“The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen”

 

Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting.

 

WATCH and LISTEN to The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen, by Thelma Godin, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton on Storyline Online:

 

Pre-Reading Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever used a hula-hoop? What is hard about hula-hooping? What is fun?
  • How does it feel when you want to do something and an adult says no? What do you say or think to yourself?
  • Do you know your neighbors? What kinds of things might neighbors do together?
  • Do you celebrate birthdays in your family? What do you do to celebrate someone’s birthday?

 

Set a purpose for reading. You can suggest to older children that they read to find out:

  • Why is hula-hooping so important to Kameeka?
  • How does Kameeka balance what she wants to do with her family responsibilities?
  • What happens at Miz Adelaide’s birthday celebration?
  • What does Kameeka learn about friendship and competition?

 

Generational connection:

  • Tell your child about your childhood games and toys.
  • Ask your child to interview an older person about his or her childhood pastimes.
  • Discuss similarities and differences with children’s activities today.

 

This book is also a rich source of vocabulary words and figurative language. Ask your child if there are words he or she did not understand, or go through the book again and note meanings of words that may be unusual or new to them, such as smirk, smug, scold, holler. Point out similes such as  “noddin’ her head like a spring robin looking for a worm” or hyperbole such as “a grin greater than the Brooklyn Bridge stretches across my face.”

 

You can find more learning activities in the Teacher’s Guide on the publisher’s website.

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