Author: Rachel Isadora

24 to 35 Months Nonfiction

Louie takes us into his Grandfather’s Chinese restaurant for his regular Friday night dinner. This book offers a look into what goes on in a restaurant, in the front and behind the scenes. There are beautiful illustrations of the people who work there, some familiar and not-so-familiar foods, and a loving family.

Before, During and After Reading

Focus on Friday. Read this story on a Friday and talk about the day of the week. For example, you might look at a calendar together and use the words, today, tomorrow and yesterday. You might say: Today is Friday and tomorrow is Saturday. That means no school or work tomorrow.

Oral Language

Use the picture on the front cover to help your child make a prediction as to what the story might be about. Read the title and the author’s name.

You might say: This book is called Happy Belly, Happy Smile. Rachel Isadora wrote the words and drew the pictures. What do you see on the front cover of this book? What do you think this book will be about? Friday is a special day for this boy. Let’s find out why.  

Teach new vocabulary words.  Explain or define new words like restaurant, waiter, chef, delivery, chopsticks or fortune cookie.

Letter Knowledge

Use the words in the title to bring attention to letter names. In this title, the word Happy appears twice. This is the perfect opportunity to match letters. Touch the letter H in the word Happy and show your child how you found another letter H in the other word. Do the same with the lowercase a, and then see if your child catches on and can find the letters p and y. If not, that’s okay! You can still bring it to her attention and then move on. Look at the words in the title. I see the word Happy. Happy begins with the letter H. I see an H here and here. Look, I see the letter ‘a’ here and here. I see the letter p.  Do you see a letter p?


Phonological Awareness

Listen for beginning sounds of words. Bring attention to words in the book that start with the /f/ sound like Friday, favorite, fish, food, Franklin, friend, fork, and fortune. After you have read the story a few times, you might give your child a popsicle stick with the letter F printed on it. Ask your child to wave the popsicle stick every time she hears a word that starts with the /f/ sound. Help your child listen by dragging out your pronunciation of the /f/ sound when you read a word starting with f.  


Beginning Writing

Look on a calendar. Show the word Friday to your child and talk about the letter Ff. You might say: Did you know today is Friday? Look at this calendar. Here is the word Friday. Friday begins with the letter F.  The name of this letter is F. Can you say F? The letter F makes the /f/ sound. Can you trace the letter F on this calendar with your finger? /f/ /f/ finger begins with the letter F.

Discover more beginning writing activities for two-year-olds, or find another recommended book to read together.