Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

Teacher Thoughts…

You will fall in love with Louie and his family and friends as they come together to save Winslow, a sick, newborn donkey.  Winslow connects all of the characters and caring for him helps them to work through difficult situations in their own lives.

Once again, Sharon Creech creates vivid characters.  Her descriptions make you feel what the characters feel. 

“Louie knelt beside the basket.  A small gray head with black eyes and feathery eyelashes and sticking-up ears emerged.  Attached to the head was a trembling thin boy and four long spindly legs, all of it covered in splotchy gray fur scattered with brown freckles. 

It was not a dog or a cat.  It was a pitiful-looking thing and it was gazing at Louie.  He felt a sudden rush, as if the roof had peeled off the house and the sun had dived into every corner of the kitchen.”

Students can discuss the themes of this book, including letting something you love go.

As writers, students can learn from Creech’s effective use of color words in her descriptions:

“…an indigo bunting atop a golden sunflower beside a white fence beneath a blue sky with drifting white clouds.”

They can also emulate how she matches the weather to characters’ feelings:

“A sad and mournful and barely audible eeee-awe was Winslow’s response. Louie was unable to speak. It rained the rest of the day.”

Kids Said…

  • “The donkey was so cute!”
  • “Louie had to care for him so he learned to be responsible.”
  • “Caring for animals takes time and love.”
  • “The lesson from this book is to never lose hope.”

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