Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Spot the Plot, written by J Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Chronicle Books, Raincoast, 2009. $20.95 ages 6 and up
"There is a book
I know you know -
the perfect bedtime
the rabbit who
has gone to bed
can't fall asleep
until she's said
to many of
her closest friends,
And so it ends."
This is a plot that my own kids better recognize immediately. I am sure I read it 2000 times when they were young. If you haven't read Goodnight Moon, you are missing a real treat...and you would not know the answer to this rhyming riddle. What a fun read this is for parents and children, teachers and students...anyone who loves reading. J Patrick Lewis is an accomplished and prolific writer of verse, and much more!
Two young detectives, their trusty dog companion and many visual clues will have you searching your collective reading history to find the answers to the thirteen riddles shared here. I only wish there had been thirteen more! Full of fun, remarkable word choice and a variety of literature, you will ponder the pages and the puns to help you make your best guess.
In a recent interview J Patrick Lewis talked about his books...
"Prior to SPOT THE PLOT, I'd written four books of riddles on various themes. I love the form, the challenge of coming up with the obliquely perfect definition—telling the truth, but telling it slant. Riddles are inherently interactive, so they make great read-alouds at school visits. In SPOT THE PLOT, I was trying most often to tell the book riddle in as few words as possible, as in, “Her hair’s/The stairs.” Or, a new one, “This trail becomes/A trail of crumbs.” The fewer words, the better, that is, the cleverer, to my way of thinking. Just as often, though, I had to rely on a tercet or a quatrain to tell the tale, but with a hint of confusion, as in “Pre-teen plays/a starring role/as she surveys/ a rabbit hole.” But, you see, perhaps that “rabbit hole” gives too much away. Writing riddles, especially for children, which means making them all equally but not too perplexing, is damnably difficult.”
If you want to follow up on some other poetry designed with such fun in mind, check out the GottaBook Blog and search for Oddaptations...very funny, and a perfect model for getting older kids to try their hand at some of their own riddles about some of their favorite books.