Fox & Chick: The Party and other stories by Sergio Ruzzier

My two cents: At the root of Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories lies the story of friendship & acceptance. The main characters couldn't be more different. Fox is calm and rational; Chick is a bit of a wild bird. I don't know if it's the soft watercolors or the unlikely friendship, but I found myself comparing Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories to the classic Frog and Toad are Friends Series by Arnold Lobel (a rather large complement, but deserved in my humble opinion).   

Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories consists of three comic-panel style short stories. The cartoon panels also include a few wordless panels that extend the story through artistic implication. Although this is an early reader, ample opportunities for vocabulary expansion and story discussion are built as much on what is said between the characters as what not is said (that acceptance part).  There are also many instances of humor and excellent opportunities for teaching ELA standards (especially key ideas & details, along with craft & structure). I had written some ideas down quickly as I read: good for beginning inference making using details to support, good for determining central message, great for character traits and comparisons - both is physical attributes & point of view of each character, how author choice of words suggest feelings, etc.... But then, as I was writing this, I happened upon a FABULOUS teacher guide provided by the publisher. It includes almost all of the standards I had considered during my reading. Teachers & parents: grab it HERE.  This title has my recommendation for elementary purchase, especially classroom copies to use in specific standards-based instruction (multiple copies warranted purchase). It not only hits multiple literary standards, it also has strong engagement factors (cartoon-panel telling, character development, age-appropriate plot). 

Publisher's Blurb: "Fox and Chick don't always agree. But Fox and Chick are always friends. With sly humor and companionable warmth, Sergio Ruzzier deftly captures the adventures of these two seemingly opposite friends. The luminous watercolor images showcased in comic-book panel form will entice emerging readers, while the spare text and airiness of the images make this early chapter book accessible to a picture book audience as well." 
Genre: Animal Tales
Age: 5-8 / Early Readers
Lexile: 360L
Pages: 56
Themes: Friendship, Acceptance
Character Development: Very strong, great for discussing character traits 
Plot Engagement: Just enough to use for discussion without overwhelming or underwhelming  
Thank You to publisher Chronicle Books for my copy 
Date Available: April 17, 2018 
ISBN 9781452152882
Teacher Guide from the publisher: HERE

Here is an example of the cartoon-panel style:

Author & Illustrator Sergio Ruzzier has written some other really cool books you might have heard of...

 maybe this one?    how about this one? 

If you would like to learn more about him, pop over to his website: HERE
Or, find him on Twitter at @SergioRuzzier

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