This is one of my favorite books... especially for the first week back to school. My friend, Susan Minner, introduced the book to me years ago. Susan taught 3rd grade and I taught 1st grade, but all the children loved it regardless of their age. It's a lively read-aloud and a great conversation starter for topics like selfishness, teamwork, and forgiveness... just to name a few. I think you'll love it, too.
It's about a group of prairie dogs who get tangled up in fuzz when a tennis ball accidentally lands in their burrow. Get familiar with the book before you read it aloud and be prepared to read with a couple different voices, especially for Pip Squeak (little voice) and Big Bark (gruff voice). Your kids will be glued to you.
This story actually begins on the title page and dedication page. I love when authors do that... so don't skip too fast over those parts. They give clues as to how the ball lands in the burrow.
When the ball lands in the burrow with a big PLUNK (lots of sound words in this text), the prairie dogs aren't sure what it is, where it came from, or what to do with it. But, after much pondering, they decide it isn't going to hurt them and they start playing with it. All the while, grouchy Big Bark does not think this is a good idea, which he makes very clear. :)
All's well until the fuzz runs out. (Gasp!) The prairie dogs start arguing about who has the most and the once-friendly community becomes greedy and unkind. They fuss until they're tired and fall asleep. But later, when they wake up, the notice all their fuzz is gone. Big Bark has stolen the fuzz!
Well... Big Bark is making such a ruckus, he's snatched up by an eagle. (Another good time to gasp!) But, like a good group of friends, all the prairie dogs rally around him and save him. Of course he's super thankful, everyone learns their lesson, and life is well again.
Or is it? (I love a teaser on the last page!)