The Adventures of Sparrowboy

Written By: Brian Pinkney

Before Reading

Explore Illustrations

Take a moment to look over the cover and illustrations with your child. Allow him/her to make any initial comments or observations that come to mind and ask these questions to encourage him/her to make predictions about the story:

How do you think the boy got the name “Sparrowboy”?

What kind of adventures do you think Sparrowboy will go on?

{Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?

If your child likes comics, ask “What is your favorite comic? What kind of comic is it (funny, superhero comic, etc.)? Why is it your favorite? How is it similiar to this story?”

As You Read

Be aware that Sparrowboy comes up against some characters that could seem a bit scary, namely Bruno the bully and his dog, Wolf. Discuss how your child feels about these characters and what Sparrowboy does to protect the neighborhood from them.

This story is full of fun onomatopoeias like ZAP  and WHOOSH that can make the story really dynamic and entertaining so be sure to include them in your storytelling. Encourage your child to help you read them as well and ask what other things make these sounds as well. For example, when you come across the word THONK, ask “What else makes a THONK sound? If you drop your backpack, does it make a THONK sound? What about if you…” You can even test it out by trying to see if you can make a THONK sound with things around your home.

Making Connections

Ask your child if certain events in the story remind him/her of experiences that s/he has had in the past. For example, when Sparrowboy sees the two boys being chased by the mean dog, ask, “Have you ever seen someone/something in trouble? What happened? What did you do? What do you think Sparrowboy will do?”

After Reading

Summarize and Interpret

Ask your child questions like these to gauge his/her understanding of what occurred in the story:

What was your favorite part of the story? Why?

How did the boy become Sparrowboy?

What was his superpower? How did he use it for good?

How/why did he return back to normal?

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? Why would you choose that power?

Activity: Make Your Own Comic Strip

Adapted from The Crafty Crow

Supplies: Printer, coloring utensils (crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc), construction paper of any color, stapler and scissors


Let your child explore his/her own imagination to create an original comic strip!

  1. Choose the template you would like to use from these options and print it out.
  2. Have your child determine what story s/he would like to tell and draw pictures and write words that tell this story. For younger children, transcribe your child’s story as s/he tells it to you.
  3. Cut out your comic book panels so that they become long strips. Take your construction paper and cut out two strips that about about the same size as your comic strips. These will serve as the front and back covers of your book. Decorate them with your comic’s title and any illustrations that you would like.
  4. Stack the comic panels in the correct order with the front and back covers and neatly match up all of the edges. Staple the stack together at one of the short ends. Now your comic is ready to read!