The Day Louis Got Eaten
Written and Illustrated by John Fardell
The Day Louis Got Eaten entices any fourth grader to dive into the book to answer the many questions that the title alone begs. John Fardell draws in the reader from the cover illustration, and the pages and text within are just as enchanting.
Louis and Sarah get sidetracked from their simple ride in the woods, but older sister Sarah works to get them back “on track” after Louis is eaten by a Gulper. The illustrations are lovely for a solo read, but the text certainly lends itself to be read aloud. Every few page turns, the phrase “when, unfortunately…” forces the reader to pause and make conjectures. Why not have the class record its guesses? Foreshadowing is an element that students will easily notice, since the plot follows a pattern. After the second giant monster comes along, students will inevitably notice the trend and feel more confident in making educated guesses about the plot.
This book is also a great way for teachers to introduce concepts such as onomatopoeia through words like “snatch,” “yump,” or “splosh.” As a follow-up journal assignment, students may spell and illustrate three or four original words that demonstrate onomatopoeia. “The Day Louis Got Eaten” is a catchy title, and after reading the book, students could write a “news release” in the basic “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How” of the plot. For a long-term project, teachers may have their students write and illustrate what happens to Sarah and Louis on their journey home. Sarah’s and Louis’ whimsical adventure will easily spark any fourth-grader’s imagination.