Friday, February 4, 2011

Picture Book Marathon, Day 4

Today I felt like being unoriginal. So I did I retelling of The Odyssey, which already has a zillion retellings out there. Unfortunately, I wrote this during my free period, which means I didn't have a copy of The Odyssey to reference, so I might be a bit out of order and missing a few details because I haven't touched my copy since I read it for English last year.

Today I wanted to try drawing my cover on paper and then scanning it in and coloring it digitally, so I don't have that right now either, but I'll post it tonight.

Without further ado, Picture Book #4: The Odyssey.

Odysseus was a very clever man.
Odysseus: I am a very clever man.
In fact, he was so clever that he figured out how to win a war.
Odysseus: I built this wooden horse and hid soldiers inside of it…
Inside speech bubble, text turns into panel showing Trojan horse.

After he won the war, he decided he wanted to go home to his wife and son. So he got into his ship with some other soldiers who were also going home and started sailing.
Two of the gods, Poseidon and Athena were arguing what to do about Odysseus. Athena wanted to let him go home because he was clever, but Poseidon was angry at Odysseus.
He was angry because once when Odysseus was sailing, he landed on the island of one of Poseidon’s children, a Cyclops. He tricked the Cyclops into getting drunk and then blinded him. Odysseus and his companions escaped by hiding beneath the Cyclops’ sheep.
Poseidon caused a terrible storm and all the ships got wrecked, but Odysseus managed to escape to the island of Calypso.
Calypso took care of him until he had built another boat, and tried to convince him to stay, but he wanted to go home to his family.
He landed on an island where he told his hosts the story of the war and of his travels. They agreed to help him get home, and several men agreed to sail him there.
But Poseidon was still angry and so this time they landed on an island where the enchantress Circe lived. She turned all of Odysseus’ companions into pigs, but Odysseus tricked her so that she didn’t turn him into a pig and then convinced her to turn the companions back into humans.
Next they arrived at the island of Aeolius, god of the winds. He gave Odysseus all of the winds in a bag except the one that would let them easily sail home. Odysseus did not tell his companions what was in the bag, but warned them not to open the bag. When they were so close that they could see land, Odysseus took a nap. The other sailors thought that Odysseus had told them not to open the bag because there was money in it that Odysseus didn’t want to share. So they opened the bag and all of the winds came out, blowing them in the wrong direction in a huge storm.
When they figured out where they were, the sailors were afraid. In order to get back home, they would have to face many dangers.
First, they sailed past the island of the Sirens. The Sirens’ song was so beautiful that sailors would jump into the sea if they heard it. But Odysseus knew theat he’d never get another chance to hear them. So he ordered all of the sailors to stuff their ears with wax so that they could not hear, and tie him to the mast so that he could not jump overboard.
Next, they had to sail through the straight of Scylla and Charybdis. On one side of the strait lived Scylla. Scylla was a monster who lived high up on a cliff. She had six heads that could eat a sailor in one bite! On the other side was Charybdis. Charybdis was a giant whirlpool that could destroy any ship. When Odysseus had to sail through the strait, he sailed closer to Scylla because he wanted to save the ship and the rest of the sailors that didn’t get eaten.
Finally Athena convinced Poseidon to let Odysseus reach home. Odysseus went into his house in disguise, but undisguised himself when his wife and son figured out who he was.
The End.

And now a few questions:
Should I have more for each story within the story? I don’t want the kids to get bored.
Also, the language gets more complex as the story goes on. Should I change some of the vocabulary? I assume the story will be read by kids who are old enough to understand the vocab I use or by parents reading to their kids who can explain words that the kids don’t know.

I'm determined to write another picture book tonight, since I just found out that our Cumulative Assessments cut a few days into the end of February, so I want to keep those as rest days in case I need them.

By the way, as of 2pm today, there were 100 views in the month of February alone. And it's only 4 days in! Thank you, viewers!

Until tonight,

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