Wedgie and Gizmo

Wedgie and Gizmo
by Suzanne Selfors
Illustrated by Barbara Fisinger

Readers Theater

Book Trailer

Author Interview

Illustrator Interview

Related Activities & Resources:

Informational Resources:

Author Information:

Author website:
https://www.suzanneselfors.com/

Author bio:
https://www.suzanneselfors.com/about-camp

Illustrator Information:

Illustrator bio:
https://www.kidsreads.com/authors/barbara-fisinger

Illustrator Tumblr site:
http://barbarafisinger.tumblr.com/

Activities & Resources:

Activities:

Animal-Shaped Desserts:

Guinea Pig Shaped Cake:
http://www.6bittersweets.com/2013/02/wheek-wheek-carved-guinea-pig-cake-with.html

Guinea Pigs:

Caviidae Family:
http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Caviidae/

Draw a Guinea Pig:
https://abyssinianguineapigtips.com/how-to-draw-a-guinea-pig/

Guinea Pig Care & Facts:
https://www.petco.com/content/petco/PetcoStore/en_US/pet-services/resource-center/caresheets/guinea-pig.html

Guinea Pig Care Sheet:
https://www.petsmart.com/learning-center/small-pet-care/caring-for-your-guinea-pig/A0093.html

Welsh Corgis:

Welsh Corgi Care:
http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/pembroke-welsh-corgi/care/

Welsh Corgi craft:
http://cp.c-ij.com/en/contents/CNT-0010780/index.html

MakerSpace Activities:

Use the makerspace to bake cookies that are shaped like little corgis. Use the directions that are found at http://www.acozykitchen.com/corgi-chai-cookies/ .

Find a scene you like in Wedgie and Gizmo. Write it as a script for a play and act it out with your classmates.

Use Legos to construct what you think would be the perfect cage for Gizmo. Be sure to include a place for him to use the bathroom as well as places for food and water.

Discussion Questions:

What animals do you think would make good characters as a “genius” or “evil genius?” Why is that?

Gizmo was very upset about having to move, as no one asked his opinion. If you have a pet, how do you think he or she would feel about moving? How would you feel about having to move? Why?

After they move, Gizmo must live in a Barbie playhouse until a new home is purchased for him. If someone brought a guinea pig to your home, where would you have it live until you were able to buy a cage? What improvements would you have to make to your temporary cage? Why?

How would you feel about moving in with a new brother or sister? What would you find easy? What would be difficult?

What would you be willing to share with a new sibling? What would you never share with anyone? Why?

Have you ever dressed up any of your pets? If so, was there a special occasion like Halloween, or was it done just for fun? What kinds of costumes would you like to try on a pet?

Wedgie really likes almost everything, except for being told he’s a “bad dog.” What things have you noticed that animals have become excited about? Does your pet have a favorite activity?

Wedgie considers his family his “pack.” How do you think other pets think of the people in their lives? Explain.

Wedgie associates certain smells with people. For example, he says that Elliot smells like “socks and syrup.” What smells would an animal associate with you? What smells would an animal notice about other people that you know?

Gizmo thinks that Wedgie’s habit of smelling him everywhere is rude. What other interesting things have you witnessed animals doing?

Wedgie understands certain words like “help.” What words do your pets know? If you have more than one kind of pet, have you noticed which one understands more words? If you have more than one of the same kind of pet, like two dogs, for example, does one of them respond to more words?

On pages 38 and 39, how do Gizmo’s words contrast with what is happening in the pictures on those pages? How does this add to your enjoyment and/or understanding of the book?

Gizmo really loves eating foods that he’s not supposed to eat, and it makes him feel sick. Have you ever eaten too much candy or other foods that have made you sick? If so, what happened?

What would you do if an animal bit you? Explain.

Have you ever had to take a pet to the vet? If so, how did he or she react? Describe your feelings and behavior when  you visit the doctor.

Gizmo attempts to order a “Genuine Authentic Replica of THOR’S HAMMER!” which is described as being “made of plastic…and one inch long.” Do you feel like this is a good purchase for Gizmo’s purposes of destroying his enemy? Why or why not?

Have you ever experienced a time when one person (or animal, as in the book) was blamed for something someone else did? How did that make you feel? Describe how you would react, if you were blamed for something you did not do.

Abuela really loves a show about Peru, because that is where she was born. What are your favorite television shows? Why did your select these shows?

When you read that Abuela was measuring Gizmo, what did you think was the reason ? Were you surprised to learn the real reason? Explain your reaction.

Even though Elliott thought the birthday after he moved would be terrible, he ended up deciding that it was his best birthday ever. Which birthday was your favorite birthday? Why did you select this particular birthday?

Book Talk Teasers:

Show pictures of guinea pigs and Welsh Corgis. Have your students guess which character will call himself evil in the book. Discuss why each animal might have sinister tendencies.

Have students perform the Readers Theater for this book.

Read Alikes:

Animal Fantasy

Blabey, Aaron. The bad guys in intergalactic gas. The bad news? The world is ending. The good news? The Bad Guys are back to save it! Sure, they might have to “borrow” a rocket. And there might be something nasty in one of the spacesuits. And Mr. Piranha might have eaten too many bean burritos. Surviving this mission may only be one small step for man, but it’s one giant leap for the Bad Guys. (NoveList)

King, Thomas. Coyote tales. Two tales about Coyote and the trouble he gets into. (NoveList)

Northfield, Gary. Battle with the Britons! Before Julius Zebra can have his freedom, Emperor Hadrian sends him on one last mission. (NoveList)

Blended Families

Payne, Catherine Clark. The thing about leftovers. Fizzy struggles to find her place in her blended family after her parents’ divorce, hoping her entry in the Southern Living Cook-Off will show them she is more than just a leftover kid. (NoveList)

Perkovich, Olugbemisola Rhuday. Two Naomis. A realistic contemporary story of two girls, both named Naomi, whose divorced parents begin to date. (NoveList)

Shabazz, Ilyasah. Betty before X.  Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement. (NoveList)

Dogs

Bar-el, Dan. Dog night at the story zoo. At the Story Zoo, a nightclub where animals tell their stories in front of a live audience, a bulldog discusses how he doesn’t want to be judged by his looks, a poodle saves the day with her yapping, and a stray takes fetching to a whole new level. (NoveList)

Coe, Victoria. Fenway and Hattie up to new tricks. Fenway’s life is pretty great, except for the strange stripey chipmunks that have suddenly appeared in the Dog Park behind his house. He’s determined to catch them, but one of their hiding places contains some stinging insects. Ouch! Fenway thinks he can take care of this injury himself, but his humans don’t let him. They take him to the Place of Fear and then Hattie doesn’t even help him take off the Cone of Doom! (NoveList)

Rust, Kari. Tricky. The Duke and his dog Tricky entertain themselves by playing cruel pranks on others. One day when Tricky receives an unexpected kindness he starts to see the world from a different point of view. (NoveList)

Guinea Pigs

Blabey, Aaron. The Bad Guys in The furball strikes back. The Bad Guys are forced to spring into action when they become the target of a guinea pig’s, who is also a mad evil scientist, revenge plot. (NoveList)

Kelly, Erin Entrada. Hello, universe. Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully’s prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him. (NoveList)

Pankhurst, Kate. The ghostly guinea pig. After her town is invaded by guinea pigs who appear to have a green glow and are thought to be ghosts, Mariella records clues about them in her journal as she and her Mystery Girls try to discover what they really are. (NoveList)

Reviews:

Selfors, Suzanne. Illustrated by Barbara Fisinger. Wedgie and Gizmo.  Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017. School Library Journal (May 1, 2017)
Gr 2-5-Gizmo may be a guinea pig, but he considers himself to be an evil genius. When Elliot and his dad, along with Gizmo, move in with Jasmine and Jackson, their mom, and Wedgie, their dog, Gizmo vows destruction. Wedgie, or Super Wedgie, as he likes to be known, wears a red cape, loves to eat food off the floor, and does not like the vet. Through both animals’ alternating points of view, readers learn about the adjustments of moving and becoming a new, blended family. Snippets of human conversations and lists of evil plans give a hilarious and unique perspective to this story of two families coming together. The illustrations and short chapters help break up the text for young readers, while the dialogue, formatted like lines in a script, make this ideal for readers theater programs. VERDICT This first installment is great for one-on-one sharing or independent reading. A solid purchase for libraries looking for early chapter books.-Shana Morales, Windsor Public Library, CT © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.  Reprinted with permission from School Library Journal , 2017.  

Selfors, Suzanne. Illustrated by Barbara Fisinger. Wedgie and Gizmo.  Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017. Booklist (June 1, 2017 (Vol. 113, No. 19)
Grades 2-5. Gizmo, a bespectacled guinea pig—sorry, a cavy—with aspirations of world domination is dismayed when he’s moved from his cozy ecohabitat to a Barbie playhouse (horrors!). His owner Elliot’s dad recently remarried, and they moved to a new house with a whole new family, including stepsiblings Jasmine and Jackson and irrepressible corgi Wedgie. Gizmo doesn’t really care about all that, as long as he can eventually leave his infernal pink prison and enact his evil-genius schemes. Meanwhile, ever-jubilant Wedgie is eager to welcome his new family members, including the strange furry potato Elliot is so protective of. Gizmo and Wedgie alternate narrating duties in this hilarious chapter book, and their over-the-top personalities make the story clip along. Overheard snippets of conversations among the humans in the story concisely add emotional stakes, such as Elliot’s reluctance to adjust to his new family, without distracting from the comical pet narrators. Occasionally the humor gets a bit repetitive, but little ones elated by enthusiastic Wedgie and grumpy Gizmo will be too busy giggling to notice. Final art not seen.  Used with the permission of Booklist  https://www.booklistonline.com/

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