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The Eyebrows of Doom

Some days you just want a good laugh with kindergarteners, a playful romp in author’s craft, illustrations, predictions, and good old fun. This book by Steve Smallman and Miguel Ordonéz has many opportunities for that playful read aloud fun.

After a week of benchmark assessments, I dropped by a kindergarten class and asked if they had some time for a read aloud, but wait, it’s called The Eyebrows of Doom.

Doom? They echoed.

I know, are you prepared for a book called The Eyebrows of Doom?

The room erupted in questions.

Will it be scary? What does Doom mean?

I settled in and let the buzz die down. I pulled out the oversized, brightly colored cover of The Eyebrows of Doom.

( I secretly want lightning to flash each time I say that)

We lingered there on the cover. So many questions.

Are those his eyebrows? Are they bugs? They look mean.

The story progresses. THIS BOOK RHYMES, the students chimed.

Does it? I say innocently. As we continue, I pause just a beat where there will be a rhyming word and let them produce it.

Then we get to this illustration.

Hmmm. What do you notice about this page? What did the author do? We stop and notice how the word traveling down the page with stops in between. I read it again. And. Just. look. what. they. did. to. the. bear.

“Wait! What did they do to the bear?”

We looked closely at the words and the pictures.

We notice the bear’s expression changes.

He starts to look like the eyebrows one of the readers notices.

We look at this page. What did you notice that you could try in your writing? How is the bear feeling? Oh, Confused. Look how the illustrator drew this, those big circles, the little scribbly cloud of confusion over the bear’s head. Could you use that idea? Do you ever write about mixed up feelings?

On we go, rhyming and noticing, until the eyebrows hid inside an elephant’s nose. I pause.

Readers! What is going to happen next? Wait! Don’t blurt out, remember we all want to have a thought. Catch that thought and whisper it into your hand. I nod as I listen to the predictions. Hmmm. Yes. Of course.

They were great. I say aloud, oh, you predicted that the elephant would sneeze them out. One reader calls out, “that’s not what I was thinking! I said he would turn crabby too!” Hmmm. Let’s see.

We have precious moments in our school day. Using a read aloud to leverage phonics work and comprehension is a wonderful use of our time. Throw in a little humor and you have a great combination for joyful learning.

Are you ready to face The Eyebrows of Doom?

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