Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Mentor Texts: Author Loreen Leedy October 5, 2008

Crazy Like a Fox: A Simile Story by Loreen Leedy is the newest book by this very fun author. I first became familiar with Leedy while using her book Postcards from Pluto as a mentor text (way back before I even knew what they were) for writing our own postcards and books about the planets when that was part of my science curriculum.  Since then I have had the opportunity to meet her at the now defunct The Ohio State University Children’s Literature Conference (boy I miss that opportunity to see so many great authors) and she has now written around thirty books.

While I have been unable to continue using Postcards from Pluto in science, it is still a great mentor for that type of short, fictional/nonfictional writing.

 I also am a big fan of Leedy’s Penny books, Mapping Penny’s World and Measuring Penny.Both texts fit into the current fourth grade curriculum-measurement, map skills, and are also great read alouds. 

The newest Leedy book, Crazy Like a Fox, starts with a great, child friendly explanation of what a simile is. In Ohio this is always a tested topic, and also one that can be difficult for teachers to help students have a working understanding of, especially as they need to also know idiom, metaphor, etc.

The story progresses as the main characters Rufus and Babette chase after each other until they run into a surprise party for Babette. Each page includes not just the similes that described what Rufus and Babette are doing, but also has little asides as other minor characters comment on Rufus and Babette, all spoken in similes. The book also includes a nice section at the end about creating your own simile story that teachers will find helpful and students will have fun participating. 

If you are trying to teach similes, idioms and metaphors, check out Punished by David Lubar. This short little chapter book is a great read-aloud and chronicles a boy’s attempt to earn back his ability to speak without it all coming out as puns.


2 Responses to “Mentor Texts: Author Loreen Leedy”

  1. Loreen Leedy Says:

    Hi Kristine,

    Thanks for mentioning Crazy Like a Fox to your readers. I had tremendous fun putting it together and blogged about it recently on I.N.K (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) if anyone would like to read more about it:

    I also thought you might be interested in the saga of Postcards From Pluto… the short version is that a revised edition came out a few months BEFORE the demotion of Pluto from planetary status. Oh well, that’s the book biz… and I say a dwarf planet is still a planet. : )

    Best regards,

  2. bestbookihavenotread Says:

    Wow! I am so honored that Loreen read and commented on my post. I think your books are wonderful and am looking forward to reading the I.N.K. post. Keep those great books coming! We love Penny!

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