Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem by Kate DiCamillo

Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem: Tales from Deckawoo Drive #5

Kate DiCamillo, Author

Chris Van Dusen, Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Fiction, Jun. 9, 2020

Suitable for ages: 6 – 9

Themes: School, Poetry, Metaphors, Arguement, Friendship

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Stella Endicott loves her teacher, Miss Liliana, and she is thrilled when the class is assigned to write a poem. Stella crafts a beautiful poem about Mercy Watson, the pig who lives next door — a poem complete with a metaphor and full of curiosity and courage.

But Horace Broom, Stella’s irritating classmate, insists that Stella’s poem is full of lies and that pigs do not live in houses. And when Stella and Horace get into a shouting match in the classroom, Miss Liliana banishes them to the principal’s office. Will the two of them find a way to turn this opposite-of-a-poem day around?

Why I like this book:

Kate DiCamillo’s sweetly satisfying chapter book speaks to children about everyday struggles that are inherhent with school and friendships. As the title eludes to, the theme in this story is anything is possible — even a pig that sleeps on a couch and a friendship with a boy, who metaphorically speaking, is an overblown balloon.

Stella is a spirited, imaginative and determined. She looks for the good in situations. Horace is smug and a know-it-all. When Stella and Horace are sent to principal’s office, Horace buckles in fear. Not Stella. She remembers that “in good stories, the characters face their fate with curiosity and courage” and leads the way. And throughout the story Stella reminds herself that surprises are everywhere and that anything is possible.

The story introduces children to writing poetry and using a metaphor in their poem. It becomes a game for Stella as she begins to see metaphors in everything around her.  The story is also peppered with a few large words like, absconder. The book has seven chapters with 85 pages, perfect for elementary students learning to read longer books.

Chris Van Dusen’s pen and ink illustrations are lively, expressive and entertaining. They are perfect for text.

Make sure you check out the first four books in the Deckawoo Drive series: Leroy Ninker Saddles Up,  Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?, Eugenia Lincoln and the Unexpected Package.

Kate DiCamillo is the beloved author of many books for young readers, including the Mercy Watson and Tales from Deckawoo Drive series. Her books Flora & Ulysses, and The Tale of Despereaux both received Newbery Medals. Her first published middle grade novel, Because of Winn-Dixie, snapped up a Newbery Honor. The Tiger Rising, her second novel, also went on to become a National Book Award finalist.  She has almost 30 million books in print worldwide. She is a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the MMGM link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*Review copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

22 thoughts on “Stella Endicott and the Anything-Is-Possible Poem by Kate DiCamillo

  1. I love the sound of this book, Patricia. It would be great to read in the classroom when teaching children about metaphors or poetry. Or just about any time!

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  2. This sounds like a wonderful book, especially if DiCamillo is as skilled at writing chapter books as she is at writing longer novels! Also, it’s neat that this book introduces kids to the idea of metaphors. Thanks for the great review!

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  3. I’m intrigued by Stella’s strong personality and the story sounds perfect. I hope Kate DiCamillo also writes more middle grade. I have a soft spot for Because of Winn-Dixie. Thanks for featuring her chapter book on MMGM today.

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  4. Kate DiCamillo is a master children’s book writer. She has received two Newberry Awards for her work. I love The Tales of Despereaux and Because of Winn-Dixie.

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  5. OK — I must read this book! I’m a huge fan of Kate DiCamillo’s work, and this one sounds as if it will be a great addition to her previous works. The cover is cute, and I appreciate your sharing this read with us for MMGM! :0}

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  6. I’ve enjoyed almost everything I’ve read by Kate DiCamillo. She’s such an amazing writer. I know it was hard to find good chapter books when my own kids were at that stage. This sounds wonderful and very imaginative. This would be a good one to use with my students. Thanks for featuring it!

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  7. I am such a (new) fan of this author. Over the course of the last few months I have bought and read all of the books you mention in your post here. I then share them with my grandkids. Each of the characters (even the china doll, and the squirrel!) are quirky and thoughtful and sensitive in different ways. What a writer DiCamillo is. She tackles difficult subjects in wild and different ways and succeeds where others have failed. Now, I better get the book you highlight here. 🙂

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    • I’m so glad that your grandchildren love them. Stella Endicott is part of a series. And, Mercy Watson, the pig, has its own series. You might check your library too. Delightful for kids learning to read on their own. And you may want to check out a book I will soon be reviewing, “Dusk Explorers” by Lindsay Leslie. It’s about the magic of kids exploring the backyard at dusk — it will bring back memories of your own childhood. Thought I’d share since it is mid-summer.

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