Phil Coppock teaches writing courses in the School of Social Work at Chico State University. In an email he writes that in May of 2009 he worked with students in a fourth grade class at Chico Country Day School to help them "learn to recognize and use figurative language."
The class developed a story idea "about a little boy who wakes up one morning to find that everything that can move in his world bounces when it moves. The teacher and I asked the children to imagine, talk about, then write about what that would be like if it happened in different areas of the school (classroom, library, cafeteria, etc). The project lasted several months, and the story grew into a book, with the students listed as co-authors. This spring I had a local artist do some drawings and a cover painting for it."
The book is "Rubber Tuesday" ($12.95 in paperback from Outskirts Press) by Phil Coppock and Mrs. Bower's 2008-2009 4th Grade Class. Illustrated by Peter W. Harris, "Rubber Tuesday" is available at local bookstores as well as online. He is scheduled to appear on Nancy's Bookshelf on Friday, November 19 at 10:00 a.m. on KCHO (Northstate Public Radio), 91.7 FM.
The twenty-six student contributors have let their imaginations soar and the resulting story of Jasper and his best friend Seth is just plain funny. "It all started on a Tuesday" when Jasper awakens to the sound of garbage trucks going "CRASHBOOM!!! CRASHBOOM!!! CRASHBOOM!!!" Jasper looked out the window; "what he saw was the garbage truck alright, slowly but surely bouncing its way down the street. Each hop was maybe ten to fifteen feet high, and each landing sounded like a five car collision."
It wasn't just garbage trucks bouncing around. Everything else was, too, including his dog Juno, zinging around the room then "toppling to the floor, a tangled mix of arms, legs, hands, paws, fur, and drooling, slobbery jowls." What had happened? "It was almost like somebody had reached inside the earth and turned gravity way, way down, or maybe gravity got bored."
When Jasper gets to school--well, this tumultuously hilarious book is great exercise for the trampoline of the mind.