Children’s Literature and Guided Questions

“Desire”               

Picture Book for K-3
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick Press, 2018)

Summary:
Julian wants to be a mermaid. What will his Abuela think?

Questions:
1. Why is Julian worried about his Abuela thinks about what he wants?
2. What do you think Julian’s Abuela wants for Julian?
3. What do you think will become of Julian?
4. If you could be any character, either from a book or tv, who would you want to be?
5. When should you not get what you want and desire?

Picture Book for 4-6
Faithful Elephants by Yukio Tsuchiya, translated by Tomoko Tsuchiya Dykes, illustrated by Ted Lewin (HMH Books for Young Readers, 1997)

Summary: The somewhat true story of Ueno Zoo elephants during World War II who were put to death before bombs might set wild animals free.

Questions:
1. This story was written in 1951 and read every year on the radio to the Japanese. What does the author want to you to believe?
2. What did the story make you believe? What did it make you want?
3. Not all pieces of the story are considered true. Apparently you can inject poison into elephants, and the zookeepers starved other animals (hippos). There are those who believe the zookeepers didn’t desire to end the war. Why do you think the author changed some aspects of the story? Is it worth stretching the truth to make a point?
4. The story is not about children. Why do you think this is a children’s book? What are you taught in school about war?
5. What do think is wrong in the world that you desire would stop?

Other Worthy Books

K-4 Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (Neal Porter Books, 2018) Immigrants come to the United States desiring a better life.

2-6 The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Steve Johnson (Puffin Books, 1994)
The Frog and the Princess desire a different kind of “happily ever after.”

K-3 If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond (Harper Collins, 2015) What happens when you give something…what will they want next?

K-4 Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (Random House, 1960) When someone knows you will like something and you think you don’t.
3-6 Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2011) Annie Edison Taylor wants to be famous and remembered. So at 62, she decides to go over Niagara Falls.

K-4 The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson (Viking Books, 1936) A bull has no desire to fight. 3-7 Columbus by Demi (Amazon, 2012) The desire to discover wealth and fame