Design your own magic "full belly bowl." Visit the illustrator's site and download an art sheet to color.
Pots or dishes (or bowls) that magically fill to the brim to provide food are often elements that are used in folk literature or tales written as literary folk stories. Read some of the following tales and compare and contrast the story grammar to that of Full Belly Bowl.
- dePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona. Simon & Schuster, 1989 (25th reissue edition).
- Galdone, Paul. The Magic Porridge Pot. Houghton Mifflin, 1979 (reissue)
- Towle, Faith. The Magic Cooking Pot. Houghton Mifflin, 1975. (o.p.)
Discuss the story grammar in one or more these stories and Full Belly Bowl.
Use the information from the story grammar discussion (using the questions above) to compare and contrast the stories. Do the stories have the same basic story plot/pattern? What details have been changed in each story?
- How was the magic bowl/pot obtained?
- Who has the magic bowl/pot now?
- What does the bowl/pot cook?
- What special instructions govern the bowl/pot's use?
- What chant or action starts the bowl/pot cooking?
- Who tries to use the bowl/pot?
- What happens when the pot does not stop?
Prepare to write an original magic cooking pot/bowl story. Use the questions above to help outline a story pattern. As a class or a group answer the questions and then use the details that are used to answer the questions as the basis for a story which will be expanded with additional details. Settings can be emphasized by deciding what region or part of the world the story will be set in and then adding details that will emphasize that setting. For example, if the story takes place in Japan, the cooking pot/bowl might be cooking rice. If the story takes place in the state of Iowa, the pot/bowl might cook oatmeal or corn meal mush since the state is known for its corn crop and is the home of the largest cereal mill in the world. That cereal mill, Quaker Oats, is a well-known producer of Quaker Oat Meal.
Many other stories have an episode which includes a magic cooking vessel of some type. Read the following stories and identify the place where the author has used this story element in her/his story.
- San Souci, Robert D. The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Dutton, 1989.
- Mosel, Arlene. The Funny Little Woman. Illustrated by Blair Lent. E.P. Dutton, 1993.