Tonight, I asked my children for advice on a Delicious Thursday book feature. Ideas and authors were tossed around; we had a passing conversation. Then, as he was immersed in Thursday Night Football, son says, “I know, I know! Weslandia!” And daughter says, “oooooh, yes.”
Indeed, they do have good taste.
Weslandia by Paul Fleischman details the summer project of Wesley, a young – clearly gifted – boy. Comfortable in his skin, Wesley opts to create his own civilization rather than conforming to what the other kiddos in the neighborhood are doing. He creates his own language, food, economy, dwelling, and games. And in the end, he earns the respect of those around him.
Each and every time I read this one aloud, there is a certain quiet and awe that falls over the room. Children always marvel at Weslandia; the idea is intriguing, and it is always gratifying to read about a child who is capable of creating something larger than himself. It certainly helps that the pictures are colorful and imaginative; the entire story is delicious.
~ Use this book when studying civilizations, social studies, and – in general – all that encompasses what composes a culture. It is an excellent tie-in for social studies curriculum. Ask children to develop their own language, games, and economy!
~ Before any break from school (summer, Thanksgiving, winter, etc.), read this book as an inspiration to students…ask them “what will you do with your break from school?”
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