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Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair Hardcover – March 19, 1996
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Fictional parable for young readers ages five and up
The Power of Reading
Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair is a humorous parable by Patricia Polacco on the dangers of too much television watching. Aunt Chip took to her bed fifty years ago when the big television tower came to town and the library closed. She knew the consequences would be great. Everyone stopped reading and then did not remember how. Books were used, but not for reading. When Aunt Chip finally got out of bed to teach the children to read, they were reading so much they were taking books out of potholes and sagging buildings. Eventually they took books out of the dam and an ensuing flood caused the television tower to fall down, angering adults and inducing them to learn to read. Reading again reigned and Aunt Chip again was the town librarian.
The author tackles the issue of too much TV with her trademark humor and charm. Although not the very best of Patricia Polacco's books, Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair is an enjoyable read that opens many important questions dealing with literacy. Readers will enjoy her drawings and youngsters will be attracted to the lively Aunt Chip who has the strength and courage to stand up and bring the miracle of literacy to the townsfolk.
Teachers can use this book with its all-important theme to discuss both the value of reading, and think about how TV can take over a person's life. It is a great title to read during Say No to TV Week. Students can keep track of their TV watching and reading as they discuss what happened in Triple Creek and the effect reading can have on their lives.
After this the students tracked their activities for 7 days - 24 hours a day. We then created spreadsheets with this information and finally graphed our information - using excel or other spreadsheed program. At the end of the session, I had some thought provoking questions that they needed to answer in small groups based upon their graphs and spreadsheets. They loved it!!
When Eli begins visiting his Aunt Chip, she teaches him to read. The most wonderful gift in the world. His enthusiasm spreads and soon all the children are begging to have Aunt Chip teach them to get stories from a book. When the adults learn of what is happening they respond at first in fear and anger, but eventually want their children to teach them to read.
Why 5 stars?:
Polacco has a wonderful way of making her characters a little zany, but still real enough to be believable. The watercolor illustrations give the soft feeling of her words. Most importantly, the message of the importance of books and reading is something that purveys through most of Polacco's works. This book deserves to be a part of your home, school or classroom library. Read it to, and with your child. Let him or her know that you value reading and they will too.
This is perhaps my new favorite book by Patricia Polacco, and that's really saying something given how much we adore Thunder Cake (which got us through my son's fear of thunder), Thank You, Mr. Falker (which helped me come to grips with my own frustations in school--30 years later!), and Mrs. Katz and Tush (which grew our love for cats and my aunts even more).
Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair doesn't bash TV-watching, as the description might lead you to believe, as much as remind us each of the value of reading and the power of story from an amazing story teller.
A must-read and talk about for every family in the digital age!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The idea is a good one but I found it rather wordy for younger children. I was a little disappointed.Published on June 2, 2014 by chatlunatique
In a world of constant screen time, this is a reminder that books will always be the best form of entertainment!Published on February 22, 2014 by W. Snyder
For folks who would like to get read of good reading material and not challenge our children.Dumb, dumb and dumber.Published on December 11, 2013 by Dub
Bought this for school, great book, the kids love it, easy to read and understand. I would recommend this to anyone.Published on September 12, 2013 by James Patterson
Great book! I am a reading teacher and love Patricia Polacco's books to teach with. This story is wonderful to read to classess, especially around TV turnoff week.Published on February 22, 2008 by Linda Lyon