Title: Where Does Thursday Go?
Author: Janeen Brian
Illustrator: Stephen Michael King
Publisher and Year: Clarion Books, 2001
Number of pages: 32
Descriptive Annotation: It was Bruno’s birthday on Thursday and he did not want it to end. The little polar bear got to wondering where Thursday went once the night ended, so Bruno and his puffin friend, Bert, went on an adventure. The pair comes across a brook and a train that they think must be Thursday, except it doesn’t answer when they call out. After the ocean doesn’t confirm that it is Thursday, they sadly turn back to go home. When they got to Bruno’s porch, Bruno tells Bert that he thinks Thursday looks like a birthday cake – big, round and bright. Bert happened to look thoughtfully up to the sky and saw the moon, which is also big, round and bright. The moon began to hide behind a cloud when Bruno called out goodbye to the moon. Bert and Bruno went to sleep until the sun brought out Friday the next morning.
Linguistic and Cultural Diversity Analysis: There is not much racial diversity in this book but you could talk about how Bruno and Bert’s environment looks similar/different to ours in the United States. Students could discuss whether other students have the same types of questions that they may have and how culture changes some thought patterns but not all. I think that children would enjoy reading this book both to themselves and to hearing it read to them because it differs between simple and complex sentences to keep them interested. It also asks lots of questions that the class could answer together.
Interdisciplinary Connections: For a writing lesson, discuss the onomatopoeia and alliteration in sentences like, “swish, swish, the waves sighed as they drew back into the ocean” or “oogle, gurgle, oogle, gurgle”. Students may have asked questions similar to where days go, so you could incorporate this into a science lesson about the solar system and how the Earth resolves around the Sun causing day and night. A class could also discuss different animals that live in similar environments (polar bears and puffins) and how that would affect their relationship. This would also lead into a lesson on differing lengths of day and night in different parts of the world.
Other Information: I enjoyed this book mainly for the illustrations. The concept was cute since I know I asked my parents questions like “where does Thursday go” or “why is the grass greener in the beginning of spring” so I could relate to Bruno. An interesting note is that Janeen Brian/Stephen Michael King are both located in Australia and won the CBCA Honor Award and CBCA Notable Book Award for Where Does Thursday Go? Janeen Brian has written over 50 children’s books, if your class would like to read more by her.