The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
I distinctly remember my third grade teacher reading this book to us. I was so captivated by the story. We had regular read-aloud time after recess, and I would sit at my desk and draw the magical "soda fountain." I would stare around the classroom and envision all the wonderful patterns the Whangdoodle could use to camouflage himself. I included myself on the journeys to Whangdoodleland, and extended them in my mind long after Mrs. Simpson closed the book for the day.
Imagine my excitement when I saw this very book in one of the Scholastic Book Order catalogs for a mere $4. I purchased it with plans to share its wonders to my own class of third graders. Carry on the legacy.
Oh my, how times have changed. Just a few pages into the book (I'm reading it to myself), I became grossly aware of how drastically different the demographics of my current classroom are compared to the one I grew up in. Rather than being lost in the thrill of the story, my students would surely get lost in the language. Their poor imaginations have been dulled by video games and TV shows, where the pictures are not only provided for them, but constantly changing as well. Their attention to detail is dulled, and I am certain they would request a new book almost instantly.
While my students may never possess the same sense of wonder I cherished as a child, at least I am reveling in the joys of a journey through unforgotten, magical lands... where flowers smell like fresh baked bread, rivers ripple with changing melodies, "braintrains" rise up mountains fueled entirely with their own hot air, and the elusive Whangedoodle intrigues and motivates me to travel even deeper. :)