Thursday, February 19, 2015

DAY 6: Imogene's Last Stand by Candace Fleming (Dialogue)

The Valentine Vision:
Read, study, and share
14 picture books in 14 days
Happy Thursday . It's also the Lunar New Year. (Just in case you were wondering...) Today we have a special treat to hear about another one of Candace Fleming's great books.


Commenter's Award: Here's the book you can WIN!!!

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Welcome to DAY 6. Today's lesson is on...

Imogene's Last Stand
by Candace Fleming
Title: Imogene's Last Stand
Author: Candace Fleming
Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Year: 2009
Word Count: 1502
Top 10 Element: Dialogue

Enamored of history, young Imogene Tripp tries to save her town's historical society from being demolished in order to build a shoelace factory.
First Page:
Liddleville, New Hampshire, was small -- so mall it wasn't even a speck on teh state map. Still, Liddleville was home to a village green, a general store, a theree-legged cat, and a little girl named Imogene Tripp.

Although I really love this opening, I feel that Candace Fleming's strength in this book is yet again dialogue. Imogene's first words as a baby were, "Four score and seven years ago." Fun!!! The book goes through telling a great and fun story encouraging people to care more about history, basically. And since Imogene loves history, she quotes from lots of famous people from our rich history.

Part of Spread 3:
"What a mess," added her father.
Imogene shook her head. "This isn't a mess, Daddy," she declared. "This is history. And in the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 'We are made by history.'"

Spread 4:
When nobody came, she waited and waited and waited. But --
"In the immortal words of Davy Crockett," she sighed, "'Ain't nobody comin'.'"

When she heard the town wanted to tear down the "Liddleville Historical Society" she said, "But in the immortal words of William Morris, 'Old buildings do not belong to us; they belonged to our forefathers, and they will belong to our descendants.'" To which the workman shrugs and says, "Tell it to the mayor."

So she did. But Mayor I. M. Butz says, "Who cares about history? Shoelaces will put this town on the map." Imogene fumed, "I won't let it happen! In the immortal words of John Paul Jones, 'I have not yet begun to fight!'"

She goes on to quote Theodore Roosevelt, Chief Joseph, Vietnam War protestors, Abraham Lincoln (again), and President Martin Van Buren. I love it when she mimics the war protestors, and yells, "Heck no, we won't go!"

And of course when the president swoops in to save the day because of an email Imogene sent to the town's historian, Professor Pastmatters, the mayor changes his tune too. Somebody asks, "What about shoelaces?" To which, Mayor Butz replies, "Shoelaces? Who cares about shoelaces? Why, our town's history will put us on the map."

And the ending is cute and fun too. Imogene comes up with her own clever words. "In the immortal words of me, that was totally fun!"

Now go have some fun and read this book. Another great lesson in writing picture books. This one, again, can provide a serious study for you. Just break it down. Look for all the elements. You'll find 'em. Well, maybe not rhyme. But that's okay.

Keep on keepin' on...

Here's the link to add your own DAY 6 blog posts...


  1. I've heard of this but never read. I am so glad you posted about it. Imogene sounds like a real whipper-snapper of a girl and I love the ending words. "In the immortal words of me, that was totally fun!" How perfect is that?

  2. This one sounds just super - there are big fights around historic buildings where I live, so I'd love a book to address this issue with the kids. Will be checking this one out for sure.

    And thanks for the waiver on earlier books! There are some real treasures I've been skipping due to copyright. Now to choose my favorite ... !

  3. Imogene's Last Stand is new to me. Now I want to own a copy. Thanks!

  4. Amazing Katie. Love the extreme wordplay! I can see how this would be fascinating to readers, like a puzzle.

  5. Now. Right place. This sounds like a fantastic book to inspire action...the use of dialogue serves as a rationale and basis for the MC's action and purpose. Love it! Great choice Christie.

  6. I love this book, Christie...I probably love everything by Candace Flemming. ;)
    And the dialogue...oh my goodness...'Four score and seven years ago' from a baby...who would have thought to write that?

  7. Famous quotes... what a great idea to incorporate into a picture book story!

  8. Vivian, I get to meet Candace Fleming this summer at the WOW conference! Can't wait!


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