Spinelli, E. (2009). Silly Tilly. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Corporation.
Appetizer: Silly Tilly is a silly goose. She wears a pancake for a hat and has kissed a fish. And she has a lot of fun doing her silly activities, but most of the other animals can't say that they enjoy her efforts. Finally, the other farm animals have had enough and they ask Tilly to stop her antics.
Spinelli's rhymes flow easily and incorporate a lot of fun adjectives.
The illustrations are also fun and incorporate a lot of action. Most of the pages incorporate two or three panels of illustration. Have a page broken up like this might be a first for many preschoolers and kindergartners, so a teacher may want to point out the order to look at the panels as he or she reads aloud.
(Also, there is some complex vocabulary, so I do think a read aloud would be the best way to share Silly Tilly's story.
"Tilly was a silly goose,
a daffy-down-and-dilly goose,
who took her baths in apple juice."
"Tilly liked to tickle frogs
and kick a pickle to the hogs
and hop on top of soggy logs."
"One day her friends said, "That's enough!
Enough of all your silly stuff!"
Their barnyard voices sounded gruff."
"The weeks went by and Tilly Goose
stopped being such a silly goose.
"Good job!" said Cousin Billy Goose."
"It happened, though, that Hetta Hen
remared, "I haven't laughed since--when?--
since Tilly chased the garbage man!"
To Go with the Meal:
Aside from including a lot of fun rhymes that are sure to make young kids giggle, to understand what's going on, kids will have to pay attention to the facial expressions of the characters, to know who is happy or sad.
The strength of this picturebook is that it explores the experience of the farm (or class) clown, showing the emotional dynamics of among different community members. Silly Tilly tries to show a way to find balance between a class clown making jokes for enjoyment or at the expense of other students time. A teacher can share this book with attention hungry students to try to start a discussion on the student's behavior.
And on the other side, this book can be used with calmer students to try and show how class clowns help to keep activities more fun.
Tasty Rating: !!!