Mollie Cinnamon is Not a Cupcake: Teachers' Notes


Songbird Cafe_Mollie final cover

The Songbird Cafe Girls Book 1: Mollie Cinnamon is Not a Cupcake

by Sarah Webb (Walker Books 2015)

Notes prepared by Liz Morris

Chapter 1

  1. They say you should never judge a book by its cover. But what about its title? Do you like this title? Can you say why/ why not? Have a look around the nearest bookshelves. What do you think of the titles? With a friend, think of amusing and/ or unusual titles for some of the books eg How Cheese and Crackers Brought About My Downfall, or The Many Vicissitudes of Apollyon O’Shaughnessy. You might choose your favourite and design a book jacket that would reflect your new title.
  2. Read the opening two paragraphs again, two or three times, then close the book and visualise! When you can picture the island in your mind, see if you can represent it in paints or charcoals or pastels. Write the date on the back of your work. When you have finished the book, paint the opening paragraphs again. Display the paintings and compare the first with that you painted previously. Discuss the differences, if any, with the class.
  3. The author uses words creatively to add richness to the descriptive details in the book eg seasidey colours (p9), forty lumpy minutes (p10), all sing-songy (p11). Can you think of any word-pictures or word-paintings of your own that might convey the feeling or the perception of something?
  4. Mollie probably had watched the children’s educational programme Sesame Street (p9)and the film ET (p13) with her Granny Ellen. If you are not familiar with these, you will easily find them online (if your parents/school permit use of the internet.) What TV programmes or film might the author use as detail if she were writing about 2015?  What other details can you find in the book that definitely locate events in the twentieth century?
  5. Mollie misses home (p13). She misses Dublin and Flora, and she doesn’t feel like talking to her nan. With a partner, think about what Mollie might have said in answer to her nan’s questions. Record the answers and play them back for the class. Do your Mollie-answers match those given by the other groups?

See notes for chapter 2 here

See notes for chapters 3 and 4 here

See notes for chapters 5 and 6 here

See notes for chapters 7 and 8 here

See notes for chapters 9 and 10 here

Full set of teachers' notes - chapters 1 to 10 here

Short teachers's notes here (2 page document) NEW