dish and the spoon ran away.
•  What kind of adventures do you think they will have?
•  Were they all good times? (Assuming you have done the picture walk)
•  Do you know what a fantasy is?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What places did the dish and the spoon visit? (New York)
•  Do you know what a vaudeville show is? Do they still have those types of shows now?
•  Can a dish drive a car, dance, gamble and go shopping?
•  What does “living the high life” mean? Is that fun? Can that ever be bad?
•  Have you ever borrowed money from someone? Why can that be bad?
•  Is robbing a bank the answer to your money problems?
•  What would you do instead?
•  Did they live happily ever after?

Craft ideas:
•  Decorate a paper plate living, dressing the high life. Cut a spoon out of construction paper and decorate him doing prison time.
•  Make a Wanted Picture on one side of a piece of paper and draw a flyer for the vaudeville act on the other side.

*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!