The Stories Julian Tells

bookby Ann Cameron
AR book level 3.4  1 point
Available from Amazon.com

I first learned about The Stories Julian Tells because we have an excerpt in our Harcourt reading textbook.  Now, I am a big believer in Julian!  You will be so glad to know that there are many books about Julian.

In The Stories Julian Tells, author Ann Cameron creates a memorable family.  You will love Julian, a nine-year-old with a big imagination and a gift for telling stories.  His little brother Huey is cute as can be.  Julian’s dad is larger-than-life: a strict father who is even funnier and more imaginative than Julian.  Julian’s mom is a wonderful, warm character.

The Stories Julian Tells is an incredibly funny, warm and comforting book.  It makes a wonderful read aloud for the classroom.  However, I think a huge added educational value comes from the author’s rich description and imaginative use of figurative language.

For example, in the first chapter, Julian, Huey and their father make a lemon pudding for Mom: a lemon pudding that tastes like “a night on the sea” and “a whole raft of lemons.”  When dad wakes up from his nap to find that Julian and Huey ate the whole pudding, the boys are in for a whipping and a beating—Julian whips the pudding, and Huey beats the egg whites.  Mom tastes the new pudding—it’s just like a night on the sea and a whole raft of lemons!

My favorite story in the book is called “Because of Figs.”  When Julian was three, his dad gave him a fig tree that would grow up with him.  When the tree grew taller but Julian didn’t, Julian felt left behind.  Naturally, the solution was to eat the fig leaves to help him grow.  (They taste like spinach, so they must be good for you.)  Years later, Julian is bigger but the tree hasn’t grown at all.  Finally, Julian realizes that the leaves belong to the tree.  Now both tree and boy can grow up together.

My students absolutely love The Stories Julian Tells.  They are nuts about the companion books, like Julian, Secret Agent , More Stories Julian Tells, and Julian, Dream Doctor.  There are also great books about other characters in the series, like Gloria (who might be Julian’s best friend) and Huey, Julian’s little brother.

Posted in Accelerated Reader (AR),Book Reviews by Corey Green @ Nov 17, 2010

 

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