Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dory Fantasmagory (Abby Hanlon)

Abby Hanlon has done a great job of giving us a glimpse into the oh so real imagination of children around us. It was a delight!

I keep coming across blog posts about Abby Hanlon and her books. She seems to be the latest greatest thing! Here is an interview with her. Nerdy Book Club has a wonderful post by her that tells about a teaching experience she had. Travis Jonker has written about her on 100 Scope Notes. Mr. Schu listed Dory as one of the top books of 2014 (why did I not know about this until now?!) 

She has another book that was just put out in July called Dory and the Real True Friend, which I have on hold at the library as well as a delightful book called Ralph Tells a Story that I plan to use for teaching writing this year.

Not only that: She gets great reviews from kids!

(No comprehension issues with Molly, I'd say!)

Goodreads summary: 

As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, escaping from prison (aka time-out), and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.

With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.

Little kid concern number one: that everyone is having a good laugh:
P. 57 I try and get Luke and Violet to laugh at me. Cereal time, I've discovered, is the best time for laughing. If I can get milk to come out of my nose, they always laugh. And if my parents sleep late, I can make them laugh by saying bathroom words.

Dory has imaginative friends (well, and enemies) that seem real...not just real to her, but real to us as we are reading. One example is where Dory us pretending to be a dog with "Mrs. Goggle Gracker" and "Mr. Nuggy", two of her imaginative acquaintances:

P. 72: "Where did that little girl go? She was just out here. And where did this stupid dog come from?" Mrs. Gobble Gracker asks Mr, Nuggy.
"You must be imagining things," says Mr, Nuggy. "There is no girl here."
"I know you're up to something, Nuggy," she says. "Your silly little tricks have never worked on me."
"Watch out," says Mr. Nuggy. "This dog bites."
I bark my head off at Mrs. Gobble Gracker.
"Somebody get this dog to shut up!" says Mrs. Gobble Gracker. She has absolutely no idea it is me.
"Woof, woof!" I say, which means, "My human days are over." And boy, do I mean it.
Mr. Nuggy says, "I have to go now, my wife needs me home for dinner." He starts to climb back up the same tree.
"Woof, woof, woof," I bark up the tree after him, which means, "Wait! What's your phone number?"
"You can call me from any banana," he calls down. "No numbers."

Now and then, to get rid of someone, poisoning seems to be the perfect thing. Dory hatches a plan with "Mr. Nuggy" to get rid of "Mrs. Gobble Gracker":

P. 107: "I've brought ingredients for a poison soup," he says. "This is how we get rid of Mrs. Gobble Gracker...permanently."
"What will happen when she eats the soup?" I ask.
"Well, first she will choke a little bit, and then feathers will come out of her ears, and then her eyeballs will turn into gloppy yogurt, and then she'll drop dead."
"Oh!" I say, hugging him. "You are the best fairy godmother in the world!"

Of course, poisoning someone isn't without its hitches:
P. 117
"Do you have a cell phone." Asks Mr. Nuggy.
"No, but I really want one," she says. "Can you get me one?"
"Umm....?" Says Mr. Nuggy, looking unsure of what to say next.
"Do you have a cat?" I interrupt.
"I ate my cat," she says. "It was an accident."

A little glimpse into why it takes kids so long to clean up (errr, or why it never gets done):
P. 127 It takes a really long time to clean up the fort because I keep forgetting that I'm cleaning up.

And there is a little humor parents will really relate to about living with a kid with a great imagination:
P. 134 "Okay, calm down, she was real, whatever you say," my dad says, dragging me down the hallway to my room. "Just go to bed."
Even my dad said she's real!
"I have to be brave," I say, clinging to him. 
"No! You have to go to bed!" he says, dropping me on my head.
"Stay. In. Bed!" he says, pointing his finger at me, then he tucks me in tight. "Because it's not safe for you to come out!" he says as he shuts my door, and I think I hear him laugh a tiny bit.

Great picture of what is going on in a kid's imagination sometimes!
P. 148: 

I love this Dory kid! She reminds me very much of some of my incredibly imaginative play talented nieces and nephews!

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