How Hungry Are You?

by Donna Jo Napoli

Hungry enough to share a picnic with all your best friends? Thatís the question for the charming characters in this book, published in 2001 by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. It begins with two friends who plan to share twelve sandwiches and bug juice. As they set out, they run into a friend who wants to come. Sheíll bring twelve cookies to the picnic to share. Next is a friend with twelve rice pudding packs.

You can probably see a pattern forming here! Remind you of another book? Yes! It would make great text-to-text connections with The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins.

As the hungry friends continue on their way to the picnic, they continue to run into people who join the picnic. Finally they meet six friends waiting together for the bus. They have a watermelon to share! They all run to the park to avoid meeting anyone else.

Once their picnic is spread out on the ground, a 13th friend shows up. He has nothing to share and says he will just watch them eat. Of course, he has to comment on how wonderful everything smells and how much he likes watermelon. The twelve friends relent and then try to figure out a way to share all the food fairly when there are thirteen people and only twelve of each food item. You'll love the math involved with their final decision!

If you use TERC Investigations, and you do the Fair Shares unit, this is a great book to use to introduce the concept. If you donít, itís still a great book for introducing division or fractions.

How can it relate to writing workshop? What a great project it would be to make word problems patterned on this book. Or students could use the story as a pattern model (Ideas and Organization traits) for a similar story about themselves and friends sharing . . . anything!

I know my students are enamored of Nintendo. Are yours? How about a story of sharing time on the Nintendo with 2 siblings or friends? What if there is only one bike and 4 friends have 1-1/2 hours to play? Our students are so creative! I know they can create marvelously intricate solutions to these sharing problems!

The artist in this book has done an interesting thing, as well. Instead of using speaker tags, he has used little circles with a picture of the character speaking. This is a technique your children might want to try during the illustration time for their new stories.

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