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The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting
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The Wednesday Surprise

by Eve Bunting

Other authors: Donald Carrick (Illustrator)

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The Wednesday Surprise is a sweet children's book about a grandmother and daughter preparing a surprise for the family. While reading the book one is not so sure what the surprise is. All we know is that it is for the father of the granddaughter, which is the grandmother's son. By the end of the book you learn that the surprise is that the granddaughter has taught the grandmother how to read. I think the surprise reveals a lot about the time period the grandmother was born in, and the importance of learning how to read. I feel that this book is realistic fiction because it conveys the loving relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. The two are having so much fun keeping this surprise a secret, that you can see their relationship grow more and more. They are also experiencing this close bond by reading and learning together that I think children would be able to relate to. The setting of the story gives you a sense that it was back in the older days with the illustrations showing the clothing the characters are wearing. The fact that grandmother does not know how to read teaches children how some people may not have been able to go to school in the past, or they just never got the chance to learn how to read. I think the moral of the story would be a good teaching moment for teachers to talk about how education was in the past, and how important is it for them to learn. I think this would be a good book to read to my future students. ( )
  NihadKased | Sep 14, 2016 |
Anna and Grandma are planning a surprise for Dad's birthday. Dad thinks he has received all his presents, but Grandma stands up and gives him the best one of all: she reads aloud the stories that Anna has taught her.
  wichitafriendsschool | Jun 30, 2016 |
It sure surprised me! These are the kind of people who we should admire as heroes, imo. Those among us who do the smart problem-solving and the humble good deeds are the best role models for all of us. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The Wednesday Surprise was a timeless story that I very much enjoyed. Eve Bunting is able to build suspense, and the paintings are very intricate, which allow for foreshadowing to take place. From the beginning of the story, Bunting builds suspense and keeps the reader’s guessing. She says, “I like surprises. But the one Grandma and I are planning for Dad’s birthday is the best surprise of all.” Most readers would guess that they’re getting Dad an awesome material gift, but that isn’t the case. Bunting also makes the text seem ordinary, in order to not give away the surprise. For example, she says, “We read the story together, out loud…” This is very typical of a Grandmother and her granddaughter, but we’re not seeing everything yet.

I also loved the paintings in the story. They enhance the text and enable foreshadowing. In one of the pictures, the young girl is breathing into the window, and she draws a picture of a cake. In the text, she says, “I watch for her from the window and I blew on the glass to make breath pictures.” The picture of the cake makes readers think about having a party for Dad, and get them thinking about what the surprise might be.

The central message of the story is that it is never too late to learn to read. No one should be embarrassed that they can’t read because of their age. The surprise in the story was that it was actually Grandma who learned to read – not the granddaughter. The mom asks, “When did you learn to read?” Grandma says, “Anna taught me.” This shows that anyone can teach anyone to read, no matter how old you might be. Reading is a gift that should be given to everyone; it doesn’t discriminate. ( )
  ribber1 | Sep 28, 2015 |
The ending was indeed a surprise. It was also delightful. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eve Buntingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carrick, DonaldIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0899197213, Hardcover)

Anna and Grandma are planning a surprise for Dad's birthday. Dad thinks he has received all his presents, but Grandma stands up and gives him the best one of all: she reads aloud the stories that Anna has taught her.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:39 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

On Wednesday nights when Grandma stays with Anna everyone thinks she is teaching Anna to read.

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