MODULE 6: PICTURE BOOKS
HOOWAY FOR WODNEY WAT
Summary: This adorable tale of Wodney Wat or Rodney Rat, is about a class bully and Wodney standing up for himself and others. Wodney has always been a little different as he struggles with a speech impediment. However, when Camilla Capybara moves into the class it becomes even worse for Wodney. Camilla bullies him and everyone else. Then during a game of simon says, Wodney rids the school of the bully forever. The illustrations are hilarious and capture the caricature of the animal children.
Lester, H. (1999). Hooway for Wodney Wat. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Impression: I really enjoyed this tale of the underdog overcoming. I found it interesting that the bully was a girl; there need to more representative stories out there for all sorts of situations. Wodney also didn’t magically overcome his speech impediment and that was realistic. However, the students made friends with who Wodney really was and not just the hero he was when he unintentionally got rid of Camilla.
Journal. Available from School Library Journal website: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com
An underdog who can't say his "r"s suffers unmerciful teasing until he saves his classmates from Camilla Capybara, who announces and then proves that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than anyone else in the class. However, when Camilla is not quite observant enough to detect Rodney's speech impediment, a game of Simon Says becomes her downfall. As leader, the young rat squeaks "Wodney says go west," and instead of resting, Camilla stomps off to the west never to return, making Rodney an instant hero. Munsinger's watercolor with pen-and-ink illustrations positively bristle with humor and each rat, mouse, hamster, and capybara is fully realized as both rodent and child. Children will empathize with Rodney as he hides his head in his jacket and eats lunch all alone. Bullies may not want to recognize themselves in Camilla but the battle cry "bigger...meaner...smarter" is hard to deny. Hooway is wight...er, right. Wodney Wat is wonderful.
Uses: This would be a great choice for a school book talk about bullying for younger readers. After the reading, the students could discuss how differences are what make life interesting. Also, the students could play a brief game of simon says.