1.  Point of View and Voice

  • Have students read the first sentence using different voices for Merl
  • Have students re-tell a familiar story from the point of one of the main characters

2.  Accepting Differences

  • Have students discuss why Merl doesn't like Violet at first
  • Why does Merl accept Violet at the end?
  • Many students have a new sibling who suddenly enters their world.  Have them discuss how they felt when the new baby arrived.

3.  Looking for detail

  • List the ways that the people are different the animals in this book
  • Who do you think the people are?

4.  Onomatopoeia

  • Make a list of all the words that illustrate onomatopoeia
  • Read the book letting the students fill in these words either by verbalizing the noise or physically making the noise