Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wow! School!

Wow! School!
by Robert Neubecker

About the book:
What could be more WOW! than the first day of school? From science and story time to music and math Izzy’s classroom is full of new things to explore. Tag along with Izzy and experience the wonder and excitement of school from a child’s-eye view.

About the author:
Robert Neubecker is a regular contributor to, Business Week, Time, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. His books include Courage of the Blue Boy, Beastly Bath, Wow! America!, and Wow! City! and American Library Association Notable Book for 2005. A longtime New Yorker, Robert now lives with his growing family and the occasional moose on Iron Mountain in Park City, Utah.

This guide includes discussion questions intended to provoke thought and insight into the themes of the book which include friendship, learning, new experiences, and creativity.


  1. How did you develop your distinctive style?
  2. What can parents and teachers best do to encourage the art of young children?
  3. Can you share with us a bit about your process for a book?
  4. Who are your favorite illustrators working today?
  5. What can your fans look forward to next?


What happens at school? How do you know? What do you think will be the best part? What is the most important thing for a teacher to know about you?

Discussion guide:

  1. What would you want to explore first if you were in Izzy’s class? Why?
  2. Do you think the kids like their teacher? What makes you think so? What do you think makes a good teacher?
  3. What types of art do the children make? What is your favorite kind of art to make? Why?
  4. How many children listen to the teacher read a story? What is your favorite book to be read aloud? Who usually reads it to you?
  5. Describe what the kids have for lunch. What do you like to eat for lunch? Do you pack your lunch or would you rather buy it in a cafeteria? Why?
  6. Compare the playground in the book to the one at your school or park. How are they the same? How are they different?
  7. What do you think the kids will learn about during science? Why is science important?
  8. Do you think it would be easy or hard to count a bunch of white bunnies? Why? How could you make it easier?
  9. How do you become friends with someone? What do friends do for each other?
  10. Which illustration is your favorite? Why?


Language Arts:
Have children choose a page from the book and then invent what the children are saying to each other. Younger children can dictate the words while older children can write them independently. Be sure to let the children read them back to you and perhaps even share with the class.

Create a piece of art inspired by the book. Use permanent marker to create the bold black lines (or use India ink and a brush like the illustrator used). Then, color in the shapes and figures with markers or bright paints. Display!

Choose one item from the science page and research three facts about it. Illustrate the most interesting thing you learned. Share with the class and hang in the hallway.

Count the following objects on the “numbers” page. Then, as a class, graph the results. Teach the children how to count with slash marks to make counting many objects easier (like in the illustration) and practice counting by 1’s, 2’s, and 5’s. Count the following: bunnies, eyes, ears, noses, smiles, pencils.  Then, turn to a new page and have children choose a different item to count.

Sing to “A Hunting We Will Go”

It’s off to school we go
It’s off to school we go
we’ll read and play and learn all day
so much we need to know!
It’s off to school we go
it’s off to school we go
we’ll count and sing and paint and share
with every one we know!