Imagination Library Book Activity for I Wanna New Room

Dolly Parton’s Imagination LibraryBOOK TITLE: I Wanna New Room
AUTHOR: Karen Kaufman Orloff

SUMMARY OF BOOK: When their new sister is born, Alex has to share his room with his brother, Ethan. He’s not happy about this so he complains to his father in notes he writes. The whole book takes the form of these letters, with elaborate, colorful illustrations. Download this Activity Sheet in PDF.


Ask questions and use what the child already knows to add to the discussion, assisting the child in understanding and enjoying the book.

  1. Considering just the cover and title, “What do you think this story is about?” “Why might he want a new room?”
  2. Take a picture walk through the book: “What do you think is going on in this story?” “What parts of the pictures do you think show make-believe things, which show real things?


  1. When you come across new or unfamiliar words (diplomatic, observatory), explain them.
  2. Explore the pictures of the room, taking time to examine them. “What do you keep in your room?” “Is your room messy or neat?”
  3. Relate to your child’s experience: “Is it like this when you share a room? What’s the same/different?”
  4. Enjoy the humor with your child: “Does Alex have a good imagination? What has he imagined?”
  5. Where is the Captain Creepy action figure?


  1. Discuss the word compromise, what it means, and how Alex and his father reach a compromise.
  2. Talk about how Alex feels as soon as his tree house is built and how he feels after playing in it for a while; what has changed?
  3. Talk about privacy; “When do you want privacy, where do you get it?”
  4. “If you could put anything you want in your room, what would you include?”

Compliments of: Alaska Department of Education & Early Development
Created by: Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage

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