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Friday Reconnect: Week One

By Kayla Aldrich, Read to Them staff

Hello, all! It’s a little nuts that we’ve already reached the end of our first week with Flora & Ulysses. Right out the gate we’ve had quite a brilliant read - with Chloe’s wonderful character highlight for Flora and with Kate DiCamillo’s exclusive author interview! As we look forward to week two, evils are appearing on the horizon and tensions are only continuing to rise, but don’t fret - with Flora and Ulysses teamed up, things are sure to work out for the best.

For our activity this week, take another look at the comic panels in the novel. Try your hand at creating your own comic! It can be whatever you’d like it to be: you can create your own hero, make a comic where you have a super-powered furry friend, or even use your comic to interpret a scene from the novel. You’ll need paper, a ruler, and pencil for this activity. You have the power to get as creative as you’d like, here - you can use the ruler to draw boxes or have your comic panels flow freely into each other. If you don’t want to leave your comic black and white, use markers, crayons, paint, colored pencils, etc. to give your comic a vibrant pop of color. Have fun and let your imagination run wild!

Now that you’ve got those creative juices flowing, here’s a few writing prompts for you to consider:

  • Flora absolutely loves to read comic books. Write a few sentences about your experience with comics. Have you ever read comics before? If yes, did you like them? What was so appealing about these stories? The art? The heroes? The action sequences? Something else? If you haven’t delved into comics, would you like to?

  • It seems like superheroes are everywhere, both on the page and on the big screen, but not all heroes are from comic books. Do you have someone in your life that you consider to be a superhero? Who are they? What qualities do they have that make them seem super to you? Take this opportunity to write about them!

  • Flora is a self-professed natural-born cynic. What do you think this means? Are you a cynic? Do you know someone who is? Consider how might Flora’s character be different if she were someone that was a natural-born optimist, and write your thoughts down.

  • Flora’s comics include a bonus comic called Terrible Things Can Happen to You! How do you think these bits of wisdom can be helpful? Would you prefer to know about surviving in the wilderness or things like the Heimlich maneuver? With this in mind, write down two or three terrible things you’d like to know about on the off-chance you ever encountered them.

  • Though Ulysses can’t speak, he understands Flora and he’s quickly learning to type and write. Step into Flora’s shoes for a few minutes. Consider how your life would be different if a squirrel in your backyard suddenly had superpowers - or, if it’s easier, imagine if your pet was a super-dog or super-cat… or even a super-fish! Write about how your life would change with this sudden development. You could even go as far as combining this week’s activity and bring your writing prompt to life in comic form.

Thanks for joining us for the first week of Flora & Ulysses. We’ve got a lot of great stuff planned these next two weeks, so stay tuned and be on the lookout for future posts. Until we meet again, be well, be kind, and happy reading!

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