Saturday, October 24, 2009

Readathon: Hour 14: Pippo the Fool

Pippo the Fool by Tracey E. Fern

The people of Florence wanted their cathedral to be complete, to be crowned with a beautiful dome. They initiated a contest. Many tried to design a dome, but all were failures until Pippo the Fool appeared. Pippo was the object of derision to many, but his design was flawless. It took Pippo many years to complete his work, but it was spectacular when finished.

This is the kind of story that we adult nonfiction readers crave these days, what we call a piece of nonfiction that reads like a story. Children crave it, too, I think.

Pippo the Fool is a lovely story, with excellent complementary illustrations.

A bit:

'Finally the judges turned to Pippo's plans. They could not believe their eyes. Surely this was the craziest idea yet! Pippo's dome seemed to float over the cathedral like a great balloon. It had no columns, no earth, no scaffolding to support it.

"How do you plan to build such a dome?" the judges asked. "What will hold it up?"

Pippo would not tell. He was worried that Lorenzo would steal his idea.'

Comments from children:
Half were seven and half were eight, with five girls and three boys.
“I didn’t like the pictures and the words were too long.”
“I liked the building he made.”
One person liked the pictures.
Not many were interested in a builder.

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