Friday, September 2, 2005

Skateboard Mom

Odanaka, Barbara. 2004. SKATEBOARD MOM. Ill. by JoAnn Adinolfi. New York: Putnam. ISBN 0399238670 [Suggested Grade Levels K-5]

“You better ask your mom what surprises she has up her sleeve….” So states a cat on the back cover of this surprisingly energetic book about a mother who can’t contain her hidden talent any longer. Written by the founder of the International Society of Skateboarding Moms, this is the story of a boy who receives a skateboard for his birthday, only to have it confiscated by his mom. She’s not angry about it – she’s skateboard crazed! She was a champion skateboarder in her younger years, and she can’t resist the temptation to hop aboard and skate away from the birthday party. The son realizes how good his mom is on a skateboard, but he wants his board back. A surprise ending finds the family is full of awesome skateboarders!

The rhyming and rhythmic verse makes this title an enjoyable read-aloud. Bold colors and topsy-turvy perspectives of the full-spread illustrations enhance the feel of a skateboarder whizzing by. This is a charming piece that encourages kids to discover the interesting lives their parents may have led when they were younger.

Readers can draw connections to the family in the story by interviewing their own older family members about extraordinary things they may have accomplished earlier in life.
Gather informative materials about skateboarding. Create a group montage of skateboarding pictures and facts.
Create a 3-D skateboarding mom. Don a large stuffed body form with a helmet, knee pads, tennis shoes, shorts, and a t-shirt. Pose the body atop an actual skateboard for a fun display in the library.

Another book by Barbara Odanaka:
Books about skateboarding:
Werner, Doug. SKATEBOARDER’S START-UP. ISBN 0689820879
Eckart, Edana. I CAN SKATEBOARD. ISBN 0516243705

By Rebecca S. McKee

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