In one of our classes, we’ve been reading a book that’s always been a favorite with younger students at our center, Big Nate: In a Class by Himself (more about Big Nate on Wikipedia). It’s the first book in the series of Big Nate Chapter books written and illustrated by art-teacher-turned-cartoonist Lincoln Peirce that features an always-on sixth grader who frequently and always humorously crosses swords with the adults in his life, other children, and reality.
The plot trigger Peirce uses to set up the conflict in the story is Nate forgetting to pack his lunch and ending up with nothing to eat at school one day. One of his friends, who has brought leftovers from a Chinese restaurant for his own lunch, oh so generously gives Nate his fortune cookie to eat. The fortune printed on the slip of paper inside the cookie (
Today you will surpass all others.) is what launches Nate on the course of action that drives the remainder of the book.
At the same time that we’ve been following Big Nate on his quest to distinguish himself from his classmates, we’ve been reading another book featuring food that’s sort of magical: Martha Speaks: Shelter Dog Blues). The Martha Speaks tales feature a dog that can speak so long as she periodically consumes bowls of alphabet soup.
We had brought bags of fortune cookies, which are strongly associated with Americanized Chinese cuisine but virtually absent here in Hong Kong, to share with our Big Nate readers but it seemed appropriate to share them with several of our other classes as well.
In the image at the top of this post, you can see ChristieC opening her fortune cookie and discovering the fortune inside, which goes:
Every detail has been planned for your enjoyment. Indeed! That’s certainly what we strive for here at Accella.