ROBERTS, Bethany, Double Trouble Groundhog Day . illus. by Cauley, Lorinda Bryan. Unpaged. Henry Holt and Company . 2008. ISBN 978-0-8050-8280-7 . LC number unavailable. PreS-Gr 3 Fiction Reviewed by Dana Stem
Gregory and Greta are the twin grandchildren of Grampie who is the official Groundhog Day Weather Forecaster. Grampie is retiring and offers the position to one of the ‘double trouble’, always arguing twins. The problem of which twin is settled by drawing straws. Gregory wins, gloats, and falls into a fretful sleep until Groundhog Day arrives. Having lost his glasses while sleepwalking Gregory needs Greta’s help to begin a new era of forecasting and she offers it willingly.
This story gives a nice spin on working together, rewarding the willing, helpful Greta and humbling the boastful Gregory. The inclusion of illustrations depicting how Gregory won the draw would have tidied up the story a bit.
This title could be a nice addition to elementary classroom or library Groundhog Day storybook collections. Incorporating the press, and characters reading about themselves in the local paper, this story sets up excellent follow-up activities. Using real newspaper coverage of Groundhog Day happenings could round out an interesting Groundhog Day experience.
Note from Diane: Thanks, Dana, for writing such a great review. I hope the readers don’t expect me to suddenly improve my reviewing. I think we’ll have to keep bringing you back to write more. I like your suggestions for incorporating the press into the curriculum. There’s still time for readers to order this title, too, so great timing.
I love helping new library students. This January we are so fortunate to have Dana Stem completing her 100 hour internship at the middle school with us. Every day I go in hoping I’ll be able to help Dana experience something new or learn some skill to help practically in her new career. Friday I was able to introduce her to blogging and reviewing as a writing experience, not just as a reader.
Since I can be like a runaway freight train, I wanted her to immediately develop a blog, share all her experiences and opinions on student teaching, and choose a blog name that she could grow into and develop over the next five years. Then I looked up at her face and said, "Or maybe you’d like to think about this over the weekend." She agreed to take some book titles home with her to possibly write reviews. Since she is currently working as a library clerk in an elementary school, attending school full-time, and raising her children, I was so excited to open my email box to find she’d sent this review at 10 pm on a Saturday night. Now, that’s dedication to learning.
Please help me welcome Dana to our field. She is just a couple courses from the end and anticipates seeking a school library information specialist job this summer. My students already love her and the teachers come in with project ideas to work with her. We have seen 4 of 6 social studies teachers already plan ideas having been back to school 4 days. What a great start to middle school librarianship?!
Oh, yes, readers, don’t forget that Bethany Roberts also wrote one of my favorite Christmas titles Cookie Angel. Bethany Roberts has quite the holiday collection so far: Valentine Mice! Easter Mice! Fourth of July Mice! Halloween Mice! Christmas Mice! Birthday Mice! Waiting-for-Christmas Stories, and even a non-holiday favorite of mine Cat Skidoo.