Friday, June 8, 2012

Book #160: Sunday Chutney by Aaron Blabey

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This is Sunday Chutney, a little girl with a big smile and an even bigger imagination, and she’s a bit unusual. She’s lived all over the world, which is mostly great. The only downside is that she’s always the new kid at school. But that’s ok, because Sunday doesn’t care (or does she?), because she has a vivid imagination and quite a few hobbies, from drumming to marine biology. Although it can be lonely moving around so much, Sunday has become an expert at making friends with girls, but not boys because they’re smelly and full of germs. At the end of the day Sunday wishes that she could have "the same home. Or maybe a monster truck. It depends.”

Blabey’s humorous illustrations, presented in scrapbook fashion, capture the spirit of the vivacious and eternally optimistic Sunday Chutney. With her wide smile and square plastic glasses, energetic Sunday nearly leaps off the page with enthusiasm for life. The text, written in first-person, manages to capture Sunday’s spunky spirit, but also her wistful wish to have a more permanent home.

After you read the book, ask the kids which of Sunday Chutney’s likes and dislikes are unusual. What other things do you think Sunday would enjoy or loathe? Read this book on the first day or storytime or class. Have each child introduce themselves and then name something they like, as well as something they don’t like. For instance, “Hi, my name is Amy. I like root beer, but I don’t like mosquito bites.” Have kids raise their hands if they like/dislike the same thing. Talk about the idea that Sunday Chutney probably has a lot in common with her new classmates, just like the kids in the room have more in common than they might have thought at first. 

Pair this book with Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School for a storytime that addresses the challenges of being the new kid in school. Check out the reading notes published by Penguin for a great list of discussion questions and activities.


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