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*Rufus the Writer* by Elizabeth Bram, illustrated Chuck Groenink
Rufus the Writer
by Elizabeth Bram, illustrated Chuck Groenink
Ages 3-8 32 pages Schwartz and Wade July 2015 Hardcover    

Story inspirations are all around us, if we are open to them. Rufus is such an open boy.

When he opens an outdoor story stand in the summer, he writes about the neighborhood children who come see him. Millie and Walterís outfits inspire Rufusís first two-page illustrated story, "Orange is the Best Color." Itís about a family of fish and how colors can combine to make new colors.

His next stories are about the kittens he sees, a teapot his sister is playing with, and the buttons that his friend Sara likes. As each child rushes off to find payment for a story (a shell, flowers, a kitten, a compliment), Rufus has time to write. Rufus also loves to share his stories.

The last double-page spread looks surreal. Groenink combines all of Rufusís characters into the neighborhood scene. As the children read the stories, we see button trees growing among evergreen trees, and the tea set can be seen walking toward Rufus and his friends.

Teachers could give students an object and have them write and illustrate a short story (under ten sentences) just as Rufus does in this book. Although Rufus looks serious while writing (he wears a bowtie), he makes writing look fun and easy.
 


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  Tanya Boudreau/2015 for curled up with a good kid's book  






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