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How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Dragonfly Books) Paperback – July 8, 1997


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How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Dragonfly Books) + First Day Jitters (Mrs. Hartwell's Class Adventures) + This School Year Will Be the BEST!
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Dragonfly Books
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books; Reprint edition (July 8, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517885565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517885567
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 10 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Her spectacles perched on her nose and her hair coiffed in a Father Knows Best pompadour, Wallace Bleff's teacher looks on as the boy delivers an oral report on that classic topic, How I Spent My Summer Vacation. The classroom setting gives way to an expanse of Western plains, across which a locomotive train rumbles, bringing Wallace to visit his aunt. His parents have sent him there for a reason: "'Your imagination,' they said, 'is getting too wild./ It will do you some good to relax for a while.'" It won't take kids long to realize that Wallace's imagination is as fertile as ever, as he tells of being captured by cowboys, who outfit him in spiffy Western garb and teach him all their "cowboy tricks." When "Kid Bleff" finally calls his aunt (from a phone booth comically plunked down in the middle of nowhere), she invites him to bring his pals to her house for a barbecue-Teague's (The Field Beyond the Outfield) boy buckaroo, however, still has a few tricks up his sleeve. Told in rollicking rhymed verse, this is one rootin' tootin' tall tale. Playful period illustrations brim with droll detail, including some laugh-out-loud funny expressions on animal faces. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2?An original fantasy told in rhyme. Wallace Bleff, who is reporting to his class about his summer vacation, tells of his travels west at the bidding of his parents, who felt his overactive imagination needed a rest. He relates how en route to his Aunt Fern's house, he is kidnapped by cowboys and?voila, Kid Bleff is born. He joins the rawhide crowd; learns to rope, ride, and build fires; and becomes a "first-rate cowhand." In celebration of the end of the roundup, Aunt Fern invites Wallace and new friends to a barbecue. When a cattle stampede nearly ruins the party, the young hero saves the day as he displays hidden talent as a matador and reverses the direction of the herd. The art is done in warm acrylics throughout, first to portray the classroom setting where Wallace's yarn begins against the backdrop of the chalkboard, then segues into the sandy scenes of the Wild West, and back again. Teague strikes again with a unique idea, one teachers would do well to use. An excellent read-aloud choice for back-to-school reading in the classroom or the public library.?Marsha McGrath, Clearwater Public Library, FL
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
26
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See all 37 customer reviews
I'm a teacher and like to read this book to my students in the first week of school.
kikiblue
I pay very close attention to the winners of the award and most certainly feel that Teague is just as deserving as many to most of the winners.
D. Blankenship
The illustrations are really fun and the text is rhyming while carrying on a really cute story.
April Cleven

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By kikiblue on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm a teacher and like to read this book to my students in the first week of school. Then I pose a challenge to them. I challenge them to tell me about their own summer vacation, but like Wallace, start out with the truth, and then let their imagination take over. I get completely ridiculous and fun stories about trips to the lake that end up as coronations as supreme master of planet zoorg. I highly recommend it.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Frank Murphy on June 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book IS perfect for starting off the school year! Teague is outstanding! When will the guy win a Caldecott? Every book he does is filled with magnificent illustrations and incredible stories! I met him a few years ago in California...what a gentleman...ALL CLASS!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Remember the essay that your teacher always made you write at the beginning of each school year?? "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" is told by the main character Wallace Bleff who stands before the class and weaves an amazing tale of train rides, cowboys, cattle herding and the like while we come along for the ride. (Wallace has quite an imagination.) Loads of fun, beautifully illustrated, and my son's favorite bedtime story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
It has it all--a wild story, vivid drawings, great sense of humor. What an imagination!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary C. Taylor on August 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the book. I look forward to sharing this book with my students to start off our school year together. I'm going to use the book to help them get an idea to be creative about his or her own summer vacation to write a great story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Riehl on September 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a fun "back to school" book with a twist. The main character is asked to write about his summer vacation and he chooses to write something that is obviously fiction. He tells about being kidnapped by cowboys and spends the summer with them instead of with his aunt. I read this book to my second graders on the first day of school and they love it.Part of the way through the book I start hearing comments from them such as "he's not telling the truth", and "he's just kidding". There are many fun activities that can be done using this book as a springboard. I usually have my students write about their summer vacation and it can be the truth or it can be fiction. After their writing is complete they share it with the class and we guess whether it is the truth, or like the boy in the book, fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I wish I had a vacation as interesting as this kid!

When giving his BORING report about his BORING vacation... wait, no, that was somebody else. This kid's vacation included being kidnapped. By COWBOYS! And having to stop a cattle stampede! And being a hero!

Good rhymes, great fun, and cute ending with a bull in time for show-and tell. Anybody who's had to suffer through the first day of school blues should get a copy :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am in full agreement with another reviewer here in that I do not understand why Mark Teague has never received the Caldecott. I pay very close attention to the winners of the award and most certainly feel that Teague is just as deserving as many to most of the winners. Be that as it may.....

What a wonderful read this one was. A small boy's imagination is allowed to run wild as he tells his teacher and class on the first day of school what he did over his summer vacation. The text is done in a rhyming fashion and done to perfection. A train trip to the west, captured by wild cowboys, stopping a stampeding herd of cattle, riding the range....all very imaginative and the stuff that little boys dream of. His tolerant teachers accepts his story without a bat of an eye.

In this particular work, Teague's art work puts me in mind of another great illustrator, Georges Remi and his unforgettable and everlasting Adventures of Tin Tin. The same benign and understated innocence is belied by constant action; without a ruffled hair on the head. The colors are boldly subdued and extremely eye catching in their sweeping action sequencing.

This one is ideal for not only a one on one read, but is absolutely made for a group read as the text is so well done that it hold the interest of even the most distracted of the wee ones and the pictures can be seen clearly by the entire class.

This is most certainly one that you will want to add to your child's collection or to your classroom.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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