I chose to read this book because I'm making a concerted effort o read more "girl's lit" and you can't get more girly than books with pink covers! I a...moreI chose to read this book because I'm making a concerted effort o read more "girl's lit" and you can't get more girly than books with pink covers! I also read this book because there is a HUGE Babymouse contingent in my Children's & Adolescent Lit. class. People who love this book really LOVE this book. The good news was that the book wasn't horrible at all. the bad news was that I can't honestly say that I love the book as much as my classmates do.
There were definitely aspects of the book that I enjoyed. It was funny and (sorry, Professor Teale) cute. It dealt with themes that seem relevant to its target audience (pets, being responsible). I especially liked Babymouse's conversations with the unseen narrator. But while there were things about the book that I liked, I just didn't see what the big deal was. It definitely didn't change my life, but maybe that wasn't the point. I'm all for a little escapist reading from time to time, so if that's what you want, this book would definitely fit the bill(less)
After we read "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus," I knew that I had to read more of Mo Willems' work. I loved the way the illustrations in his book...moreAfter we read "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus," I knew that I had to read more of Mo Willems' work. I loved the way the illustrations in his book seem simple, but manage to include lots of things that complement the words on the page. I also think his books have some of my favorite "page-turns."
The title character in "Leonardo, The Terrible Monster" has a serious problem. Well, it's a serious problem if you're a monster: he just isn't thats scary. Unlike some of the other monsters, who have natural advantages (like being really big or having over 1,000 teeth), Leonardo is small and cute. Try as he might, he is incapable of scaring anyone.
Then, he comes up with a plan. After doing extensive research, he finds Sam, "the most scaredy-cat kid around" and Leonardo sets off to "scare the tuna salad out of him" (that just might be my favorite phrase of the year). But after hearing about the horrible things that have happened to Sam, Leonardo decides that being a good friend is more important than being a scary monster.
I read this book to one of my PreK classes today and they loved it. It turns out that Leonardo was so popular with last year's class that he won their Presidential Election. I could see this book working with students as old as 2nd grade (please note that on the inside front cover, a note says the book is "For audiences as young as 3 and as old as 36, so I guess I just made the cutoff :-). For an extension activity, students could even brainstorm some ways to help Leonardo become more scary and write or draw about these ideas.(less)
I was introduced to Allen Say's work by the 2nd grade teachers at my school. I'm trying to read more historical fiction because it is something that I...moreI was introduced to Allen Say's work by the 2nd grade teachers at my school. I'm trying to read more historical fiction because it is something that I normally shy away from. After I saw my colleagues do a lesson on one of his other books (My Grandfather's Journey), I decided to read more of his work. I like how he uses elements from his family's history to teach us about the history of Japanese-Americans as a whole.
This particular Allen Say book is centered around a tradition from his childhood: The Kamishibai Man. According to Say, Kamishibai means "paper theater." The Kamishibai Man had a big box mounted on the back of his bicycle that he used as a kind of theater. He used a series of changeable paper backgrounds to help tell the story.
The Kamishibai man in the story is retired and lives in Japan. One day, he decides to take his theater out for a spin. He initially feels out of place because of all the changes that have happened since the last time he took his theater out (traffic congestion, businesses that have closed, the pervasive influence of television). But the book ends on a hopeful note, as he finds lots of fans who have fond memories of his stories and a few new little fans.
This book seems like it would work for Grades 2 & up. It could be used in a Reading class or in a Social Studies class. It could even be the basis of an art unit in which students construct their own Kamishibai stories and present them to other people in and around the school.(less)
This story tells the classic tale of "The Three Little Pigs" from the viewpoint of The Big, Bad Wolf. Only, as the wolf tells it, he isn't so big and...moreThis story tells the classic tale of "The Three Little Pigs" from the viewpoint of The Big, Bad Wolf. Only, as the wolf tells it, he isn't so big and bad after all. In his mind, all those "bad" things we all THINK happened were really just the result of a series of misunderstandings and, because of these misunderstandings, the wolf now finds himself behind bars.
This book seems like it would work with students in Grades 2 and up. It Would be great if you were doing a unit on multiple viewpoints. First, students could read the traditional version. Then, they could read this one and we could have a discussion of what was the same in both stories and what was different. We could maybe even extend the unit by having students write throe own versions of what they think happened.(less)