Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Boris and Bella

Boris and Bella By Carolyn Crimi
Illustrated by Gris Grimly

Pre-reading Activity:

By just looking at the front and back covers, what do you think this story is about? Do you think Boris and Bella are friends by the way they are pictured? What makes you think this? If you had to pick a holiday to read this book on, which would it be? Why?

Comprehension Check:


  1. Describe Bella.
  2. Describe Boris.


  1. Why won’t the other monsters attend Boris’ party? Why not Bella’s?
  2. Why weren’t Boris and Bella good neighbors?


  1. How do you think Boris’s closet looks compared to Bella’s?
  2. Predict what you think will happen one year after the close of the story.


  1. Debate who you think would make a better friend and why.
  2. Examine the illustrations. Which one is your favorite? Why?


  1. How would you feel if people refused to come to a party you were throwing?
  2. What would you do?


  1. What is your favorite creepy detail in the book? (I Love the biting dust bunnies!)
  2. Why do you think the artist chose the colors he did to portray this story? What colors would you choose?

Projects for
Boris and Bella By Carolyn Crimi
Illustrated by Gris Grimly

Language Arts:

Pretend you are Boris or Bella and write a letter of complaint to the newspaper advice columnist about your neighbor asking for help about how to deal with them. Then, switch letters with a partner and write an advice response to their question.


Plan Boris and Bella’s wedding. Create invitations, a guest list, arrange the menu, and describe the event in a scrapbook you create to commemorate the most important social event in Booville!


Make a detailed map of Booville. Get ideas from the book to construct it, but feel free to add details of your own. Make sure you have a key to all things gloomy and gross!


Make a diorama from one scene of the book. Turn a shoebox on its side and begin reconstructing one of the scenes with materials you find around your house and yard.


In pairs, write a song about Boris and Bella using the “Twelve days of Christmas” as your tune of inspiration.


Make slime:

One part water (dyed green or other ghastly color) to four parts cornstarch.

Make Ghoul Drool:

1 13-oz. package lemon-lime Kool-Aid
1 cup sugar
8 cups water
1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
4 cups Sprite or other clear soda
5 scoops green sherbet

Empty the Kool-Aid package into a punch bowl. Add the sugar, then the water and stir until dissolved. Stir in the orange juice. Just before serving, add the soda and float the scoops of sherbet on top.

Make Chocolate-covered gargoyle boils: (serve in coffin shaped boxes with original poetry like Boris’)

1 C peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, your choice)
½ C honey
1 ¼ C puffed rice cereal

Mix ingredients in large bowl. Roll into gargoyle boils and place on waxed paper (if it’s too sticky, just add more cereal). Dip into melted chocolate and cool in refrigerator on waxed paper for a couple of hours.