I am still reading Tadpole. The main character is Carol. She is 10, the youngest, and says she is “nobody at all.” She is loud. Matter of fact, all her sisters are loud. They talk loud, sing loud, laugh loud, and quarrel loud. She is the youngest and smallest so people don’t really pay attention to her a lot. When Tadpole was singing, she had to sit on the ground and not by him because her sisters stole the good spots next to him. When she started to tell the story about Tadpole getting his name, her sisters cut her off and told the story themselves. She only got to say one line when she was the one who started the story. When Tad told the story about Eugene, the other 3 sister shared sneaky glances with one another but not with Carol. Her dress was owned by all 3 sisters before her, and Tad calls her “Little Carol.” Finally, Mama gives everyone chores to do, even Tad, but not Carol. She’s told to try and stay out of the way.
Tadpole is caring. He is the only one who listens to Carol, like when she suggested his name be Tad. After he told the story about Eugene, he ignored the other 3 sisters to talk just to Carol. Tad is responsible. He didn’t complain when he got a chore, he just said, “Yes, ma’am.” He also starts weeding the garden because it needs to be done, not because he was told to do it. He also helped Kentucky with her chore to clean the kitchen. He seems to be a leader. The girls follow his example to weed the garden, even when they don’t want to do it.
Brian Fifth Grader
I like what you said about Carol, but is she really one of the loud ones or do you think she gets grouped in with her loud sisters? Pay attention to Carol as you read. Is she really “nobody at all” like she says?
Tell me more about Tad. What kind of person tells stories like him and plays guitar like that? What are his strengths and talents and abilities?
Dear Mr. W,
I think Carol is sort of loud, but not like her sisters. She wants some things for herself, like to walk alone with Tad, but her sisters barge in and do what she wants to do herself.
The stories Tad tells are kind of hard to believe. So, maybe he simply has a really good imagination. First, people don’t move into paintings and live there. Second, a person was in the window even though the whole family was leaving and outside. But when he tells the stories he is very serious. It doesn’t seem like he’s making it up. He has musical ability. He learned the fiddle from an uncle and said he would call a square dance. It says there wasn’t a song he couldn’t figure out on the guitar, and he played like that on his first night there when all the neighbors came to visit and listen and sing with the family.
Brian Fifth Grader
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