April - In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony

Post date: Apr 6, 2009 2:03:40 AM

Dear Students and Teachers,

Here we are in the month of April. That means we have shared some really neat books this year already. I hope at least some of them have made a “connection” with you, and that you are looking forward to more wonderful journeys we can take through the reading of good books.

This month’s book is a little different from the books we have read together lately. In A Nutshell was written by Joseph Anthony and it was illustrated by Cris Arbo, who happens to be the author’s wife. I thought that was pretty neat. I hope you will notice both the text and the pictures – they are really rich and they use many vivid details. I hope you can sit and just enjoy the book sometime this month all by yourself. It is one you should definitely take some time to enjoy slowly!

I made several connections to this book. The first one involves the title itself. “In A Nutshell” is a phrase we use to talk about retelling a story or a fact in the shortest way possible. Sometimes we adults try to put things “in a nutshell” for children to understand. Isn’t it funny that many times the things adults put “in a nutshell” might not always be what you children would find “the shortest way possible”! So the title is interesting to me because it is a play on words. It is also used because the book tells us about what actually goes on inside of a nutshell. What a clever title!

This book tells us about the life cycle of a tree. I started thinking about how it is also about the lives of the people who live near the tree. Children are born; they grow up; they begin families of their own; and the “cycle” continues over and over and over – just like the cycle of the life of a tree. We all soon discover that growing up isn’t as easy as it looks, and the hard times we encounter in our lives make us stronger people – just like what happens to the tree. We as people, also try to make things better for the world around us – just like the tree did in our story. What a strong connection to a meaningful story!

I hope you can find many other connections to this beautiful book. I enjoy reading about your thoughts about the book and also be sure to bring them to the office and hang them on the Book of the Month chart. Please keep up the great work. You are all growing into such remarkable writers!

Happy reading and writing,

Mrs. Hollinger