Children’s Book Review: Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

BOOK SUMMARY
Chester and Wilson had their own way of doing things, and they did everything together.
When they cut their sandwiches, it was always diagonally. When they rode their bikes, they
always used hand signals. If Chester was hungry, Wilson was, too. They were two of a kind,
and that’s the way it was—until indomitable Lilly, who had her own way of doing things,
moved into the neighborhood.

DISCUSSION POINTS
• In what ways can you relate to Chester? Wilson? Do you have your own ways of doing
things? What are they? (You don’t have to give away any secrets!)
• Which illustration is your favorite? Why?
• If you were the illustrator of this story, what animals would you have chosen to be
your characters? Why?
• Do you have a close friend as Chester does in Wilson? Describe what you and your
friend like to do together.
• How old do you think the characters in this story are? How do you know?
• What feelings do you share with Chester and Wilson and then with Lilly?
•How did Chester and Wilson react to Lilly at first? Why do you think they did so?
• How would you describe the friendship that develops between Wilson and Chester
and Lilly? How do you know they have become friends?
• Have you experienced a similar situation—having a new kid come into your life
when you have a well-established relationship with a friend? Describe it using
only gestures (pantomime).
• What good habits can you practice that are demonstrated by the characters in this
story? What can a person do to establish and ensure lasting friendships?
• Are there classmates who show personality traits similar to those of the characters in
this story? Describe them.
• What is a “Christmas List”? Do you make one?
• Have you ever heard the expression “two peas in a pod”? What does it mean?
What is a pod?

ACTIVITIES
• Draw your own illustration for one of the incidents in this story.
• Play charades using topics or scenes from this story.
(http://www.charades-ideas.com/rules_of_charades.php)
•Do you think that the three friends ever flew kites together? Try making a paper
kite or an origami model of a kite here.
(http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Paper-Kite-for-Kids/)
• Have you ever made a “friendship” bracelet? Lilly might suggest that they make a
bracelet for each other some rainy day. Make a few friendship bracelets for your
friends. (http://friendship-bracelets.net/)
• Draw a scene from the story using the animals you would have chosen as the
characters.
• Find some pictures in magazines that illustrate friendship or activities among friends.
• Make a list of what gifts you’d like to receive for a holiday or your birthday. Make a list
of what you might want to give to a best friend. How would you earn the money to
buy a gift or would you make it yourself? Explain or illustrate.

Do you like Lilly’s outfits? Why or why not? What about her disguises? What are her
favorite shoes? Do you have some favorite shoes? Describe them or draw them.
•What effect will Victor have on the friendship of Chester, Wilson, and Lilly?
• What can you guess from the illustration on the outside back cover of the book?
Does this illustration give anything away? Explain.
• Long, long before there were written letters and words and languages for people to
use to describe events and feelings, there were actions and pictures. Use body and
hand gestures to retell a part of the story you enjoyed.
• What did you think of Katie Leclerc’s sign language? Why did she sign the story while
Vanessa Marano was reading it?
• Did you notice any of the sign language gestures being repeated? Which ones?
• Do you know any words in American Sign Language?

THEMES AND CONCEPTS IN THIS BOOK
• Acceptance
• Friendship
• Manners
• Honesty
• Courage
• Loyalty

Posted in Literacy Library.

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