Saturday, February 15, 2014

PB 14:14 Day 2: PATTERNS with "I Wanna New Room"

Welcome back! It's now Day 2 and sign-ups are over. Eleven people signed up, including myself. The challenge is on ! So I hope you signed up already. If not, you can enjoy the posts and join us in the fun next year. Here's today's book, with a different kind of pattern from yesterday's book.

Title: I Wanna New Room
Author: Karen Kaufman Orloff
Illustrator: David Catrow
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Year: 2010
Words: 791

The pattern is this book follows the same pattern in Karen's other book, I Wanna New Iguana. The son, Alex in this case, wants a new room. He writes a note to his mom.

"Dear Mom,
I know you think I should share a room with Ethan now that we have Baby Annie but here's why I shouldn't. When Ethan sleeps, he sounds like the cat coughing up fur balls. Why can't you move Annie in with you and give me my room back?
Your very tired son, Alex"

To which she replies,
"Dear Alex,
Go bother your father.
Your very, VERY tired mother"

So the pattern is letter-writing. I'm sure there's a list out there somewhere that has several books that use the letter-writing pattern, but I didn't feel like searching it for one just now. In fact, I have a letter-writing book of my own coming out in a few years.

The book continues to tell the story and give reasons of why Alex feels he should have his own room back. I especially love the farewell greeting (which by the way is called a valediction, I had to look it up - I knew it wasn't called a salutation).

Here they are:

  • Been there. Done that. Love, Fed-up Alex
  • Love, Dad
  • Love, Your seriously upset child, Alex
  • Love, Dad
  • Love, Your diplomatic son, Alex
    • P.S. "Diplomatic" was one of my vocabulary words.

And then Alex writes to his little brother, which is actually ALL supposed to be in ALL CAPS.

"Dear Ethan,
This is your side of the room. This is my side of the room. Stay on your side. 
P.S. Don't touch my stuff 

The valedictions continue:

  • Love, Dad
  • Love, Neat and tidy Alex
  • Love, Your concerned father
  • Love, Alex the super student
  • Love, Dad
  • Love, Your HUMAN son, Ales
    • P.S. Stinky got a D in Lunch.
  • Love, Dad
    • P.S. Stinky scares me.
  • Love, Your number ONE son, Alex
  • Love, Dad
  • Love, Alex the architect
  • Love, Dad
P.S. Valediction is MY vocabulary word for the day.

And the ending? (Sorry, a spoiler here.)

"You mean it, Dad?"
"I do, Alex."
The illustrations tell the true ending. And then one final letter.

"Dear Ethan,
Do you want to play with me in my tree house?
Your big brother, Alex"

It's a lot of fun trying to come up with cute and funny things to say back to each other in a new and clever way AND keep the word count down. Good luck if you try this pattern!

Remember to sign your linky below. It might be a good idea to put the title of the book and the name of the author as the name of your blog. People might click over more that way. 


  1. Years ago I loved a book about the twelve days of Christmas in which the reciever of the gifts sent letters to the giver and each subsequent letter from the initial joyous thank you, became more and more distressed until the final letter was sent by the lawyers from the recipient who had gone somewhere to recover from stress. I think I would very much enjoy Alex's dilemma and will go find it in my library.

    1. That sounds like a fun book. Any chance on a title? I'd like to go to bed right now to recover from stress - er, I mean sleep deprivation.

    2. I believe it is this
      The Twelve Days of Christmas
      by John Julius Norwich (Author) , Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
      although my very English stepmother had a pre Quentin Blake version. [I do love Quentin Blake's art]

  2. I own I Wanna Iguana. It was my nephew's favorite picture book several years ago. David Catrow's illustrations are always hilarious and I did an interview with Karen Kaufman Orloff on my blog. She was the very first author I interviewed back in 2010!

  3. I look forward to reading this book on Monday. I love finding new treasures. Thanks for posting this information :D

  4. Jackie, how do you actually GET all these books to read? My library simply isn't that large. Hence the whole PB 14:14 event. So I can glean more craft experience through all of you!

    Lauri, I think I saw that interview. I love I Wanna Iguana, too! David Catrow definitely has a very unique style. He is one of the first illustrators who I could identify simply from his work alone. No name necessary. Jackie blogged about a book illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Another one with recognizeable work and style.

  5. These are two books I've never read. Gotta find them. I like how the pattern you point out here Christie is so 'three dimensional.' I've not been aware of the aspect of dimensions in patterns, and not sure how to explain what I mean, but...I guess I'm trying to describe 'repetition' blended with 'variety.' This post has made me more aware of the richness of making a pattern appear with variations that give the whole idea some 'umphhh!' Great review.

  6. What a fun book! I'll have to go find my own copy. Thanks for the word of the day. that's what it's called. I am also looking forward to your book coming soon, Christie!

    1. Oh, Romelle. That is so kind of you to say "soon." I'm afraid it really won't be anytime soon. Seems like another 3 years away, and it's already been ONE!


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