Download as Pdf
Elvira comes across as a spiky personality in the beginning of the story, but what kind of person does she turn out to be?
There are two sets of mothers and daughters in this story? In what ways do you notice they are the same or different? There are two sets of sisters too. In what way are the older sisters the same or different than the Elvira and Kerrie?
The grandmother is appears unwelcoming at first. When do you see that change? What does it tell us about how happy she is to see her eldest daughter and her two granddaughters?
Elvira doesn’t like her aunt at first. Why? And how does that change?
In what way does Kerrie act as a bridge for all these spiky personalities?
In what way does the puppy show Elvira’s stance, (one foot in one camp, one foot in the other)? The butterfly is a similar metaphor in the story. Can your students think about what a butterfly represents and why it might have been drawn to Daddy? This is probably a discussion more applicable to older students. (which is why I offer as many as I can think of)
When I wrote, I would’ve liked to have sound for the pages, but I had to settle for describing him. In the Daddy-as-Elvis became a kind of wallpaper to set this story against. He was the kickoff conflict, the inciting incident that was more colorful than starting out with Aunt Clare’s phone call. At the time, I thought that was okay because the generations that are reading are hardly aware of Elvis.
But I see that older readers (us), reviewing online, feel there’s a good deal missing from the story because I didn’t put more Elvis in it. You could play “Love Me Tender” and “Ain’t Nuthin’ But a Hound Dog” for your students and let them Google Elvis, get a sense of what an iconic figure he still is for many of us. No doubt they can draw comparisons to some of their favorite artists.
Perhaps you have a few eager Elvis impersonators in your class!