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The Children's Bookshelf: It Fell From the Sky - December 20, 2021

IT FELL FROM THE SKY written and illustrated by the highly praised Fan Brothers is a picture book example of clever storytelling and pitch perfect pictures. It all starts when something beautiful and curious appears in a garden on one fine day.

Each of the nearby inhabitants have their own idea about this strange but lovely wonder. Ladybug sees it first and insists that it bounced three times before landing, the Inchworm says it bounced two times, Frog thinks it’s a gumdrop and the Luna Moth thinks it is a chrysalis that must be kept warm in order to hatch!

On the second day, the spider tells them all that no matter what it is it surely belongs to him because it landed in his spider web. The only problem here is that none of the others recall seeing a spider web until now. And, in order to show off this curious thing from the sky the spider says he’s going to put together an exhibit called WonderVille -----and sell tickets! The two-page spread of the exhibit itself and the illustration showing all the friends buying tickets are full of great details and excitement. However, this spider entrepreneur keeps increasing the price of tickets making the community angry until he actually puts himself out of business! When a child’s hand reaches down and picks up the marble, the spider gets busy weaving webs between the flowers hoping to catch yet more wonders from the sky and this time to share them with his friends at no cost to them!

IT FELL FROM THE SKY by the Fan Brothers hosts 56 beautiful pages rendered in graphite and colored digitally using shades of white, grey and black. The rich details will engage the eyes of readers 4-8 years of age. (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021).

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for It Fell from the Sky

For younger readers: Look at the picture of the new wonders that Spider captured at the end of this story and find the following items and insects: a bottle cap, a chess piece, three jacks, an ant, a monkey, an inchworm, a top hat, a sun bonnet, a knight, a safety pin, a thimble, a ladybug, a thumb tack and a pocket watch.

For older readers: Who is the main character in this story? If you were to give that character a name, what would it be? What other characters did you find interesting? Why? Can you give them each a name? What might happen next if this story was continued? Write a new or extended ending. Have fun!

Have you ever found an item in a garden that was particularly interesting? Was it something someone lost like a key? Was it something that the wind blew there like a candy wrapper? Was it something that was part of nature like a flower that lost its petals?

Or was it something that fell from the sky! Draw a picture of the item.

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.