Thursday, November 20, 2014

For a Rollicking Good Time...

One of the great joys of my life has been discussing Roald Dahl's The BFG with three of my students. It happened on Tuesday.

We started with setting, plot summary, problem/conflict, etc., but soon...soon the most delightful thing happened! We just talked about the book. Naturally. With enthusiasm. And who cares about try/fail and climax and conflict resolution? I don't. Sometimes. Especially not when I've got three fifth graders making me feel honored to be part of their book club.

With absolutely NO urging from me, they were referencing the text and insisting we all turn to page such-and-such. They were trying to be patient while someone else talked so that they could have a chance to share their two bits. One of the best parts was when they brought up the cool vocabulary.

Whizzpoppers! Now THIS is a word. With little grins and slight chuckles, nodding their heads knowingly, they all confessed that one of the most hilarious parts of the book is when the giants are discussing whizzpoppers which are...farts.

"Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music to our ears!"

"Everyone is whizzpopping. Kings and Queens are whizzpopping. Presidents are whizzpopping. Glamorous film stars are whizzpopping. Little babies are whizzpopping."

There's more. For a few moments, the Big Friendly Giant stood quite still, and a look of absolute ecstasy began to spread over his long wrinkly face. Then suddenly the heavens opened and he let fly with a series of the loudest and rudest noises Sophie had ever heard in her life. They reverberated around the walls of the cave like thunder and the glass jars rattled on their shelves. But most astonishing of all, the force of the explosions (this is where I began to chuckle aloud myself) actually lifted the enormous giant clear off his feet, like a rocket.

Sophie burst out laughing. She couldn't help it.

Mrs. Kyburz couldn't help it either.

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