Book of the Month – May 2020

Sparkle Boy by Leslea Newman

Casey loves to play with his blocks, puzzles, and dump truck, but he also loves things that sparkle, shimmer, and glitter. When his older sister, Jessie, shows off her new shimmery skirt, Casey wants to wear a shimmery skirt too. When Jessie comes home from a party with glittery nails, Casey wants glittery nails too. And when Abuelita visits wearing an armful of sparkly bracelets, Casey gets one to wear, just like Jessie. The adults in Casey’s life embrace his interests, but Jessie isn’t so sure. Boys aren’t supposed to wear sparkly, shimmery, glittery things. Then, when older boys at the library tease Casey for wearing -girl- things, Jessie realizes that Casey has the right to be himself and wear whatever he wants. Why can’t both she and Casey love all things shimmery, glittery, and sparkly? Here is a sweet, heartwarming story about acceptance, respect, and the freedom to be yourself in a world where any gender expression should be celebrated. Sparkly things are for everyone to enjoy!

Home-School Connection

Post your comments, work, or ideas on Dr. Caraisco’s stream in Google Classroom! CLASS CODE: fybwsvg

Setting a Purpose for Reading

Read to find out:
• how Casey chooses to express himself
• how Casey’s family members react to what he wears
• what happens when Casey wears sparkly things to story time at the library
• how Jessie learns to accept Casey’s decisions

Consider why the author, Lesléa Newman, would want to share this story with young people.

Questions to Ask During or After Reading:

  1. How do you think Jessie feels when Mama disagrees with her about Casey wearing a shimmery skirt?
  2. 2. How do you think Jessie feels when Mama finds Casey his own skirt? How do you think Casey feels?
  3. Why do you think Jessie suggests putting glittery nail polish on Casey’s toes instead of on his fingernails? Why do you think Casey says no?
  4. How do Jessie’s reactions change each time Casey gets to wear something she thinks he shouldn’t? Why doesn’t she agree with the adults who allow Casey to wear these things? What might Jessie be thinking and feeling?
  5. Why do you think Casey likes shimmery, glittery, sparkly things so much? Unlike Jessie, why isn’t Casey worried about what others will think?
  6. What might Mama, Daddy, and Abuelita be thinking to themselves when Casey asks for a skirt, nail polish, and a sparkly bracelet?
  7. What effect do the girl’s comments at the library have on the older boy who overhears Casey’s response? Why do you think the boy calls over his friend?
  8. How is Jessie’s response to the boys at the library different from her previous reactions to Casey’s love of shimmery, glittery, sparkly things?
  9. What do you think caused Jessie to change her ideas? Why does she defend Casey? What would you say if you overheard someone being teased at the library (or at school)?
  10. How do you think Casey feels when Jessie defends him at the library?
  11. How does the story end? What has changed between Jessie and Casey?
  12. How do you think the story would be different if Jessie wanted to wear clothing and accessories that are commonly thought as being for boys? How do you think her family members would react? How might the other children at the library react? Why do you think so?

After Reading

Art activities

Design and create self-portraits that show how you express your individuality through your appearance, clothing, interests, hobbies, and personality.  Look beyond physical appearance when creating your self-portraits. Try to use keywords, phrases, imagery, and/or symbols in your self-portraits that best describe or depict who you are!

One Book, One School Community…

“The idea is that… (a community) that opens the same book does it in greater harmony.”

-Mary McGrory, 2002