11/21/2010 ** I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah Weeks at a book signing on Monday, 11/15 at my FAVORITE independent children's bookstore - Kids Ink in Indianapolis. I was at a bit of a loss because I wasn't familiar with Weeks' work. However, I was really impressed at the ways in which she interacted with kids at the signing. She asked what they were reading and seemed truly interested in their responses. She also kept asking questions, eliciting more info from kids at a variety of ages.
When I told her that I taught 4th grade and asked what she recommended for my students, she suggested Oggie Cooder, and 'odd' kiddo with the unique talent of charving (carving and chewing) American cheese into the shapes of the U.S. states.
I read this book over the weekend with an eye to using it as a read-aloud in the next few weeks before Winter Break. I think it will be a hit. Already, kids are asking me if they can read it, just from seeing it sitting on the chalk tray.
I appreciated the way that Oggie grew over the course of the story, establishing himself as an individual who could make friends with others in his class while maintaining his own sense of style and personality.
12/1/2010 ** I started reading this to my fourth graders today. They seem to enjoy the humor that Weeks incorporates in the story - it's just gross enough. :)
12/17/2010 ** Ugh! I didn't get to finish reading this before winter break. Well, it will be there for us when we return in January.