Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sallie Gal and the Wall-a-kee Man

Moses, Sheila P. 2007. SALLIE GAL AND THE WALL-A-KEE MAN. Ill. by Niki Daly. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780439908900 [Suggested Grade Levels 2-6]

Cousin Wild Cat’s hair ribbons fly through the air when jumping double dutch. What Sallie Gal wouldn’t do to have her very own ribbons! Author Sheila Moses portrays a nostalgic view of children learning values modeled by parents, such as honesty, initiative, and hard work.

Sallie Gal yearns to find a way to have a set of hair ribbons of her own. She already picks cotton five days a week, but that money goes to school clothes, food, and other necessities. She sets up a lemonade stand on Saturdays to earn money, but breaks her Mom’s pitcher, which sets her back almost to the start. The Wall-A-Kee Man, who comes around on Saturdays with his station wagon filled with goods, gives Sallie Gal some ribbons along with the school dress selections her mother has made. This seems like a such a deal, until Sallie Gal struggles with her conscience, knowing her mother would disapprove of taking charity.

The black and white illustrations parallel the simple text in portraying a hard working yet happy family; a much needed reminder in our ‘give it to me now’ society. This is an engaging read-a-loud, with the potential to generate thought provoking discussions.

Make a T-Bar chart to compare and contrast Sallie Gal’s lifestyle with that of today’s children.

Ask the children what item they have really wanted and how they may have worked out a strategy to get it.

Other books about working through struggles:
Auch, Mary Jane: ONE HAND CATCH. ISBN 9780805079005
Weeks, Sarah: SO B. IT. ISBN 9780066236223

By Susie Demarest

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