Chu’s Day Written by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Adam Rex
March 30, 2017
Please Credit: Neil Gaimen’s website Mouse Circus for this recipe as I largely used his materials to create it. I only amended the language from a class structure to a parent-child lesson and added a song.
Chu is a little panda with a big sneeze. When Chu sneezes, bad things happen. But as Chu and his parents visit the library, the diner, and the circus, will anyone hear Chu when he starts to feel a familiar tickle in his nose? Chu's Day is a story that reflects upon how young children aren't always listened to…sometimes to calamitous effect.
Optional book video from Stories of Us.
- Minimum Reading Time: 15 mins
- Est. Time for All Activities: 1 hr 30 mins
- Yields: Read, Talk, Sing, Play
Get the Book
READ, TALK, SING, PLAY
SING - Wash Your Hands
TALK - Transition to Book
TALK - Discuss the Story
PLAY - Activities by Mouse Circus
Story Seasoning: This book is sensory experiences. As the reader encourage your child to feel and explore this book. Describe the textures they’re feeling (soft, rough, smooth, bumpy, etc.). If reading this book to children under the age of one, use short and simple sentences. For children around age two, try introducing new vocabulary throughout the story (example: texture).
1Option 1: Wash Your Hands
2Option 2: :Cover your mouth when you sneeze
3Choose from the options above and play the song with your child. Let them listen to the words. The second time through, invite them to move along with the song with you.
4You can make gestures that match the song (pretend to sneeze or cough, cover your mouth each time. You can add language like “excuse me” after you’ve pretend sneezed).
TALK (Transition from singing to book reading)
1Hold up the book you are going to read. Tell your child this story is about a baby panda who sneezed and didn’t cover his mouth. You can also drive home the point about manners, by suggesting bad things happened because he didn’t cover his mouth.
2Redirect their attention back to the book cover. Then read the book title “Chu’s Day”. Say “Hmmmmm I wonder what this story is about?” Ask them to look at the picture on the cover and describe what they see. Ask: What do you think Chu is doing? How do you think he is feeling? Why do you think Chu is wearing goggles?
READ 15 Minutes
1Begin reading the story aloud to the class. Pause after you read, “Are you going to sneeze? said his mother. Ahh – aaah - Aaaah” Pause 2-4 seconds so students can predict the next page (your child will likely shout out “Chu!”) then turn the page to find out if they’re right.
2Parent Sugar: If your child is able, invite them to join in with you as you tell the story. They can turn the pages, as you make noises that complement the story (such as the sneezing sounds). You child may join in with you, or choose to enjoy listening to you. Both options are wonderful.
3Add a generous amount of Story Seasoning: Read in a lively, engaging way, using voices, gestures, and expressions as you bring each page to life.
4Help your child predict what happens next. Repeat step one, when reading the father’s lines in the story. Point out that the words AAH-AAAAH-AAAAAH- are written in all capital letters and explain why that is.
5Pause after you read: “I will tell you something, said Chu. Guess what? Said Chu. Ask your child what they think Chu is going to say. Pause again, after you read: “I think I am going to sneeze.” Ask what your child if they think he will really sneeze this time?
6Story Seasoning: Pretend you don’t think Chu’s going to sneeze. See if your child agrees or disagrees with you. Turn the page and act surprised to see him sneeze. Ask your child to read with you and sneeze in give the most dramatically loud sneeze you can muster. Sneeze with all your might!
7At the end of the story announce, “The End” as you close the book.
1Go back through the book and discuss any details you may notice in the illustrations. Discuss the story with your child, point out which page was your favorite and what you liked most about your story time with them.
2Parent Sugar: Share a moment that just happened during the story time you spent together. Compliment your child on something they did well during the read aloud. How they participated, how they laughed, how they listened. Pick anything, and celebrate them for it.
1Choose from any of the activities within the free download of Chu’s Day by mouse circus. And if you’re really having a great time with Chu, throw a mini-sneezing party and use all of the suggestions in the pack.
4.5 (Amazon); 3.8 (Goodreads)