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Two of Everything

Last updated Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Author: Lily Toy Hong
Date of Publication:
ISBN: 0807581577
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2013

Synopsis: A Chinese folktale with a perfect blend of humor and wisdom. One spring morning, Mr. Haktak, a poor farmer, unearths a brass pot in his garden. Placing his coin purse inside for safekeeping, he carries his discovery home to his wife. After she accidently drops her hairpin inside, Mrs. Haktak reaches into the pot and, to her amazement, pulls out two identical hairpins and two matching coin purses. Quickly deducing the magic secret, husband and wife work feverishly to duplicate their few coins, creating enough gold to fill their hut. The happy couple believes their luck has finally changed for the better--until Mrs. Haktak falls head first into the pot. Using lively yet straightforward language, Hong tells this story with an engagingly playful tone. Never ready to despair, the quick-thinking woman takes charge and imaginatively solves each problem, rapidly moving the plot to a fitting resolution. The airbrushed acrylic and gouache illustrations feature a variety of circular shapes; rounded heads, cheeks, and hats reflect the image of the pot. Painted in matte tones and outlined with darker colors, the pictures are set against a simple background appropriate to life in humble surroundings. A whimsical mix of fortune and misfortune with a distinctly Chinese flavor. From School Library Journal

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you have a garden at home?Have you ever found anything in your garden?
•  Have you seen people who dress like the characters on the cover of the book?
•  Is there something you have two of?

•  Identical- similar or alike in every way
•  Clever- very smart
•  Brass- a material that is made of different types of metals
•  Humble- someone who is very modest and doesn't brag
•  Plentiful- when you have a lot of something
•  Embrace- to hug
•  Stoop- to bend forward

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Where do you think this takes place?
•  If you could make 2 of something in your life, what would you choose?
•  What would your parents do if there were 2 of you?
•  Would you be friends with your duplicate?
•  How did Mr. and Mrs. Haktak know who was the original and who was the duplicate?

Craft ideas:
•  Fold a piece of paper in half. Draw an outline of a person, animal, or other item you'd like to have two of. Cut along the outline you've made and unfold the piece of paper. Now you have two!
•  Draw a picture of the item you would duplicate
•  Draw your twin
•  Draw your own magic pot, cut it out, and decorate it!

Special activities:
•  Create your own magic pot using a prize book bag. Have the kids put in cut-outs of things they would like to duplicate!

*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!