Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Strange Case of The Origami Yoda



I'm always on the lookout for a new read-aloud for my third graders. Usually, I like to introduce them to classic literature no one else reads them such as Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio. Or, Edith Nesbit's Five Children and It. But, knowing my great passion for origami they begged me to read The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it almost as much as they did.

The strange case is that Dwight, an awkward and nerdy middle school boy, has an origami Yoda finger puppet which has a unique ability to give exactly the right advice when needed. So the strange case involves answering the question, "Can Origami Yoda be real?"  Each chapter is a little scenario where Origami Yoda saves the day.

For example, when Kellen accidentally leans across the sink in the bathroom he discovers that only the front of his pants is wet. It looks, unfortunately, as if he has wet himself. But, the Origami Yoda puppet on Dwight's finger advises him to wet all of his pants before going back to class. Then the one spot is no longer conspicuous. This is the stuff that children love. It is too funny for words. Plus, what if Origami Yoda is real? At the end of the book, after reading many accounts of Origami Yoda giving sage advice, the reader must decide.

I can't answer that. I can only show you the finger puppets which my third graders made, holding them up in all the appropriate places when Origami Yoda speaks:



And, I can show you the shot I happened to take of the book on my lap as I read aloud from the chapter "Origami Yoda and The Unsatisfactory Answers",


and I can leave you with the suggestion that if you have an elementary or middle school child, "Read this book you should."

(p.s. My favorite Yoda quote? "Do or do not...there is no try.")

13 comments:

  1. Great post! I just checked this out from the library yesterday for my son. We haven't started reading it yet but he's already trying to make his own origami Yoda.

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    1. Don't forget to send me your mailing address so I can send your son a Yoda. :)

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  2. This book looks really cool. I need to read it!!

    Angie

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  3. Apparently, I need to read it too, because I had the EXACT same problem as Dwight just yesterday, except that it resulted from overzealous dishwashing. Literature is so universal.

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  4. Sounds like a fantastic creation and what a gift for third grade teachers. I think I'll have to wait until my grand-children are a little older - 2 and 4 may not be quite there yet!

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  5. Uber funny! :) I love the quote and I am planning on applying it to my daily life :)

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  6. My youngest son is currently obsessed with Star Wars - I'm going to see if this book is available in the UK. Thanks for drawing it to my attention!

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  7. Love it! Will be reading this one myself.

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  8. My daughter enjoyed this book - I must read it too. We now have the follow up 'Darth Paper strikes back', and I believe there is a third ...

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    1. The third book in the series is The Secret of The Forune Wookie. I told my class they were on their own for the last two books as there is quality literature to be read, and they can pick these up independently. Still, Origami Yoda was a fun book.

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  9. sounds wonderfully funny book ,all the best stu

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  10. Thanks for your review and post, and for exposing children to classical literature! Concerning the "Oragami Yoda" book, I don't think the book is appropriate for 3rd graders, because of the middle school attitudes, and content and values that many parents would question. Why do we even need to ask if we would take the advice of a finger puppet? Love the finger puppet. Love the creativity of the author. Love the attempt at getting children to think logically and investigate claims, but the premise really makes it impossible. Who/where/how a child seeks advice and wisdom is uber important, and the only way I see the book being benefitial for a child, is if it is read by a student 10 years old or older and discussed with a parent.

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