by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Mavis Smith
After sharing McGraw's Emporium with young readers discuss what "emporium" means. After the discussion reveal that the word defined = "a place to buy and sell a variety of goods." Learning new vocabulary is often easier if the word is learned through the context of an interesting text. Keep alert for those fun words in a text -- words for which the meaning can be deciphered from the context. For example, a poem such as "Fun in a Garret" by Emma C. Dowd will reveal that a "garret" is what many of us might term an "attic."
Create a mural of an emporium. Each child should create an item to sell, an item perhaps whose name begins with the same letter as that of the child. Draw or paint the item, then cut and paste onto a large piece of paper on which a "counter" has been drawn. This could be used to focus on drawing to scale. Measure the real item then draw the item to a particular scale.
Cats figure into several books that have surprise conclusions. After reading McGraw's Emporium share the following books then ask the readers/listeners to identify/discuss the common elements in the books as a group.
Brett, Jan. Annie and the Wild Animals. Houghton Mifflin, 1985.
Abercrombie, Barbara. Charlie Anderson Illustrated by Mark Graham. Margaret K. McElderry, 1990.
Aylesworth, Jim. McGraw's Emporium. Illustrated by Mavis Smith. Holt, 1995. 32 pages. ISBN: 0805033017 o.p.; ISBN 0805057978 (paperback - An Owlet Book, 1998).